Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cuckooland Series by Bovinyl

The Cuckooland Series by Bovinyl is a huge departure from the custom work and shows involving the Moody platform art toy. This new project is something that I have wanted to do for some time. The idea for this series originated in something that most people experience ... recognizing a familiar thing that may appear in a cloud, texture, piece of wood or sometimes even in a stain on a sidewalk. It could be an animal, face, object ... just about anything, even a fantastical creature, can emerge if you use your imagination.

The first Cuckooland creature, Starborn, emerged from a still-life photograph of a flower arrangement that I took at a wedding a number of years ago. The creature appeared in that photo and from that moment on, I couldn't look at it without seeing the Starborn figure. The starfish dreadlocks that sit on the creatures head morphed out of one of the arrangements uniquely shaped flowers.

Seewatt, the second creature, was discovered in a shape that emerged from a piece of granite tile on the shower wall at a hotel my wife and I stayed in during a trip to Zihautanejo Mexico. During my morning showers, my eye was drawn to this unique, horse-like creature pattern. I couldn't wait to get home to my studio to begin sculpting it. The idea for the colorful fruit plants that grow in the world that Seewatt inhabits were inspired by water drops that form shapes on the steamed up walls of a shower. Yikes ... I think I'm spending too much time taking showers!

My latest sculpt, Bunny Man, emerged out of a photo I took of a waterfall during a trip to the Caribbean island of Dominica. Again, after the ghostly image of a human figure with long ears and bunny-like arms emerged, the photograph could no longer be viewed as a beautiful waterfall ... it was now the mysterious image of the Bunny Man. There's an urban myth that has sprung up about the Bunny Man. Google the name if you are interested in grizzly murders involving a killer dressed up in a bunny costume. In contrast, my Bunny Man is a gentle, nurturing-type who protects and looks after all of the innocent forest dwelling creatures that inhabit Cuckooland.

Nephelococcygia (cloud watching) - The term that is used when people hunt for objects in clouds is Nephelococcygia. The word was first coined in the play The Birds written in 414 B.C. by the Greek comic Aristophanes. Aristophanes wrote in the style known as Old Comedy, a farcical and free stylethat permitted him to ridicule public figures and institutions. The Birds is considered his best work. The play takes place around two Athenians, Pisthetaerus and Eulpides. Fed up with the corruption that seems to govern their city, they find a solution in leaving for a better future in a better place by turning into birds and immediately begin planning a city they decide to call 'Nephelococcygia.' In their quest for a perfect city they join forces with their once human friend Tereus, the Epops, 'who is a bird, without being born of one'. Terus is convinced by Pisthetaerus and Eulpides and other birds of their right to reign the skies, and together they create an ideal, flawless city nestled in the clouds: Nephelococcygia. Rebelling against humankind and the gods alike: they fight and are the victors. Eventually Pisthetaerus marries Zeus' lover. The menu of their wedding banquet includes roasted birds, to wit, those who opposed the new rulers.

While their city never really comes into being, by capitalizing the word it refers to their imaginary city. One of the characters tells them they are crazy for seeing shapes in the clouds. So literally speaking the term nephelococcygia means cloud cuckooland or 'Cloudcuckoosville.' By today's usage the essence of the word has come to mean nonsensical cloud watching; to look for changing shapes and transformation in the cloud forms.

Friday, March 18, 2011

'Ragin' Bull' artwork for Shuffle Up & Deal 2

Bovinyl partnered up with graphic wizard Aaron Keeling on the card artwork for the Shuffle Up & Deal 2 fundraiser for the Royal Canadian Legion. We narrowed it down to three designs and finally settled on the traditional playing card image (top image).

55 local artists will be designing the cards that will be transformed into a standard playing card deck (including the Jokers and the back of the cards). The original card art will be auctioned off at the 'Shuffle Up & Deal 2' fundraising event. Last year's fundraiser was a huge success with all proceeds from the sale of decks and artwork going towards programming at the Bowman Arts Centre.

Thanks again to Aaron for lending his talents to another Bovinyl art project.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ragin' Bull Moody custom by Bovinyl

Bovinyl was asked to design one of the playing cards for the 'Shuffle Up and Deal Two' fundraiser for the Royal Canadian Legion. 55 local artists will be designing the cards that will be transformed into a standard playing card deck (including the Jokers and the back of the card). The original card art will be auctioned off at the 'Shuffle Up and Deal Two' fundraising event. Last year's fundraiser was a huge success with all proceeds from the sale of decks and artwork going towards programs at the Bowman Arts Centre.

