Interview With Jay222

Be warned this entire interview post is filled to the blog-brim with gooey pus-y bloodied plasmaramic sculptness from one Jay222 [blog] - who would be a sculptor and creator supreme of the macabre in the toy-realms. And mind you this is not just gore for the sake of, this is deliberate design - to evoke to provoke to scratchout your eyes! And thru the course of this one-on-one interview, we'll more than skim the fleshy-skin and delve deep beyond the pulsing vein, of the works and mind of Jay222 ~ Onwards!


TOYSREVIL: How long have you been practicing your skills? Has it always been customizing toys? Share with us the origin of Jay222!

JAY222: I have been practicing at developing my imagination for 29 years now. I feel for me to create new and exciting work this will have to be a lifelong journey. I read a quote once by Horiyoshi. And he said he will dedicate his life to his tattoo work. That really hit home for me and made me realize I wanted to do the same but with my sculpture. I grew up having a love for drawing.

I used to trace most of my comics, but the one I most frequently gravitated towards was Stan Skai’s Usagi Yojimbo. To this day I still love that comic. So I guess long story short I have always had a love for what exists only in our minds. The creative universe for me being a sculptor, I am able to bring this world that only exists in my head to life and for others to enjoy and create their own interpretations and stories to it.


TOYSREVIL: How is it doing your art where you're at? Is geography an important aspect of creating art?

JAY222: My studio/home where I live is a very interesting place, with a lot of history. (A) My house if haunted. Yes it is. On average, 4 nights out of the week I am reminded of this. (B) Half the house has been boarded up since the early 1970’s and rumor has it that it used to be a meth lab. Whether this is true or not, it is a very interesting place to rest your head at night and to create new pieces of work.

I remember my first night in the house. I had a dream and I met the lady of the house. She asked who I was, what I was doing there, and how long I intended on staying there. This was a very real dream, unlike any other I have ever had.


TOYSREVIL: *Shiver* …. You mentioned in your blog-bio: "horror toy sculptor combining love of classic horror films and comics with a slash of twisted humor." _ What are your varied influences? And how do they impact your work? Inspiration or aspiration?

JAY222: The Influences vary on a day-to-day basis. My influences that have the greatest impact on me are seeing people that love what they do and strive to keep learning and practicing. I do have a love for classic horror; mainly zombie films. I watch them and think about the artists that made the masks, make-up, costumes, etc…

My earliest influence was DJ Qbert. During my days of B-Boying, I would go to the local record stores and get Q’s scratch tapes. Listening to them and trying to dissect them I realized I wanted to be a DJ. Wanting to be like Q I realized he had passion, a ton of creativity, and drive like none other. He made me realize that to be ones best you must practice whatever your craft is on a daily basis. I am eternally grateful to Qbert because he made me realize this and love what you do.

TOYSREVIL: I remember noticing you via your youtubed video for the Project 36" Qee - how did that project come about? And what do you think a video promo does to impact your presence in the scheme of things?

JAY222: I love watching people create! You get the opportunity to see them in another world. I wanted to show people my process and my world. I would love to make a video for every piece I make if I could.

TOYSREVIL: From watching other folks, to curating your own show. How was curating Big Trouble In Little China? Would you do it all again? And why choose Big "Trouble…"? Any more movie themes to come?

JAY222: Curating the Big Trouble in Little China show was a blast. It was a lot of work but worth every minute of it. I was most excited to see each artist’s interpretation of the film. When all the work was at Dragatomi, I was blown away. Each artist did such an amazing job. Thank you again to all the artists involved and Dragatomi! And yes I would do it all over again.

Growing up, aside from watching horror films as a child, this was the first film I saw that had action, comedy, magic, martial arts, monsters, etc… It had everything I wanted in a film plus more.

BTILC-three-storms-01 BTILC-three-storms-02

TOYSREVIL: I really liked your "3 Storms" series for "Big Trouble", and see you had prepared a series of original resin sculpts for the Juried Resin show in TAG. How is the creation of original form to you? Versus sculpting over an existing toy-platform? Same-same or different joy?

