For those to whom all this is a mystery, Lunartik in a Cup of Tea is a super cute toy designed by Matt JOnes that has become an incredibly popular platform amongst toy customizers. Matt has organized over 70 artists and 4 tour dates for the 2011 Mini Tea Tour (MTT), which will see the customs (and Matt) traveling around the globe. Below you’ll find a collection of my favorite customs from the show as well as an interview with Matt JOnes! You can view all the Mini Tea Tour customs in the MTT 2011 gallery.
by Doktor A
Dok A is an alum of the 2010 Tea Tour and he brings his quintessential steampunk style to the 2011 MTT. I really love this custom since it builds a lot on the original platform while still leaving it recognizable; can you spot the teacup? The lineup features a lot of really impressive sculptors (something I’m terrible at) who have completely transformed the platform.
Me: Congrats on your Clutter Designer Toy Awards “Best Mini Series” nomination! When you were creating the original Lunartik in a Cup of Tea did you have any idea how popular it would become as a customizing platform? Did you have that in mind at all when you were creating it?
MJ: When I started the piece back in 2005, I had no idea how popular this was going to become. But I designed it to become a canvas mainly for myself, and then I opened up some design competitions based on the figure and that’s when I first realized that I was ready for me to bring them out as vinyl and invest my own time and money into the project so that other artists could also have the chance to customize this flexible platform and make all sorts of crazy designs themselves.
by Itokin Park
Itokin Park is the designer behind of one of my all-time favorite toys, Garuru, and for the 2011 MTT he brought his beloved Mikazukin character into the cup. The sweet, innocent, and fun designs of Kazuhiko are too charming to me and I really love the feel of this piece. A handful of artist have put their own work center cup with some pretty adorable results.
Me: The 2011 Mini Tea Tour will be traveling almost through the end of the year, are there any plans to produce a catalog of the designs for those who aren’t able to make it out in person?
MJ: It’s a really nice idea, I was thinking of a poster, depending on how my photography came out. Let’s wait and see, my mind is already full of ideas for this year, but that could be a good one.
If I was allowed to take any piece home that I wanted, it would be this one from MAp-MAp! It’s clever, cute, silly, and absolutely strange. There’s been some sculpting work added, but not too much, and the colors are perfect together. It’s so just weird (it’s a compliment!) and it really stands out from the other pieces, no small feat in such a large group. I especially love the toofs on the cup and the wide-set eyes. This cuppa needs to be with me!
Me: Organizing the Tour must have been (and still is) a huge undertaking, were there any moments you didn’t think it was going to come together?
MJ: It’s a big one, I found myself in the curating role again, lucky for me I’m well prepared and very organized, clean mind, clean desk and lots of hours in front of the computer with email and phone calls, that sort of thing. Sticky moments for me where … when will the artists customs arrive? I hope they get here safe, some are still in the postal system and possibly lost, and a few of the artists didn’t receive my blanks, and forgot to mention that to me, big shame. I’m about 95% complete on a full set, so as they say … The show must go on! Sometimes with or with out some of the pieces. But when they do finally arrive they will be lovingly boxed up and sent to the next destination on the tour no problems. I must say, most of the plans have worked out very well, and I am looking forward to each event as it unfolds. My only hope this year is that people can make it over and see them for real, as seeing photos is never the same as up close and personal, and these are only 2.5” remember so they are tiny pieces of art.
Okkle is another 2010 Tea Tour alum and this ghost piece is too cute not to include. Even though I prefer to be overwhelmed by color, this cuppa is just so well done that I can’t stop smiling when ever I look at it. If Boo had a cute, kinda dumb sibling, I think this lil’ fella would be it. Also, note cute toofs ;3
Me: Any plans for a 2012 Tour?
MJ: 2011 will see the Mini Tea Tour in 4 locations, and next year will be something but I’m not sure what yet … future planning extends to one year for me, and the second is always part of the mystery.
Huge thank you to Matt for sitting down with me for this wonderful interview, it was a pleasure! Hope all of you enjoyed reading it :3 You can follow Matt on Twitter @lunartik and like Lunartik on Facebook! Remember to check out all of the customs on the 2011 MTT website, you won’t be disappointed!