Saturday, 12 February 2011

Toy Customization workshop with PSP at Lopez Museum

When I walked in the Toy Making Workshop for kids at Lopez Museum this morning, I was surprised to see all adults in the class. Yes 12 adults in a supposedly kid's workshop.   The workshop  was conducted by three members of the street art collective  Pilipinas Street Plan (or PSP) - Whoop, Wes and Epjey.  In fact, Whoop said that they started late because they were waiting for the kids to arrive.

Today instead of learning taka, a traditional art form practiced in Paete, Laguna using  papier-mâché , PSP taught us how to customize toys.  This is the art of changing a toy from its original form simply through painting and drawing. PSP brought several plastic toys of various shapes and sizes for us to work on - cars, robots and dolls.

Toy customization was made popular in 2002 when Robert Budnitz introduced plastic vinyl toy dolls called  'munny' which is a blank figure with movable joints meant for do-it-yourself art. The price of munny figures online ranges from $9 for a 4-in size to $200 for 18-in.  Just the same,  as PSP showed, any old toy can be customized. All you need is water-based paint, paint brushes, cups to mix paint, water, rags and paper towels. I would add an apron since I managed to stain my clothes all over with paint.

The first step is to apply base paint using white acrylic paint.  A tip is to rub the toy and hands first with alcohol to remove oil before applying the base paint. Otherwise, it will come out like my robot on the right.

Once the base paint dries up, the next step is to start painting and then drawing.  A tip is to use a blow dryer to dry faster. My creative models were artworks by PSP's Nemo, Epjey and Whoop. Actually, the whole area was inspirational. The workshop was held inside gallery 2 where PSP literally transformed the area into street art with graffiti, mixed media, vinyl toys, taka and including props like rubber tires. One wall had a giant Philippine map with some sites labeled with stickers, stenciled and sprayed images. According to Whoop, the labels indicate where PSP's art are present all the way up north in Luzon and down south in Mindanao.

After two hours, here's my masterpiece  I dubbed "L'amuse bouffan".  Our artworks will be included in the fund raising event on February 19, 2011 in Art in the Park in Salcedo Village in Makati. The proceeds will go to Knowledge Channel Foundation’s programs for Filipino schoolchildren.

Other works:
Teacher Ria

and meet our facilitators, the PSP street artists:

PSP is one of the featured artists in the ongoing exhibition "Extensions" which will run at Lopez Museum until April 20, 2011. I hope the museum collaborates with PSP again and push through with Taka soon!

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