Peep the first ever crossover-collaboration between Jack Hankins aka HORRORWOOD in the distinct form of Jack's infamous Calling All Cars papercraft-platform with TRE's own "AngryBox" character from ye early blog-days! But "angry" no more, now insane with toy-lurvin' desires, and racing it's way to the Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention @ Suntec City (Convention Halls 401-402) balancing a carton-box (doesn't everyone lurve receiving carton-boxes fulla toys? ;p) and flailing mecha-arms clutching it's beloved TRE-Exclusive YOKA (the paper-toy version)!
A very limited run of the Regular sized edition of the papercraft vehicle (signed by both Jack & myself) will be made available for sale exclusively @ TOYSREVIL Booth C16 - along with an even more extremely limited set of Jumbo sized edition! (count fingers on one hand). CLICK THRU for more images, along with an extensive Interview with Jack Hankins himself!
See y'all at Booth C16!
FYI: Do note that the papercraft comes flat-packed and unassembled - all you need to do is get yourselves a pair of scissors and glue, and you'll be up and running! Or leave it as a print and frame it up! Price will be available at the event - sales on a first come first served basis - thanks for your support!
TOYSREVIL: First off, do share with us - WHO IS HORRORWOOD? aka Jack Hankins :)
JACK HANKINS: Horrorwood is my artistic persona. I decided to choose an art name (or perhaps brand name) to create a certain image for myself and also because Horrorwood is probably more memorable than my real name! A few years ago I would have called myself an illustrator, but I guess now I would have to go with paper artist. I am most interested in character design, especially monsters and the like. My goal with Horrorwood is to create some kind of complete world (or brand image) and I like the idea of certain consistent themes running through my work whatever genre or medium I am working in.
[Calling All Cars papercraft series by Horrorwood featuring designers from all over the world]
TOYSREVIL: How did the nick "Horrorwood" come about?
JACK HANKINS: I came up with the name Horrorwood about 5 years ago to try to give myself some kind of focus for all my art projects. I had the idea that an art name is useful for selling yourself and can instantly give people a feel for what you do. The origins of the name are probably fairly obvious. I love horror and I love films, and Horrorwood hopefully conjures up images of both those things. As mentioned above, I also like that fact that Horrorwood sounds like a place or a world of its own.
TOYSREVIL: How did you get started down the current paper-craft path? Was it what you always wanted to do? Or was it an evolution? Then again, what's your dayjob?
JACK HANKINS: An evolution is probably the best way to describe my path to papercraft. I made my first set of paper toys just after I had come up with the name Horrorwood. I have always wanted to make something 3D like my own toys, but lacked the necessary skills and resources. Paper was an easy way for me to partly realize this goal.
After making my first set of toys I left it for a while. I picked it up again a few years later when I noticed a lot of interesting papercraft appearing on the internet. I unknowingly found myself in the midst of a rapidly growing and very vibrant scene. Since then it has been a mixture of hard work and strokes of good luck. My first really big break was being featured in Matt Hawkins' Urban Paper book last year. Since then things really started to blow up. Recently there has been a huge number of paper-based projects, exhibitions and books etc. appearing around the world.
By day I am actually an English teacher, which luckily affords me enough time to do my design work. Of course the dream is that one day I can make a living from art or design, but for now I consider it to be a very enjoyable, full-time hobby.
TOYSREVIL: Always awesome to be doing something you have passion for, IMHO. How do you find yourself evolving since you started? Comfortable with your style now? What is the "Horrorwood"-style?
JACK HANKINS: I think that I have been evolving constantly since I started Horrorwood. One of the main reasons is technology. I produce most of my work with Illustrator and started from scratch. My work evolved (and hopefully improved) as I got accustomed to the technology. However, another factor in my evolution is that fact that I am constantly being influenced by all the wonderful work that I see around me.