The theme for this year's set is military aircraft nose art. Nose art started as a way to identify planes, however it soon developed into a true art form. It pushed the limits of military conformity and provided a unique way of connecting troops to their lives at home. The art was inspired by memories of peacetime life and acted as a type of psychological protection against the stresses associated with war. Nose art was not officially approved by the military, however the regulations that would have seen the art removed from aircraft was never enforced.

The Ragin' Bull custom was inspired by the menacing shark mouth art that appeared on a number of different war planes such as the Spitfire and P-40 Warhawk during WWII. Ragin' Bull features a camo paint job and a working propeller.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

'Headhunter Moody' custom by Ryan Fuchs (Canada)

We were very impressed with the 'Headhunter Moody' custom created by talented Edmonton based artist, Ryan Fuchs. This was the first time that Ryan has customized a platform toy and we hope that it won't be his last. Ryan is a professional graphic artist and photographer with a great eye for detail.

The 'Headhunter Moody' comes complete with head-dress, spear, shrunken head and other 'equipment' ... the 'headhunters' bubble butt and twig & berries definitely brought a smile to our faces. The only things missing from this piece are a drum beat and some chanting ... "ouga chaka ouga chaka ...". Ahhh ... National Geographic would be proud of these uncensored images. Excellent job Ryan! We can't wait to see what you'll come up with next.

For more information on the talented Ryan Fuchs, visit

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lefty Moody Custom by Bovinyl

Meet Lefty, the demolition expert. Well, at least he thinks he's an expert. His dented and scarred body tell a much different story. Constructed out of metal and held together by rivets, this veteran of intergalactic mining, has seen better days. Lefty is now a 'righty' after holding onto a stick of dynamite a bit too long ... he blowed himself up reeeeal good.

We love putting these faux metal customs together. We used a rust patina solution that can be picked up at most craft stores. It usually takes multiple applications to get the look, however the final product definitely makes the Moody platform appear to be constructed out of rusted metal rather than vinyl. The rivets were created using upholstery pins. The hat and dynamite were constructed out of Super Sculpey.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Moody Platform Takes Flight

Bovinyl is currently working on its next platform, 'Winged Moody'. We've talked about creating a flying bovine for quite some time and finally got around to working on our first prototype. The 'Winged Moody' provides the artist with a wider range of customizing options. We think that the wings definitely add a totally new dimension to the Moody platform.

For more information on the Moody platform toy, visit

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Moody inspired stencil art by Jason Trotter

Stencil artist, Jason Trotter, sent us images of a Moody/cosmonaut inspired art that he recently completed. The image has been stenciled onto an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of Garnet 60-grit sandpaper. The unique application of black ink over the speckled, grainy surface of the sandpaper is very effective. He's hoping to transfer the same image, only much larger, onto a brick wall sometime soon.

Jason has been producing large format stencils for the past decade. He draws his inspiration from other contemporary stencil artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey. He recently completed a number of commission pieces for the municipality of Lethbridge. The pieces were stenciled on expanded metal sheets and were installed on the sides of historic buildings. The subject matter for his pieces ranges from historic iconic images to more contemporary images such as Lucha Libre.

His latest stencil project, large-scale postage stamp forms on wood, is currently on display at the Penny Coffee House gallery in downtown Lethbridge.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Moody by Cuban Artist, Manuel, Arrives in Canada

Well-known Cuban artist, Manuel, has completed work on his Moody custom for our 'around the world with Moody' group show that will take place at the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC).

We were very excited to see the completed custom when it arrived from Cuba via Fredericton, NB.

To date, artists from 14 countries have completed customs for shows in both Canada and the United States. The project will culminate with the AGC show in the Spring of 2011.

Cuban artists are unfamiliar with the designer vinyl art toy movement, however Manuel has shown that a blank platform art toy can provide an opportunity for brilliant and colorful artistic expression.

Many thanks go out to Manuel who found time in his hectic schedule to apply his talents to a Moody platform. His unique and colorful style translated perfectly to the Moody canvas. As well, many thanks to his manager, Guillermo, for putting everything together and for his ongoing communication over the past year and a half.

Manuel works in a variety of media - printmaking, painting, ceramics, murals, etc. I've included one of his colorful prints as a backdrop to the Moody custom.

