LA Weekly!!! - Pretty In Plastic - #2 Weirdest

DesignerCon: 9 Weirdest Scenes at Pasadena's Convention of Nerds in Toyland

Brendan A. Murray
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School
​Santa's workshop came early this year DesignerCon. On Saturday, Exhibit Hall A at the Pasadena Convention Center temporarily turned into a pop-up, pop-art fair and toy market filled with commercial designers and design fans alike.

A group of artists and toy-makers first created the Vinyl Toy Network in 2006. Since re-dubbed DesignerCon, the yearly fair now not only opens its doors to toy artists and retailers, but the public, too -- just in time for the pre-holiday season, mad-buying rush.

DesignerCon isn't just about toys anymore, either. Over one hundred vendors sell everything from art prints and greeting cards to knickknacks fashioned from fake fur, leather and legos. The public is also encouraged to get creative with Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, an ersatz figure-drawing class featuring anime-inspired models. Visitors also made buttons from their own sketches, colored in black-and-white, artist-rendered coloring books, and picked up blank resin figurines to decorate later. Think you have what it takes to be a successful commercial artist? You can always rent a booth next year. In the meantime, feel free to check out some of our pictures below.

Tanja M. Laden
​9. Now appearing in the latest season of Bravo's Work of Art, Sucklord interviews fellow artist Luke Chueh in the First Annual Sucathon, featuring "booth babe" Gina Darli. The show was broadcast live on the weekly internet show, Toy Break.

Tanja M. Laden
​8. The Brothers Washburn, aka Jason, a "comic-book pusher" and Adam, a plumber. The two manage Color Ink Book, the "fo-realest" DIY art periodical and coloring book, featuring work by established working artists, including Emily the Strange creator, Rod Reger.

Tanja M. Laden
​7. Posing with the life-sized namesake of his company, Bob Self is president of Baby Tattoo Books and producer of Baby Tattooville and Dr. Sketchy's LA.

Brendan A. Murray
​6. Amateur artists hard at work drawing a professional model in Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School.

Tanja M. Laden / BeastWares
​5. Phoenix Zoellick of BeastWares and one of her creations, a BeastWares Super Pink Sparkle Hat. BeastWares are the "purveyors of furry finery," namely, beastly, colorful hats, headbands, and head-warmers.

Brendan A. Murray
4. "Pervasive artist" Gary Baseman and a blown-up version of his creation, Toby, most recently featured in Baseman's line of figurines from Kid Robot, Toby's Secret Society.

Tanja M. Laden / Mr. Toast
​3. Mr. Toast's Dan Goodsell sells Mr. Toast Totes. Say that three times, fast.

Brendan A. Murray / Pretty in Plastic
​2. Julie B. of Pretty in Plastic and one of her collaborations with Lulubell Toys, Cherry Vinyl.

Brendan A. Murray
​1. John Stokes of SpankyStokes, raffling off items. Too bad the life-sized version of the
exclusive DesignerCon release, a limited-edition "Stroll" Cavey, wasn't one of them. Maybe next year.

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Pretty In Plastic Inc. is located in Downtown Los Angeles. We are toy couture and do everything from art manufacturing...from small scale to large! -Julie B.