2petalrose : “I think my art has settled on Samurai and Geisha (aside from them just being visually incredible) because there is so much history and tradition there. I can play with that and add my own spin on it and it adds a kind of juxtaposition.
I’m from the UK and those 2 traditions are somewhat mesmerising, there really isn’t anything here I can liken it too, it’s fascinating.”
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My name is Liam Scriven aka 2petalrose from London England. A married dad of 2 who still loves toys.
A bit of backstory
Through my teens and early twenties I played guitar in a few bands and truly believed that this would be what I’d be doing with my life. The hardest thing about being in a band was having to rely on 3 or 4 other people to put in the same amount of effort and passion. In that environment, when one person’s drive is higher than others it inevitably causes some friction.
As well as a music lover, I’ve always been a toy buyer/collector that likes creating art. I stumbled into the customising world of Kid Robot Munny’s in 2007 when my bro spotted the platform and bought us both one.
I never sold any of the early KR customs I made, I was just trying out paint techniques and ideas.
Sometime in 2008 I had quit my day Job and was travelling around Thailand… I was sitting in a beach hut on this little island and decided that when I got back I’d try and figure out how to make my own toys.
The idea was that I would research and learn as much as possible and release a few bits before I had to get a full time job again. This turned out to be about 18 months later… and not for the reasons you might think.
2petalrose was originally created as a home for artwork by me and my brother but quickly became focused on Toys. My bro would go on to follow his own path into Tattooing.
My brother’s art was always something I aspired to growing up, he’s got a crazy unique style and always found myself copying him without even meaning to. I was always looking for the right platform that would let me express my ideas and toys was it!
My dad used to own an injection moulding company making firework shells for stage shows. I asked him if I could rummage through some of the parts and see what I could make out of them. The result of this was my very first release, these little robotic looking bird things I called “Boids”.
I had spent quite a bit of time sharing my Munny customs on the Kid Robot forum and a couple of blog forums which helped when it came to selling my own toys. My hope for this release was that I’d sell a few and that money would fund my first resin project which I’d already started sculpting. When the Boids sold out I couldn’t believe it and began the journey of resin toy making.
It sounds crazy now, but it was really hard to find decent tutorials on mould making and a lot of my early journey was just making mistakes and learning from them.
The first resin piece was part of a series called “Kombat Kings” … A single base figure design that I would customise in a variety of combat related attires with different accessories. I began with an SAS soldier with gas mask and to my surprise they sold out almost immediately. I took any money I made from this and put it straight back in to refining the master model and then released a newer version of the SAS soldier. It was soon after this release my whole toy making world was shaped…
Sometime in 2009 I was asked to do a resin toy show in the U.S and I decided to make one of my Kombat Kings into a samurai, it was a complete game changer for me. The figure went down really well so I released a version of it soon after. This one custom pretty much shaped my current style and the overall topic of my work.
I really enjoy making figures that are heavily influenced by Japanese culture but have obvious nods to other styles and cultures.
One of my things has always been to try and add bases and backdrops to my work… I think this comes from a love of buying figures when I was a younger that came with extra stuff in the box and some assembly required.
Needed a break
I released a few more Kombat King Samurai’s and then in late 2010 I decided to take a break and go back to my old day job in music publishing (An industry I still work in today)
I was finding it hard to balance my love of making art toys, the creative side and paying bills. I found myself putting a release together because I thought it would sell rather than releasing something I wanted to make. For me personally, I enjoy making things on my own terms and creating something because I want to… not because I need to.
Return and Maiko
Fast forward a couple of years and I wanted to get back into resin making. Not that I’d ever given up, but more that I was ready to put the time in again.
I had this idea in my head of a samurai geisha and started sculpting a basic shape. Initially the figure was supposed to be a glorified stand for the helmet, but she soon became a character in her own right and I called her Maiko. I wasn’t sure if people would remember my work from a couple of years before but they did and my new figure Maiko was really well received. The character has been through a few sculpt updates but overall I think she has been my most popular piece to date.
Maiko really got me into adding and designing customs fabrics. When I started making the Obi for Maiko I wasn’t happy with using standard material patterns because the scale was all off. So I designed and scaled down some classic Japanese fabric patterns and it just worked. This use of Fabric has since become a real standard in my work.
Why Japanese Culture
I think my art has settled on Samurai and Geisha (aside from them just being visually incredible) because there is so much history and tradition there. I can play with that and add my own spin on it and it adds a kind of juxtaposition.
I’m from the UK and those 2 traditions are somewhat mesmerising, there really isn’t anything here I can liken it too, it’s fascinating.
Would I take on an apprentice?
This is essentially a hobby for me. I have a full time job and 2 kids that keep me on my toes, there is just no way that I could take anyone on. I will help where I can but unfortunately this just wouldn’t be possible right now.
I’ve been so lucky to have support from Toy blogs all round the world for many years. Their help in promoting artists work and building your brand is invaluable.
I’ve also been Lucky enough to be featured in a few magazine articles which has been great. One of which was Skin Deep tattoo which brought a new audience to my work and gave birth to some great commissions. I’m a tattoo collector too so his was a real honour for me.
I’ve been fortunate to work with some great artists on other projects. I made a piece with Huck Gee back in 2015 and it was too much fun, although completely stupid on our behalf not calculating costs along the way.
I recently worked with 3d sculptor and artist Oasim Karmieh on my Kid Katana figure which was a lot of fun. The 3d digital sculpting world and 3d printing still blows my mind and was an amazing journey. That figure just won an award and I’ve starting building a series around it.
I have a lot of collaborations in the pipeline with some of my favourite Toy artists which is going to be a lot of fun.
Hopefully there should be some production pieces coming out in 2019 via some larger toy companies. I’ve always been stubborn with creating my own figures but I’m really excited to be working on some larger releases.
I have a few collaborations coming up with artist Koncrete aka Carl Longworth which are going to be a lot of fun. He comes from a fine art background which lends itself really well to designer toys.
I get asked a lot of questions… what resin I use, what silicone, where from, paints, packaging etc which I am more than happy to help with but for me, it was about the whole journey and figuring it out.
I’ve spent a lot of time and money over the years figuring out what works and what doesn’t and I’m still learning every day with every new project. I’m not saying don’t ask for help because knowledge should be shared, but just try and do some of it on your own steam… you will benefit from it in the long run.
Now is such a great time to get into the designer toy world, there is a lot of resources and so many people here willing to help. Materials are cheaper than they used to be and the scene is strong.
Here’s a few of my favourite pieces: