I met the talented Kristin Tercek through Ed Mironiuk who has been doing artwork for Blue Blood projects since 1995 or 1996. But Kristin wouldn’t need nepotism to be covered here because I love love love her Cuddly Rigor Mortis doll collection. Kristin is also an accomplished illustrator and completely self-taught. She explains her fairly organic creative process, “I basically sketch out a design and then go to the fabric store and wander around, touching everything, holding it up to the light, stretching it out to see if it might be the right fit.” She generally has an idea what she is looking for. For example, the artist was sure her Pulp Fiction-inspired fetish plush Gimp “needed to be black leather or vinyl” and was pleased when she found just the right soft, black pleather. Some of her creations, however, such as the Tiki plush doll and matching purse came into existence because Kristin found a cotton wood grain print velvet fabric which just begged to be made into something cool.
Although Kristin Tercek’s Cuddly Rigor Mortis plushes have only just been launched, they have already appeared in Frontiers Magazine, been a Yahoo New & Notable and Daily Pick, and been part of the Plush Rush show at Acme Art Gallery in Ohio. Kristin even did an exclusive one-of-a-kind cuddly piece for Plush Rush called Gorbot. The seasonal Gingerbreadman plush was a featured item on Etsy the fast-growing online marketplace for all things handmade. Seasonal means that you can only order Gingerbreadman which his deliciously chewed-on head or the very cheerful Snowman between now and January 31, 2006, although this article will be archived to tease you after the moment of opportunity passes.
Here is our exclusive Blue Blood interview with artist Kristin Tercek, the creator of the fabulous Cuddly Rigor Mortis plushes:
What first lead you on the path to the darker end of the artistic spectrum?
Always been there, always will be. What’s great now is the combination of cute and killer, something I’m obviously attracted to.
How did you get into doing art in general and cool dolls in specific?
I think I was born with a paintbrush in my hand. I grew up on Bob Ross and William Alexander (the same premise as Bob Ross but with a big, old Prussian guy ‘Firing in the trees! with your brush!’). I started painting on my own around 11 and haven’t stopped. About 4 years ago I started dabbling in other mediums and stumbled upon sewing. I’ve always loved stuffed animals (to the point where I still can’t watch any being thrown away) and got sucked into the whole urban vinyl/designer toy movement where all these different artists were turning their work into three dimensional toys. The plush designers like Ugly Dolls, Friends with You and Anna Chambers really inspired me to buy some fabric and let my inner plush-maker out.
What inspires your work?
I guess you could say all the old monster movies do. Certainly artists like Tim Biskup, Seonna Hong, Mark Ryden, Takashi Murakami, everything San-X, Aranzi Aronzo, Toy Field (Japanese Teddy Bear designers), Kariwanz (Japanese Fetish designers) and of course, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
Do you whistle while you work?
I don’t listen to much but recently Gorillaz has gotten my attention. I love everything about them, even their toys by Kid Robot (I recently acquired Noodle and can’t take my eyes off of him). Black Eyed Peas is an amazingly good album, too. One of my oldies but goodies is Desi Arnaz. You gotta love Cuba when it was cool. Honestly the past couple of weeks I’ve been going through the original Star Trek DVD’s while I work.
Any additional special credits or bio info you want to mention?
So far I’ve been so lucky with Cuddly Rigor Mortis. Gimp made it onto http://agentchin.typepad.com/cutethings/ . It’s a great list of cool toys that this person liked. So I emailed her to thank her and low and behold it’s Lili Chin one of the creators of “Mucha Lucha”. Gimp now lives with her in LA. He’s also been a part of Tokyo Perve’s Halloween Ball, accompanied by Karin and Wanco of Kariwanz. All of the plushes have sold really well due in no small part to the fact that someone over at Yahoo! (I don’t know who) took a liking to my website and made it a ‘New and Notable’ with only three other sites for a week in October and a Daily Pick in MyYahoo!. My webhits jumped from 3 a day to 5500 (it’s gone down a lot more now…whew!). These little guys have been shipped to Australia, Japan, Germany, the UK, Italy and of course, the good old US of A. I even had a fan over in Iraq in the form of an army soldier. (hope you made it home, Daniel!) who bought three of them! Everyone has been so nice and so happy with their plushes — I can’t ask for anything better.
What are your plans for the near future?
Sew! Sew! Sew! oh and celebrate Christmas with the little ones (2 chihuahuas and a husband, Ed Mironiuk). I was also asked to be part of a 12 artist plush show at Plastic Passion Toys in Seattle sometime in February. Ed and I also want to shop around a gallery show we want to do called ‘Pinups and Plushes’. It includes both our artwork — he’s started making pinups that include and compliment my plushes. Oooh he’s so talented it kills me!
Who is your favorite Blue Blood hottie?
I must say I’ve taken a liking to Dana Dark. I like her dog.