Toys by Design: Sergey Safonov - Design Bureau

The Moon Wanderers, price available upon request,

Jon says:

Very charming character design, nice to read about someone going out there and making something on their own. Good article.

Toys by Design: Sergey Safonov

Monday, July 26th, 2010

A personal connection is at the heart of self-made toys for Russian toy designer Sergey Safonov. Based in Moscow, Safonov sees toys as a great tool of communication, creating and bridging international communities for artisans and toy enthusiasts alike. Safonov, who began his art career drawing ASCIIs for an underground cyberspace art collective in Russia, eventually traded keyboard characters for his own characters. “I consider myself a character designer, and I tell stories with them,” says Safonov. “Producing toys should encourage (I hope) others to tell their own stories.”

Resin is just one element out of an arsenal of mediums (including fabric and wood) and interdisciplinary skills (graphic design, storytelling, craftsmanship) Safonov uses to create what he refers to as an “art form from the people to the people, not the corporations to the people.” In 2005, he started using resin as a means of turning his ideas into objects. Among Safonov’s works of toy art are The Moon Wanderers, a fleet of dreamlike creatures gently floating against an obsidian pool. These whimsical characters are a 3D exploration of his childhood rumination: What happens in the world when people are sleeping?

Currently, Safonov is working on an illustrated book that tells the story of another of his creations, Gooma – “a seed who evolves into a living being” – and The Moon Wanderers he meets on his way to The North Pole. As for toys, he has just announced his newest character, Godot, and is working with a toy company on his first production toy. Safonov is also organizing a massive character expo in Moscow and he continues to run the world’s premier art toy database, “I want to make as much as I can and make a difference,” he says. “Life is short.”

By Jeremy Brautman

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