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November 28, 2006

{     Interview : MAD     }    

Toy designer Jeremy Madl A.K.A. MAD is one of the rising stars of the designer toy world. With countless collaberations, customs and shows under his belt, the MAD*L is already a well established brand within the designer toy world.

How long have you been designing toys and how did you get into it?

I've been doing retail toys for about 10 years, and vinyl for about 4 years now. I kinda stumbled into it when I went off to art school. I always liked to draw and sculpt, and was a huge comic and toy collector. The art school (Otis College of Art and Design) I was going to told me about a new degree program they were going to start, and asked if I'd like to be a part of getting it going. I was all over it!! "Make toys for a living?... HELL YEAH!" Four years later I graduated with a BFA in Toy Design.

How did you hook up with Wheaty Wheat?

I met them one year at Toy Fair. I was walking the Javits Center and kinda stumbled onto their booth. We talked a bit, and met up back in LA to talk about the MAD*L figures. A few weeks later a deal was signed, and the rest is history.

You have exceptional graphical talent, did you train in this or is it self taught?

Wow, thanks! I guess it is self taught. I've always been into art... since I was able to hold a pencil I've been drawing. I started using the computer for graphics and such early in High School... and have been glued to the screen ever since

Do you do your designs 100% on the mac or do you work them through on paper first?

I usually sketch/ draw out everything. I've always been a die hard pen and paper kinda guy, but everything goes into the computer and "cleaned up" for production stuff. There's just something about drawing by hand that I'll never give up.

You have a very street style do you ever paint murals or other street art?

I messed around a bit back in High School, but never really did it a lot. Its always been an influence, but I use it more on paper than walls.

What do you use to model your toys in?

I don't use any 3D modeling programs... never really learned that stuff. It's something I'd love to pick up someday, cause I think I'd have a blast with it. I used to do a lot of sculpting back in school for my prototypes, and would use whatever i needed to get the end result.... but now i leave the sculpting up to the pros. They're much faster and better at it than I am.

What's your typical day?

Kids wake me up around 7am. Hang out and play till about 10am. Head to the studio for work... come home around 7pm to eat dinner and help put the kids to bed. Hang with the wifey for a bit, then take off back to the studio til about 3am. (pretty exciting huh!?)

What's your short, medium and long term plan?

Short: to get through all my deadlines this week!
Medium: make more toys, tee's, and prints based on a few of my latest characters... pretty much build up MAD Toy Design as a brand.
Long: self produce my own products and open up a store/ gallery to sell them at.

Who do you admire?

KAWS, Tristan, Seen, Dalek, Sket... Pretty much anyone that's doing their thing!

What tips would you offer to those wanting to break into the designer toy

Don't give up.... bust yer ass doing what you wanna do. Hard work always pays off in the end one way or another!

Please tell me about your SOCIALPEST T-shirt collaberation.

It was AWESOME!!! :P I used the tee as a debut of sorts for a new brand I'm working on. The character is named "SHAM" and will have lots of other products and merchandise coming in the months/years to come!

Do you have any other great projects ready to drop?

Oh yes!!! I have a lot of things going on within the MAD*L brand... the Mini-Mad*l's are coming, Phase 3, and some store exclusives. Also my "CLOWNIES: SNIPS" figure is right around the corner and should be dropping soon from Wheaty Wheat. I'm also doing work with Kidrobot for a few different Dunny projects, my own mini-figure line called "Bent World Vandals", and a new figure set based on my MAD APE character. Over the past year I've been working with a new company called KaChing on a few projects, and I have a mini-figure line with them called "Sharpest Sprayers" that should be releasing soon, as well as a line of larger figures based off my "CAPPAS" characters. AND... (if that wasn't enough) I'm currently working with a company called Random Nature producing some limited edition jewelry based on some of my work. There's tons of other stuff coming to that I'm not allowed to talk about yet, but I'll be sure to drop you some info as it comes. It's gonna be a really exciting 2007-2008 for me, and hopefully peeps dig the stuff.

Excellent can't wait to see more!.

    » MAD's site

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