Artist of the Month: Get to Know Paul Sirmon, pt. 2
Read part one of our article with Artist of the Month, Paul Sirmon, here.
How did you get started customizing vinyl toys?
A few years ago I found out about vinyl toys. I can’t even remember now what the first thing I saw was. It was probably a Kid Robot something or other. Then I found out about people customizing the blanks and I had to get in on that deal. So I bought a bunch of blanks of varying styles. I didn’t do anything with them for the longest time. I was afraid to mess them up. The blanks are beautiful by themselves and I have a fear of making something worse than before I started. Eventually I worked up the nerve to start. I did a few that I’d never show anyone. Next I did a couple for friends and recently had some in a show. It’s super addicting and I’m now working on pieces for a second show.
How would you describe your style?
I struggle with style. I don’t think I’ve really got one. It’s funny because I want some of my graphic design interests to spill over into my toy design, but it hasn’t quite gotten there yet. So far I’ve just tried to represent things/styles that interest me. I like to find a single idea or theme and really drive that. Plus I think people identify with things they recognize. So it’s worked out great so far that things that interest me also connect with other people. Another thing is that I obsess over detail. That can easily be a fault, but I get excited about subtle detail. A little thing that can push a design or art piece to the next level. Something that a casual viewer won’t notice, but someone will. And then we kind of share an inside joke. Kind of like the butt crack on Eddie the Yeti I recently did.
What are your influences?
Robots, squids and zombies, oh my. Basically if I can make an undead mechanical tentacle look cool then that’d be the trifecta of success. Also Victorian and Art Deco styles influence me. Oh and anything post-apocalyptic interests me. I like old analog electronics and things that are made with artistry. And apparently I like sentence fragments and rambling.
Is there anyone whose artistry you look up to or are challenged by?
I’m a huge fan of Ashley Wood, Brian Despain and Travis Louie, just to name a few.