Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day to you AND to ME!

America Fuck Yeah!
Happy Independence Day to you AND to ME!


I know every time i get around to posting something like this I ramble and whine about how i'm, soooo busy and I promise to try to be better and blah blah blah i'm just a big whiny baby... But, like, let me tell you a quick story.

The past 18 months have been crazy, first all the excitement of being a partner in a new company, The Imagine Corp. Getting it set up, learning about new machines and manufacturing process, learning how to keep the factory running, building amazing relationships with amazing people, making stuff, selling stuff, shipping stuff. It was awesome, fun, educational, rewarding and amazing for so many reasons.  

Then... THEN!!! it wasn't.

For reasons  i won't get into here, The Imagine Corp. suffered a huge blow in November.
We were left in a terrible position and I was left holding the bag. Life got real heavy, real fast.
I ended running every aspect of the daily business and business wasn't good. When i signed up for this adventure i though my role was to make shit and manage making shit, i ended up eating a lot of shit. Even though it was a huge bummer I kept showing up and we kept pushing forward and after dealing with a lot of stuff that wasn't fun we were able to bring a little balance back to the company. During all the turmoil i learned a lot about myself, what i CAN handle and what i WANT to handle. 

Turns out i can't handle certain stresses of owning this type of business. To paraphrase a great friend of mine "it is extremely hard to run a business, have people working for you, etc and still retain some kind of moral tranquility and not be a cut-throat business-minded type person" I was losing sleep, sanity and life over things that every "successful businessperson" i've spoken with (and i spoke to a lot) attempted to reassure me were completely normal things that happen every day.  
"It's just business, don't take it personal"... seems this is a sentiment that i am incapable of living.

So it is with both great excitement and great sadness that i am now leaving The Imagine Corp.
I am sad to be leaving the employees and friends I've made, but I've done my best to leave the company in a position where it can go on without me at the helm. This is not a complete divorce i will remain involved creatively just not as a daily managing member. 

I am excited to be able to think again, be creative again, make again.
I'm going to focus on being a full time Brutherford, trying to do as much design work as possible, so if any of you reading this have bones to throw... get to throwing. Did you know that I'm a Pratt trained, award winning, Industrial designer? I also entered college as a painting major (you definitely didn't know that) Maybe I'll Paint something! 


If you've been paying attention to my sporadic release of images and information, you may have noticed that I've been picking up the pace on my own toy production and releases again.

You might have seen that I'm finally making  some progress on the floating spray cans.

...and that i made one in to a wall sconce for the upcoming Clutter custom  show.

You might have also noticed the i finally finished up some Pewter Ice Scream Minis and theyre now available at www.brutherford.com .



 OH Yeah and i'm working on some silly custom pieces for the next show at Suburban Vinyl.
















Monday, March 17, 2014

HOLY CRAP!

Since my last update, life at The Imagine Corp got a little crazy...  not in a good way.
I'm still here... Still standing and hopefully not damaged too much. What's that  thing people say? "whatever doesn't kill you, just... doesn't kill you"? Part of my personal road to recovery from the traumas of being a "struggling" business owner is to put some real focus back into my own projects... or as you know them Brutherford Industries.
   
Some of you may have missed it but i put my robot slaves to work on a completely 3d printed edition of Bite Size Ice Screams. These aren't numbered or blind boxed, they were just a fun project i could do with the limited time i had available. You can pick them up in the store for $12 a piece.






The colored pieces were printed on a Makerbot replicator 2x using ABS, the clear version was printed on a Form Labs Form1 out of acrylic photo polymer. Each Piece comes bagged with a header card designed by Tamarapants.



BOOM SPLAT

When i finally made some time for myself and got back in to the shop this is what I was focused on. 


These are the 3 colors of the grenade that i have wanted to see ever since i came up with the concept. The green is based of the color of little plastic army men and IT LOOKS FANTASTIC! Limited to 50 pieces each one signed, numbered and packaged in a silk screened  box designed by Tamarapants. As always every piece was made by me in NJ and this time i even silk screened the boxes all by myself.



The Black and White editions make a fantastic set, the white version includes the same chrome ring and pin as the green and previously released pink editions. The black edition is set apart with a gold pin and ring. Both versions are limited to 50 pieces each signed , numbered and packed in a color matched silk screened box.


 SOOOO.... Yeah.... Hopefully you'll all hear from me more regularly and there will be a lot more Brutherford Industries action coming up.





Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'm STILL ALIVE!!!