Check out the way Manuel incorporates a bird figure (a Moody horn becomes a beak) between the horns in the top version image.

Manuel Hernandez Valdes was born in Cuba in 1943. He has been a participating artist in many major events in Havana. His paintings have also been shown in Belgium, Mexico, Germany and Spain.

In addition to his reputation as a painter, he is also known as a cartoonist, ceramist, illustrator and humorist.

He has been honored with the Pablo Picasso Medal of UNESCO and the Journalism Prize - National Jose Marti.

His works are found in important private collections such as:

- Danielle Mitterrand Foundation
- Geraldine Chaplin Collection
- Mario Benedetti Collection

His paintings are very representative of the Cuban art that idealizes the human body and integrates nature - planting sugar cane, banana, tobacco etc. His characters reflect the gentleness and happiness of the Cuban rural-living environment.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moody Custom by Michael Canich

Twilight Moody Master Altar of Death
Another amazing Moody custom created by the talented Michael Canich. Michael has applied his skills to a number of platforms over the years and we were very pleased that he decided to work on a Moody. Michael would be the first to admit that he struggles with applying his unique style to 3D forms, however he definitely succeeded with our platform. We love this piece! For the most part, Michael works in a restricted palette (black on white), however in this case, the purple background creates an eerie, Burtonesque, feel. We'd love to see his characters translated into art toys. Make sure to check out more of his art at Michael is always pushing the boundaries with his art and we can't wait to see more from him.

GelaSkins design by Aaron Keeling for Bovinyl

Aaron Keeling created this cool 'Ghost Moody' GelaSkins design for Bovinyl. GelaSkins are removable covers for customizing and protecting portable devices such as this one for an HTC Hero android phone. The 'skin' is made out of a 3M adhesive that make GelaSkins easy to apply with no residue left behind. The adhesive allows you to reposition the skin so you can easily get a perfect fit. The GelaSkins material contains patented micro-channels that prevent air bubbles from forming which translates into easy application. For more information about GelaSkins, visit

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

LEGO Moody by Elliot Cooke (Canada)

Elliot did a masterful job of creating this piece entitled 'The Brickmaster'. Our Christmas wish at Bovinyl is to see an 8 ft. high LEGO Moody ... what do you think Ellliot?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Moody Platform in Nakanari Collection

Nakanari was born in South Taiwan and started collecting and designing toys from a very early age. What started out as a hobby has grown into a successful career. Unlike a lot of toy designers, Nakanari takes his ideas directly to the sculpting stage. Using polymer clay, he adds new features as he develops his unique characters.

His distinctive designer toys are infused with oriental style and a colorful mixture of innocence and cuteness. The 'Misfits of Nakanari' was the first toy line he created. He used two different characters to show the contrast between good and evil.

In 2004, B.B.birdy (premiere toy designer and first to launch Taiwanese designer toys) picked up his 'Misfits of Nakanari' design for his Funny Club series. That year he also began working on the Funny Club Show. He worked with over 150 international artists, travelling all over the United States and Asia.

Nakanari has exhibited with other well-known artists like Emmy Award-winning 'Teacher’s Pet' creator Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, graffiti legend SEEN, Cameron Tiede, popular toy designer MAD, Sket One, Frank Kozik, Jada Toy Crew, X-Concept designer Chito, and Mattel’s Hot Wheel head-designer MIQ WILLMOTT.

His work has been exhibited and collected around the world. For more on Nakanari, visit his blog at Check earlier Bovinyl posts for his Moody custom.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blue Diablo Moody by Reddprime (South Africa)

Bovinyl was pleased to receive this nicely executed Moody custom from our friend from the 'dark continent' - Mitchell Horn a.k.a. Reddprime. We're huge fans of Mitchell's work. He's a talented artist with a varied and vibrant imagination. He always puts everything he has into his art and is keen to experiment with new techniques and materials.

Mitchell has been drawing ever since the day he could grasp a pencil. As he grew, so did his passion for art and urban toys. He took a serious approach to art during his studies at Goldfields FET College in his native country of South Africa. While honing his skills at art school, he started to develop and create a wide range of characters (a sampling above) ... each with a unique flair that was inspired by his love for Japanese Anime.

Mitchell recently took part in a very successful group show in Germany - Bigwood Berlin Exhibition.

He finds inspiration in the work of Gus Fink, Antz81 and Nevermore.

Check out more of Mitchell's work on Flickr.