My name is Chris Ryniak, or CMR, or DAD as my kids call me.
Are you an artist from the get go, or developed through time and being in the hobby??
I’ve always been cursed with the creative spirit.
How did you discover the world of designer/art toys?
I was part of the “lowbrow“
gallery scene in the 2000’s, so there was a lot of crossover. OxOp gallery
, run by the awesome HAZEXXL
(Tom Hazelmeyer) was one of the first people to curate a custom designer vinyl show in the US. That show had some HEAVY lowbrow hitter in it, people who would probably never do it again. Anyway, That’s how I found out about the designer toy world.
What inspires You?
Nature, mostly. I’m inspired by emotional connectivity, happiness, food, my kids and the overwhelming desire to try new things too!
Who/what is your biggest influence?
I was/am influenced by a lot of movies of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Labyrinth, Dragonslayer, Krull, Dune, Star Wars, Gremlins, Clash of the Titans, Swamp Thing, Ghostbusters, Tremors, Enemy Mine
to name a few. Basically anything that had a creature in it. I knew there were people making these monsters, that’s what I wanted to do too…make monsters.
When you sit to create, can you describe your ideal setting? For example: do you have music playing, if so what kind or artist, what kind of drink do you have next to you and what are the tools that are a must for you to have on your desk?
Depends on what I’m doing. If I’m working on a drawing, I just need my headphones, my mechanical pencil and a piece of paper.
If I’m working on a sculpt, I usually have movies playing in the background and I’ll be drinking Port or coffee.
Do you have a favorite piece of art, that you created, that you cannot part with?
Nope. I am ready for them all to leave my studio once they are done. I do have a favorite though. The Huskyshumbler was a large sculpture that I did in 2013 in collaboration with Amanda Louise Spayd
Who are some of your favorite toy artists?
What do you think of the current designer toy scene, both UK and US?
I don’t really know much about what’s going on in the UK aside from my friends in the scene over there, seems like things are picking up with Toycon UK
, which is rad. The “scene” here to me is only what I see when I go out to events like SDCC
. I’m seeing a resurgence of blind box toys coming out, which is a good thing, we need more accessible toys for new and younger collectors.
Do you have any words of wisdom for an aspiring artist wanting to begin showing his/her work?
Work hard, every day. Strive for quality and hone your skills, brand, craft. Don’t expect success overnight, because it will not happen. Embrace your failures as a learning experience.
On the success of your Kidrobot Dunny releases are you ever planning on doing a run of your own blind boxes. Maybe crumb eaters or bug bites?
I guess it was a success, they made their money ( I think) I made some money…that was about it. I didn’t gain any more fans that I didn’t already have because of that project. It was nice to be able to put out a figure that was widely available for a change though. I would have done it differently if I had the chance, it would have been a better design, one that reflected my style better.
And to answer the second half of the question, it’s already in the works.
In your personal collection what specific pieces do you collect and do you have a holy grail piece that you are currently trying to track down?
I don’t collect many toys, I’m a casual collector, I guess. I have a few Chaos
figures in all of the sizes from Real X Head
, a couple of T9G
pieces and just picked up my first MVH
figure last year…that thing is gorgeous.
If you had the option to team up with any other artist who would it be and why?
ANY artist? Geez. I would say I’D want to team up with someone like Kenji Yanobe
, Takahiro Komuro
and make some HUGE sculptures! I love all of their work, and the presence that large sculptural work has. Someday!
Outside of sculpting/toy work do you have any other interesting hobbies?
I collect animal skulls, skeletons and taxidermy. I’m currently looking for a nice mounted Lobster exoskeleton.
Is there anything you’re working on that you can tell us about?
I’m working on a 2-person show with Amanda Louise Spayd
for September 2014 at Stranger Factory.
There are several sofubi figures in progress, one rotocast vinyl figure and a few mini figure projects in the works. Lots of stuff!
Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us, finally where can people check out your work/contact you?