Updated: May 14
I started making toys as a hobby after leaving my 9-5
Up until two years ago I wasn't even aware of the existence of designer toys, I only stumbled across the designer toy world when I found the Toy Chronicle blog and was blown away by the diversity of artists and makers out there.
Soon after I left my 9-5 job due to poor health and decided to start researching how toys were made as a hobby to occupy my free time.
The first video I found on YouTube was from the Crafsman detailing the process of how he made his free-range chicken and I was instantly hooked.
I became determined to start studying as much as I could to find out about the different tools and skills I would need to pursue toy-making as a career and didn't look back.
My first step was sculpting and spent months practicing different techniques until I felt confident that what I had produced would make for a half decent toy to attempt producing.
Once I had some figures ready I went back to studying the process of #moulding and casting for a few months while I saved to buy the equipment I would need to produce them to a reasonable standard.
Once I had my equipment in place I started buying the materials to produce the actual toys.
Then once I had made a variety of figures I decided to throw my hat in the ring and applied for a spot at Toycon UK.
When applying I saw that I needed an online presence to show the organisers what I had made and took the plunge into social media by starting up my instagram account.
This was a huge eye opener to me as suddenly there was a network of makers sharing knowledge and advice that I couldn't have imagined was available. It made me more determined than ever to keep pushing on with my new passion.
While I am still very new to the world of toymaking I have been amazed by the support of the art community and have loads of new projects planned for the months and years ahead.
In many ways I feel like this is what I was always meant to do and thanks to the community of makers out there what started as a hobby is now my full time job.
You can find me on instagram here ----> https://z-p42.www.instagram.com/davesculptstoys/?hl=en
And my website here ----> https://dave-neiland-studios.myshopify.com