JAY222: I loved doing original sculpts. I used to do sculpts over existing figures, but I realized I wanted to create my own. On occasion I will do a custom toy but most of the time, each piece is an original sculpt. Whether I’m doing a custom or original, the same amount of love and passion will go into each piece.


TOYSREVIL: If it's not been said before, I'll say it now -I am a huge fan of your sculpting work and the unique specific visual iconology of your characters - which is your favorite original sculpt to date? As well which is your favorite custom toy you have done, to date. And "why"? (for both picks). Yes, I am asking you to pick favorites!

JAY222: Thank you for your kind words Andy. My favorite original sculpt to date would have to be the three storms. Mainly because I enjoyed the challenge in creating them. My favorite custom would have to be Salvador, the 36 qee. Creating him was like giving birth to a 3-foot monster with my hands.


TOYSREVIL: What is your process of creation? I look at the collab you did with JRYU on the piece that was gifted to me (thanks!!!!) and I am gobsmacked in trying to figure it out lol

JAY222: My process of work is: late at night, good selection of music and/or film and just go at it. I rarely do a pre-sketch of what I’m about to sculpt. I enjoy the surprise of what I will make by leaving it up to my hands and mind. For me, my creativity is turned on late at night. I was honored to work with JRYU on your piece we gave to you. He is a very talented and intelligent person whose brain you could pick for hours.


TOYSREVIL: I'm gonna be breaking up your artist-bio (posted on your blog) and ask your express impressions of them NOW (versus when you first wrote them) - QUOTE: "cartoon horror movie on acid. It's blood and guts; fascia and fungus - QUESTION: Do you still see your art going in this direction for the forseeable future? Is this a "style-statement"? Or a "style-crutch"?

JAY222: You know, it’s strange. I notice when I’m very happy my work tends to be more dark and gruesome, but when I’m down on myself, I notice my work to be more fun and cute. So as to where my work is headed, each day is different, filled with different emotions. So the translation of my thoughts to 3-D will always vary and I will always practice to create new.


TOYSREVIL: QUOTE: "These twisted and tormented creatures are Jay222's commentary on a society filled with hatred and violence. His mutated toys serve to remind us of the damage we're doing to the world. The exposed viscera lays out their suffering, and they refuse to be ignored." - QUESTION: This is a heavy and loaded statement. Explain further how your creations reflect the humanity (or lack of) in this uber-fast paced world of neglect and selfishness.

JAY222: I feel our world is a crazy place filled with too much anger and violence towards one another. My work can be a reflection our world creates, but also I never know what the final result of what each piece will be. So it’s a mystery and a surprise. I make these pieces as a way of making connections with people.


TOYSREVIL: QUOTE: "Much like the tiers of clay he layers over each piece, he works by building new ideas onto previous ones and never sketches before sculpting." - QUESTION: Why being known for your sculpting work, do you have any aspirations to have your designs be made into production pieces for existing platforms, or even mass production of your own designs?

JAY222: Yes, I would love to have my own vinyl toy I have sculpted. Can’t say much about this now, but keep your eyes and ears open *wink wink*

TOYSREVIL: Where do you see Jay222 be heading this year, and beyond? What should we be looking forward to from you?

JAY222: I have always made it a goal to work with and/or let my inspirations know how they have affected my life. If it were not for my inspirations I would not exist. For me this is very important. I feel it creates a positive wheel of creativity. With that, I plan to keep reaching out to those that never give up, learn from failure but keep pushing through, the silent students of life…the dreamers.

[WIPs of Tupac Cat for San Diego Comic Con]

TOYSREVIL: Do you feel you have achieve what you set out to do in the first place? Have you reached your ultimate milestone yet?

JAY222: I treat each opportunity with equal importance. Each project gets equal amount of attention. With that said each project has equal amounts of love and dedication into it. I have had some amazing opportunities and will be forever grateful.


TOYSREVIL: I am a sucker for nicknames and such, and Im sorry, but in clisong this interview, I NEED to find out this: What does "Jay222" stand for?

JAY222: 222. It’s a number. It’s a date. It’s good luck. It’s bad luck. It’s a dream. It’s a cycle. It’s me dedicating my life to my passion. Love what you do and if you believe in it, never give up.