It's my pleasure to announce something cool that we are going to be doing here at Mindzai and that is to do a lot more interviews with the artists that we work with. It's a simple way for us to showcase their amazing talents and exposes you to a whole new side of who they are and what might have been going through their minds as they were creating their pieces of art.
We decided to start the year and our brand new site off with a short Q&A with Tasha Zimich.
Tasha is based out of Vancouver, Canada and is currently also the operations manager for one of the world's best known artists Camilla d'Errico. I recently asked Tasha to design a custom dudebox for us for our new relaunch.
Here's the interview:
Tasha! This is is amazing! Your up! Wumble is the name of your latest custom. What's the story behind Wumble?
Wumble came from a place I've been exploring lately, where I'm interested to make critters but to also get into their figuration in a diffent way. I'm interested in opening up, peeling back, and exploring, and this character on this platform offered a good opportunity to do that.
Why did you choose the name Wumble?
Choosing names is a different kind of process for me, since titles have been something I feel like I struggle with or tend to overthink. So when I paint toys I prefer to let them tell me what their name is instead. I paint the eyes last, and then when I finish and look into their eyes they tell me what their name is. Sometimes it's a derivative of an aesthetic element of theirs, or a mood or tone they give off. This fella felt kind of "bumbly-wumbly", and the name Wumble stuck.
When I first met you, you were a really big fan of Dudebox's Big Dude platform. Why?
I responded to the big Dude because to me it felt like a wide expanse of inviting canvas. The shape of the body feels like it has a lot of possibility for the kind of figurative exploration I want to do, and the kind of characters I like to create. And, I just can't get over how great the box is- "Packaged with Love". I paint with love! I paint love into every piece. On those merits alone this platform and I are made for eachother.
What are some of the challenges you had with this design?
One challenge I had was that I actually like to paint nice big booties on some of my pieces rear ends- which, Wumble has a cute little bum, but being so short in the leg he didn't have as much room for thunder-buns as I would have liked. I don't think he minds though, he didn't ask for lots of junk in the trunk.
I noticed that you really love to give big large eyes to your designs. Any particular reason?
Big eyes are aesthetically something that has stood out for me my whole life in cartoons and comics. The eyes are the part I paint last, because I enjoy them so much I want to treat myself at the end for a job well done. Often a tone that underpins my characters aesthetic is a bit of wide-eyed worry or surprise, while still being cute or a little creepy. Large exaggerated eyes help me achieve this, and give me a lot of enjoyment to make.
We both live in Canada...and we here at Mindzai are really proud to be working with Canadian designers like yourself. What are some of your thoughts in this designer toy industry up here in Canada?
I'm really pleased to be connecting more to Canadian companies and creatives, and it helps give me a sense of creative community at home. I think the designer toy industry in Canada can be challenged by things like smaller domestic populations and our rates of Canadian inflation importing most art toys internationally. However, Canadian toy fans are comitted and caring, and I see evidence of this support at home helping the industry grow in spite of the challenges it faces.
Thanks Tasha. Canada...and I know a lot of friends in the USA really love the work you do and especially your fun personality. Thanks again for supporting Mindzai and please continue to do more amazing things.