Gustav Mini Vinyl Toy...
Mini Dudes, Attaboy
From his 'You Might Be A Monster' book, Attaboy brings his delightful character Gustav to Dudebox. Gustav the kid makes...
Attaboy is an internationally acclaimed artist, creator and toy designer whose work is seen in galleries, museums, boutiques, magazines, books and so many more places and spaces. In 1996, Attaboy started his career designing and inventing toys for Milton Bradley and Hasbro. In 2002, Atta released the Axtrx, one of the first western vinyl toys to be distributed en mass. Axtrx, with its interchangeable mouths, has often been referred to as the "gateway toy" for many burgeoning collectors.
Scores of Attaboy vinyl, plush and specially made resin sculptures soon followed, along with art licensing deals with many of the top creator loving companies. In 2005, Attaboy co-founded the acclaimed and best selling new contemporary art magazine Hi-Fructose with his wife, the artist, Annie Owens. Since its premier, it has gained an enthusiastic worldwide distribution, launched the careers of many artists, and spawned a best-selling series of Collected Editions. Attaboy lives in the East Bay of San Francisco with his wife, a pug named Donut, and a pesky bunny named GiGi. With so much under his belt we had to spend some time with him to see what makes him tick!
Hi Atta, what is this bunny doing?
I like to call her our "Dinner-in Law". Our poor dog Donut has to live with and tolerate a pesky trained rabbit, when she should be hunting and eating rabbit instead! But, I'll admit to petting them both. And being allergic to both. and being pooped on by both.
It just pooped on that magazine!
That would be the latest edition of Hi-Fructose. Annie and I find it ridiculous that we started an art magazine. It’s bizarre and has changed our life completely. It’s the only thing we ever worked on together. It was a lot of hard work and the result of careful decisions.
Did you start this because you felt there was a lack in the market of magazines catering for this type of art?
Both of us would have different answers to this question, perhaps that's one of several reasons why the magazine is successful. Most magazines at the time, seemed so filled with excess, selling, filler, advertorial favors. As a reader, it was hard to not be excluded from their approach. We don't waste people's time or the trees that die to enable us to make the many thousands of copies of each issue that we print. We don't care where the art comes from, we just want to showcase what we think is pushing the envelope and interests us.
Hi-Fructose has featured many amazing artists, who is inspiring you at the moment?
So many folks. There's a wave of neo-hallucinatory space loving abstract art that I'm particularly fond of recently. There's so many great sculptors as well. Scott Musgrove, Erwin Wurm, Josh keyes, A.J. Fosik, Mars-1, Dave Cooper, I dig them. Annie will have a much different list as well. Some artists have to grow on you to really appreciate their brilliance, like a fancy eye cheese you welcome each morning with a crusty blink before it makes it way to your very own mental cracker. We’re proud to help launch the fine art careers of some very deserved artists and to cross-pollinate the mindset imaginative.
What could be more inspiring?
My wife! She keeps me on track, she puts wind in these old battered sails and reminds me that when in doubt, be my all over the place self. Plus her art blows me away. Also, my talks with my amazing grandpa (The Amazing Buzz as he's known) are the highlights to my week. We speak a fine tuned cornball language and finish each others' tangential non-sentences. My big brother gave me confidence all thru my acne covered years and is still a big inspiration. I like the music of Spike Jones, the films by Spike Jonze, Tom Waits, the Magnetic Fields, the movies of Jean Pierre Jeunet, the legend of Orson Welles, Marvin Glass, documentaries by Errol Morris, naps, advil, pepsid, real New York Pizza, Chipotle crunchy tacos, chai tea lattes, watching Bollywood video programs on weekends, and stupid novelty cups.
You mentioned Marvin Glass. Who he?
I enjoy toys from the legendary toy inventor Marvin Glass and Assoc. and Cragstan Pull toys, toys from 1960's are my favorite. I've always been into ideas, concepts and art. In 1994, I discovered F.I.T's Toy Design Program and learned that these two things could be mixed with great results; one of which being my happiness. I graduated from the program and the rest is prehistoric non-history! Recently, I've been obsessed with old Fisher-Price pull toys as well. I love the movements that they make. Designing and inventing toys keeps me learning, expanding my parameters. I kinda can't stop doing that. If i do, permission to kill me is hereby GRANTED. What more do you want from me, you interviewing vampire? Blood!? You WANT BLOOD!? HERE, HERE"S MY NECK. TAKE MY BLOOD! TAKE IT!
We have never interviewed a vampire so don’t think we would be one ourselves... But talking about monsters, what inspired you to write & illustrate your children’s book “You Might Be a Monster”?
It took me three years to figure out the project. I nearly didn't make it, it's a strange one. But there's so many details to discover. I hate paying $16 for a book and breezing through it in one sitting, never to open it again. It takes 18 minutes to read the first half of the book aloud, then 5 minutes to read the second half, and several hours to discover all the hidden stuff... the book just made its first stage appearance at the Dark Room in San Francisco, which was fantastic.
What are you working on at the moment?
So many things at once. If I made a list, I'd freak out and hide away, so I won't. You should be ashamed of reminding me of all the things I have yet to do! See what you just did? Now I have to take another Pepcid for my esophagial hernial pollups, WHY MUST YOU CAUSE ME SUCH PAIN?!
Pain drives an artists, right? Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite?
That's like picking a favorite child to throw off a cliff, I just couldn't do that. My style is... ever-evolving. Whoops! there it goes a-changing again!
Attaboy is an internationally acclaimed artist, creator and toy designer whose work is seen in galleries, museums, boutiques, magazines, books...Read More