Friday, May 18, 2012

My Little Pony Project 2012

For the past couple months, I've been working on customizing an 18" My Little Pony for the My Little Pony Project 2012, curated by Sweet Streets and hosted by Toy Art Gallery. Here's the press release for the show:
May 5th, 2012 marked the launch of the MY LITTLE PONY Project 2012 art exhibition, curated by Sweet Streets and hosted by Toy Art Gallery. Twenty-five notable artists have created their own one-of-a-kind painted MY LITTLE PONY 18-inch vinyl figures. The customized ponies will be available for sale during the run of the exhibition, ending May 26, 2012. Ten percent of the sales from the MY LITTLE PONY one-of-a-kind ponies will be donated to Give Kids The World.
MY LITTLE PONY Project 2012 features ponies by: 6%DOKIDOKI, 64 Colors, Ana Bagayan, Angry Woebots, Blamo (Mikie Graham), Blythe (Junie Moon), Chikuwaemil, COPE2, DABS & MYLA, Eimi, HIME+YOU, Indie, Jillian Kate, J*RYU, Julie West, Kano, Kukula, Lisa Alisa, Luke Chueh, Madoka Kinoshita, Martin Hsu, Mark Mothersbaugh, Miso, Miss Kika, Onch Movement, Perez Hilton, Shojono Tomo, Sket One, Spank!, TOUMA, and more.
Safety Word: Pony
Mixed Media

When developing my design for the pony, I started by considering what it means to be a horse/pony, and one of the visual attributes that come with being a "beast of burden" is its brand. Horses/ponies were branded so their owners could easily identify them as being theirs. This branding is actually a key element of the My Little Pony design in the form of each characters "Cutie Mark". When thinking deeper about the act of branding, my mind drifted toward BDSM (bondage discipline sadomasochism) since branding and piercing are regularly associated with the lifestyle. I ultimately felt that paring this children's toy with an extreme adult lifestyle would make for a compelling design, so I ran with it.
For the brand, I researched branding iron designs and came up with a logo that incorporates the "M", the "L", and the "P" from My Little Pony. Branding Iron designs are very simple and complicated designs can easily get lost or distort when the scar heals. For the branding scar, I built up "scar tissue" on the pony right hip with epoxy clay (Magic Sculpt). 
Another key component to the My Little Pony is its accessories. The original toys usually came with brushes for their hair. For my design I choose to fabricate bunch of BDSM accessories.
I started by commissioning a seamstress at The Fabric Shop  to have the "gimp mask", corset, and hair tie created. For the branding iron, I had my "MLP" design laser cut from plastic. I also sculpted the cone shaped tip of the hot poker. I rounded out the accessories with bullwhip which I also had to customize so it would compliment the size of the pony. 
Finally I wanted to thank Jef Logan for coming up with the ponies name: "Safety Word: Pony"

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