It's October so that means it's NYCC season... but that also means it's time for my first update of 2013! Happy New Year, valentine's, independence, memorial, labor, yak shaving day, WHATEVER... anyway!

The Imagine Corp. has been going great, we picked up all of our heavy-ass machines and moved the whole damn factory to a new more awesomer location. We are very excited this week because we just received the first mold that we designed and built to expand the line that we inherited with the factory. It's for a new piece of customizable drinkware, the most exciting mason jar you've ever seen. We're planning an open house for the end of the month all will be invited for a tour, candy and drinks in mason jars!
 Most of my time has been occupied  getting the new business running and stabilized so Brutherford projects have taken a hit this year but i have two exciting releases set for NYCC.
First is the 25 piece initial release of the Melt Grenade that I've been teasing for like 10 years. The debut edition is an Ice Pink colorway. The melt grenade is designed with a combination of matte and high gloss surfaces that make the single transparent color appear in different shades and opacity throughout the piece giving the appearance that it really is melting.

As always every piece is hand made by me, they are cast, polished then reamed out for the steel pin and ring. The package was designed by the always amazing Tamara Petrosino and each box has been silk screened by... who else??? ME... DUH! The melt grenades will retail for $50 and be available at the Clutter booth 504 at NYCC starting Thursday October 10th at 3pm.

ALSO....GUESS WHAT? I'll have a few REAL METAL MELT KNUCKLES with me, come and find me if you want them... but they won't be cheap. They're a numbered edition of 50 and they're a huge pain in the ass to make! THEY'RE ACTUALLY METAL.... THAT'S CRAZY! They are cast from some hot-ass molten metal, then machined on a Bridgeport that's way older than me, then polished for days, finally i hand stamp the edition numbers on the bottom.



Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 was cool but 2013 is going to be fucking awesome

I'm going to keep this short but I wanted to make a small announcement before the new year.

2012 was pretty fucking cool. I  launched Brutherford Industries as an official business and ended up being far more successful than i had ever imagined. I met so many amazing people and was repeatedly humbled by the support i received, i even won a designer toy award!!!

So thank you to everyone who has been part of my year.


NOW on to the announcement.

Many of you know that i have worked full time for JW Pet Company for the past 10 years. I started with JW Pet the day after i graduated college, my very first design for the company was a rubber ball with feet that i called Cuz. Cuz has now sold millions, won some awards and has even been called an icon. I moved up the line from jr. designer to V.P. of Product development where i had the opportunity to learn from and work with many great people and processes. JW Pet Company has now been sold to a much larger corporation and although i was offered a fantastic opportunity for continued growth with the new company i have decided not to make that transition.

OK... are you guys ready for this? Here's the exciting part.

I along with two partners have purchased a domestic manufacturing company!!!
The company is an existing business focused on blow molded and injection molded products.
Our plan is to take over existing customers and grow in to new areas with a strong focus on U.S. based manufacturing and FUN! I'm not quite ready to share all the details yet but we are calling the company The Imagine Corporation and it's going to be awesome!!! Brutherford Industries will absolutely continue but it is highly likely that i will finally be able to blur the lines between my personal projects and my day job and that is very exciting to me.




Thank you for all the support and I hope you'll all stay tuned for what i hope will be a very exciting 2013.

-Ryan

Here's a random cool thing from the factory. A pre WWII thermoformer that is still in operation! How cool is that?

Friday, November 2, 2012

People are RAD!

i made this ice scream man for NYCC 2012
     I have been going to NYCC since the first time it happened at the Javitz center in 2006 but this is the first year i've attended as a participating artist. I had an absolute blast although i spent most of my time limited to the hall known as the Block and only ventured on to the main show floor once. I nearly had a panic attack when confronted in a hallway by a gang of costumed thugs threatening me with free hugs and had to rush back to my safe space behind the Clutter booth.

i made this resin baby head 20 years ago
     



I have been collecting toys since i was about 15 and making my own strange sculptures and toys for almost as long but the past year has been a whirlwind of excitement for me as both an artist and as a fan of this designer toy community. I have had the opportunity to not only meet many of the people i have admired over the years but also to work with them and that still blows my mind every day. 