I am comfortable with my style now, but would not say that I am ever fully satisfied. This however is a good thing in my mind. The feeling that I have to constantly improve, and that there will always be people way ahead of me, pushes me forward.
I think because of these things there is probably not a consistent "Horrorwood" style; in fact, my work probably seems completely inconsistent when viewed from outside. I would say that I do have consistent themes though. I like to create things that are a little dark, but are still accessible to a wide range of people. I also believe that horror-themed work can be (or should be) visually attractive and can even be entertaining or amusing.
TOYSREVIL: We are our environment, in many instances, IMHO - and develop our way around it, both in reality and cyber-reality I reckon. What are your influences? Who are your style and design heroes? Any papertoy-heroes?
JACK HANKINS: My influences include horror, sci-fi, fantasy, comics, video games, contemporary illustration, toy design, nature, British and Japanese culture to name just a few. 2 of my all-time heroes are the British illustrators and toy designers James Jarvis and Pete Fowler. However, recently there are just too many people that I admire to even mention. At the moment I am especially into modern American low-brow art, rock poster art etc.
I don't really have any paper toy heroes, but I do have a great deal of respect for my peers and they are a constant inspiration and influence on my work. It is always helpful to see what others are doing in terms of new forms and techniques.
TOYSREVIL: Do share with us your creative process and process of creation. Tis fascinating how a 2-dimensional design can manifest unto a 3-dimensional object, IMHO.
JACK HANKINS: Though I would love to show you pictures of a glamorous studio, in truth I think it would be a little disappointing. My "computer room" is my bedroom, and my "work desk" is the coffee table in the sitting room! At the moment I kind of make do, but I do dream of one day having a dedicated work room.
JACK HANKINS: As far as the design process is concerned, I am a little impatient so I usually sit down in front of the computer right away and get busy without much real-world sketching and the like. I do of course have to do dry-runs as far as constructing models is concerned, but can usually get the basic form down with only a couple of goes. Then I get on to the fun part which is adding the artwork.
I think there are 2 main types of papercraft creators - the paper engineers (who are more into creating interesting forms), and the paper artists (who concentrate more on the artwork). I fall more in the second category. Though the form should be attractive, I like to think of it more as an interesting canvas for my artwork and a way of bringing characters to life.
[113 x images of Calling All Cars via Jack's flickr]
TOYSREVIL: Beyond paper, any particular medium you've yet to try, but want to?
JACK HANKINS: One thing I've always wanted to try my hand at is making my own resin toys. However I would have to get someone else to do the sculpting, as I have no skills in that department. Seeing my paper toys out in the world is great, but having your own plastic toy out there must be a fantastic feeling. As an avid toy collector I love the idea of a complete product with nicely designed packaging etc.
TOYSREVIL: From creating to collecting - do you collect any toys? What do you collect?
JACK HANKINS: Toy collecting has been my one true vice for about 10 years now. I have sworn many times that I will give up but just can't. In fact I hardly buy anything but toys these days. I think you know you have a problem when you go without buying new clothes for several years to get toys instead.
I mostly collect so-called designer toys. James Jarvis is my absolute favourite and I have built up a fairly complete collection of his figures. When I had more money I used to collect a lot of Kubricks and Be@rbricks and that part of my collection is fairly extensive too.
JACK HANKINS: These days I have to think more carefully before purchasing (which is a lot healthier) and tend to save up for more expensive high-grade vinyl pieces. My most recent purchase was the Skateboard Zombies by Japanese designer Shobu Tsuchiya, which are fantastic pieces of design work. With my son around and very little space for displaying stuff, the majority of my collection is now sitting in cardboard boxes, which is probably another common irony that collectors suffer from.
TOYSREVIL: "Carton Coffins"; I call them! And I am a fellow "collector-type" in that regard LOL - Anything you secretly collect but don't want the world to know?
