Artist Spotlight – Alison Perez


Today’s artist spotlight is the talented Miss Zukie, also known as mild mannered Ms Alison Perez. She’s been making her impact in the art toy world with her cute and colorful Zukies. Very recently, she simultaneously broke into the vinyl and the custom art scene by releasing her first DIY Zukie! The one thing that’s really struck me about Alison, is just how driven she is to get her creations out there to you. Please take some time to check out her site and order a few of her toys for yourself or loved ones!

– Knives

Hey! To start things off right, can you please state your name and a tell us a little about yourself.

MZ – Well my given name is Alison, but my artist name is Miss Zukie. I’m a contemporary artist and the creator and toy designer of a character I call Zukie. I started drawing at the age of 7 and never stopped. I was an AP Honors in Art in high school and just graduated from C.W Post University with my BFA. I work with different techniques like airbrush, wood work, water color, etc… I like to learn different methods to enhance my ability as an artist.

Tell me a little about Zukie. What inspired them?

MZ – Zukies where created 2 years ago. Zukies are mysterious characters that do not talk; they have thought bubbles and facial expressions. Zukies are about color. In my life color has always been a way to express feelings. I want people to understand that using the vocal fold for communicating is not necessary. Nonverbal behavior increases the bond between people and is an intimate way of communicating with each other. Zukies intend to generate emotions through their visual thoughts and thats how they create that bond with us. Zukies come from garbage. Years and year of decayed garbage an egg  is formed.  Something so ugly turns into something beautiful.

What inspired me? Well I took a trip to Florida and stopped by this gallery where I saw amazing artwork from an artist named Fabio Napoleoni. He also has a character.

Oh? What’s his character’s name?

MZ – His characters don’t really have names, what inspired me was the colors and what his paintings meant. As I read in his bio his painting are about his daughter and how he loves her.

How long have you been making your own toys? What started you down that path?

MZ – This is the first year that I have a vinyl toy in selected stores.
I just entered the vinyl toy scene last year and it’s very new to me but I learn fast. Two years ago, I created Zukie and I never really told anyone until earlier last year.

Can you talk about your technique at all? Your process? Do you do all the creations yourself beginning to end?

MZ – I started out making my first mother mold. Size about 4″ tall . This first series was made in plaster of which I made 56. Then I just thought to my self “what’s the point in spending all that money for supplies when I can save up and have my own toy made for me?” As for the process of how my character became vinyl …basically my lawyer did all the work. It really is hard to find a company that’s trust worthy. And that’s why I hired a great lawyer to make sure I protected myself and my character. It was about a year process. As for the company I worked with to see them produced, I just send them some photos and have had constant discussions with them about what I want. It’s important to find a good company who will support your ideas. It’s also a pretty expensive process but it was worth it.

How many different varieties do you have currently in production?

MZ – Right now its just one vinyl figure. Probably later I’ll have another version of the Zukie made.

I really like the DIY Zukie you sent me.. I hope they’re a big hit for you. They’re so simple, a little like a blank canvas.. something anyone could paint or change into anything.. and yet they still have that touch of character that’s entirely yours. Was this your goal or part of the idea when designing Zukie?

MZ – The DIY Zukie was a part of my main goal. The other half of my goal is to see other artist create a Zukie with there own style. A part of my personal goals, which is a pretty big part is having many shows around the world.

 Are the DIY Zukies limited or made to order?

MZ – They are made to order. You can get the DIY Zukies in my shop at www.zukies.net, Yukifish in Germany, The OutLand Store in the Neverland’s and ToyTokyo in Manhattan. There will be more stores added to the list. But even with that small list, Zukies are half way around the world ^_^.

What other designers/artist are you inspired by?

MZ – I would have to say I learn from everyone, Rsin, CashCannon, Matt Anderson, We Become Monsters etc. (our interview here)
But I would like to give a special thanks to ZAM ART  who was the first person to give me info and show me the game of vinyl toys. He help me out and answered all my questions when I needed them.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? What are some aspirations/plans for your future toys? Do you have any other types of toys in the works beyond Zukie?

MZ – I hope to see myself living life creating art. It’s hard for me to see my self not doing something I love. As for plans I can say I plan as I go. As of other toys not Zukie related I have some ideas. 😉

Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?

MZ – Hahaha I pick Star Wars. I was always a fan of the movies. I grew up with Star Wars as my dad is a fan so he bought most of the toys and movies.

You get one super power for a single day, what would it be and what would you do while you had it?

MZ – I will I have to say teleportation!!!!! I could go anywhere. The first place would be Japan . I always wanted to go there experience the beautiful colors and architecture.

Where can folks go if they want to look at and purchase some of your creations themselves?

MZ – My web site is WWW.ZUKIES.NET and they can find my shop, blog spot, and Facebook fan page for updates.

Thank you Alison for the various Zukie pieces you sent me and the lovely painting! I wish you all the success in your upcoming shows! Speaking of which, would you care to share some of those details?

MZ – I would like to announce that I am having a big show called “Zukie Vs. The World”. I invited many talented artist to participate in this show. The show will take place at ToyTokyo Underground Gallery in NY. More Details later on .
For updates follow:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZukieART

Website: www.zukies.net 

Store: http://zukie_art.storenvy.com/

Thank you!

If you’re an independent artist and would like to be considered for a feature here on RtR, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email with a link to your website/art samples and tell us a little about yourself!

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