     

Shortly after i launched the Ice Scream Man i was contacted by some people from Clutter magazine, and a short time after that those people, Josh, Miranda and Erica came to my house to interview me and see where Ice Scream is born. Since then i am proud to say these people have become great friends to Tamara and I. We have had a few occasions to work together and more occasions to hang out together and they are all awesome and amazing people. I later met Jim Crawford  or as he's known in Hollywood , "J Craw". also a totally rad dude. Then finally the Nicks, Curtis and Carrol these two totally suck.... SIKE!!! Guess What? They're rad too!

J-Craw, Lana, Miranda, Erica, Nick, Josh, Other Nick,  The King of Toys
The amazing Clutter crew graciously invited me to not only show my wares at their NYCC booth but also allowed me to make myself a fixture in their booth and have a safe space to hideout when the crowds became too overwhelming for my delicate social insecurities. It was in this safe space that i also had the opportunity to spend time with Matt aka SekureD and Lana "plushinator" Crooks more great people that helped make the entire experience fantastic.

So, THANK YOU Clutter Crew, you're all RAD!
the setup at the MPH booth during my signing. photo courtesy of MPH

 New York Comic Con opened to the public on a Friday October 12th and at 12 noon I had my first signing. Vin at myplasticheart has been another person that reached out to me early after the initial release of the Ice Scream Man and has been amazingly supportive ever since. Vin asked if there was something we could do together for NYCC and we came up with the Asian inspired multi pack of Green Tea, Red Bean and Black Sesame bite size Ice Screams, i covered that process in my previous post . The MPH booth looked great, the signing was awesome and the exclusives moved well. This was really the first opportunity i've ever had to interact with fans of my work in real life and i've got to say, it was pretty cool. It's amazing to receive orders and money to enable me to continue doing what i do but to meet the people behind those orders and realize that i am not just spewing my thoughts and images in to an anonymous internet and that people are actually receiving and embracing that information is both humbling and an incredible point of pride for me. I am certain that many of those people that i met at NYCC will no longer be just orders or fans but friends.

So, THANK YOU Vin and MPH, you're all RAD!

KRNY 10th Anniversary show, photo courtesy of TRAMPT
 On Friday night after Comic Con I headed over to the Kidrobot 10th Anniversary show. The show looked great but was super crowded and i hit the panic button an retreated outside which turned out great because i ran in to Kirby and Whitney Kerr from Rotofugi. Kirby was the very first person from within the designer toy community that reached out to me as an artist. When the Ice Scream Man was just a couple photos on instagram Kirby sent me a message of encouragement and basically said he was willing to place a wholesale order as soon as they were in production... and he did and that was incredibly motivating to me.

So, THANK YOU Kirby and Whitney, you're RAD!

Saturday night was the 2nd annual Designer Toy Awards, an event organized by the previously mentioned Clutter crew, this years event was hosted by the Sucklord and held at the Providence night club. I thought the event was absolutely fantastic. The venue was the perfect size, the ceremony well organized and Sucklord delivered a fantastic bit of theater by taking seriously what needed to be and using his wit to diffuse any glitch that did pop up. It was the perfect combination of professionalism and "i don't give a fuck" that came together to make the event feel like it represented a real community of serious professionals that don't take themselves too seriously... and that's definitely how i roll. I was nominated in three categories, Breakthrough artist, Best Self produced and Toy of the Year .  All quite an honor but the category that meant the most to me was Self Produced... AND I WON!!! The award was presented to me by Gary Ham, last years winner in this category and another artist that both Tamara and I have been fans of for quite a while. So that was a pretty amazing experience. I can sum up my experience at the awards and over the past year by pretty much repeating my acceptance speech. Clutter is cool, the other artists in this community are cool and all the fans in this community are cool. 

So, THANK YOU to everyone i've met through this awesome community.

 

I'm not done naming Rad People yet.

 
The next big event after NYCC is Designercon, Unfortunately i can't make it this year.
The Ice Scream Man will be there though, Julie B at Pretty in Plastic has offered to show my stuff.
There are no Dcon exclusives but if you just need to pick up some regular Ice Scream or Melt Knuckles swing by the Pretty in Plastic Bazaar... Actually, swing by even if you don't want that shit Julie B is Rad and there will be plenty of other awesome stuff there.



 
While you're at Designer con, you're definitely going to want to stop by Spanky Stokes Booth for two reasons. 1 because he is RAD! 2 because he is giving away a ton of awesome shit and all you have to do to win it is visit his booth and get a wrist band. I should also mention that some of the awesome shit he is giving away is a huge Brutherford Industries prize pack loaded with awesome goodness.



So... Yeah... i think that's it for now.

OH WAIT... There's also this!!!