JACK HANKINS: Apart from when I think about how much money I have spent on toys over the years, I don't think I am really embarrassed about anything that I collect at present. In the past I may have purchased the occasional girly anime figure or sexy statuette, which is a little embarrassing to reflect on, but these are now hidden away safely at the back of the cupboard.
TOYSREVIL: Hentai FTW! LOL (just kidding of coz, they are distinct collectibles as well ;p). With creating and collecting, and generally being a part of the "culture" (as it were) - what do you think of the current toy scene? Especially from your part of the world.
JACK HANKINS: As a toy collector I have mixed feelings about the current toy scene. On one hand it is surely the best time to be a collector, as there are just so many amazing designs appearing all the time spanning every possible genre. This however is also a major downside, as there is just no way that you can ever feel satisfied, and I do occasionally feel as though I am being taken advantage of with pricing and limited editions etc. I am also a bit of a toy snob, and have very high standards as far as production quality and design are concerned. I feel that there are quite a lot of sub-standard products out there even in the designer market.
Being in Japan is obviously a great advantage as a toy enthusiast. I think that Japanese companies continue to be very reliable as far as quality and innovation are concerned. Large companies like Medicom have been leading the way for many years, and there is also a wealth of more minor or underground toy producers.
TOYSREVIL: How do you think papercrafts / toys fit into the current toy culture?
JACK HANKINS: As many have pointed out, the growing popularity of papercraft at the moment can probably in part be put down to economics. You can now have hundreds of designer paper toys on your shelves for free, rather than forking out tons of cash for vinyl. Now that paper toys are considered somewhat trendy, I think they fit in very nicely with the rest of the current toy culture. They also fulfil certain functions that plastic toys cannot. You can get them delivered directly into your home for free via the net, you can get the satisfaction of constructing them yourself and you can always rebuild them if they get ruined. Lastly, and most importantly for people like myself, anyone can produce a paper toy.
TOYSREVIL: What's up next for Jack Hankins? and/or Horrorwood? What's happening til the end of 2009? And beyond?
JACK HANKINS: I think that my schedule is pretty much blocked up for the rest of this year. I am working on contributions for books, paper craft customs for other artists, several of my own custom series, several new series of my own designs, exhibitions and anything else I can fit in. It is pretty much just a constant stream of activity in the paper world right now. I just hope that this worldwide enthusiasm for papercraft continues for a few more years!
TOYSREVIL: What can folks expect to see of Horrorwood for STGCC?
JACK HANKINS: TRE and I have cooked up a little treat for any of you lucky enough to make it to STGCC. I have created a special version of my Calling All Cars craft based on an original character designed by TRE's Andy himself. There will be a limited run of the regular sized craft signed by both Andy and myself, as well as a extremely limited set of jumbo sized cars on offer, never to appear again. Get 'em while they're hot! Hopefully this will be the first of many great collaboration projects between TRE and Horrorwood.
TOYSREVIL: You KNOW it will be! And thanks for the effort and support too, Jack! The craft is amazing, iMHO! (And I ain't saying that juz coz, yo!). Where I know how the dateline crunch has been for the past few days (heh) - would you describe a typical day in the life of Jack Hankins.
JACK HANKINS: I wake up at around 7, courtesy of my 1 year old son. Play with him for a while. Have breakfast. The rest of the day is taken up with English lessons dotted throughout the day, with design work and entertaining my son fitted around that.
I tend to stay up pretty late most nights to get the most out of the day, and spend the evening on artwork, and sometimes movies or videos games if I have time. I have a pretty loose timetable and guess I am lucky to have such a free lifestyle.
TOYSREVIL: And in closing Jack, what type of day is it today?
JACK HANKINS: Today is a scorching hot day. I will have a few lessons and then look after my son, as my wife is out of town.
We will probably go and check out the cars and trains, which is his favourite activity at present. Maybe some papercraft and GTA4 after nightfall.
Check out more of Jack's work on Horrorwood.info and follow him on Twitter @ twitter.com/horrorwood!