Artist Spotlight: Into the Mind of MicBraining

Updates / Interview

Multimedia artist Mickey Mic aka MicBraining is an independent artist making a name for himself in Hong Kong’s toy vinyl scene.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: INTO THE MIND OF MICBRAINING

Multimedia artist Mickey Mic aka MicBraining is an independent artist making a name for himself in Hong Kong’s toy vinyl scene. His trademark style infuses pop culture with a hint of cosmic sci-fi, this can be seen in the metallic and fluorescent colors used for his figures.

His latest creation, Soul Queen MicNie, celebrates all things spooky as MicNie joins a night carnival in ghoulish fashion by remixing the undead theme with a lively party vibe. Priced at $100 with only 10 editions available, this limited run digital collectible is set to drop October 31st on the UCOLLEX web app.

To celebrate this new UCOLLEX drop, we sat down with Mickey to discuss his process and find out more about how he got to where he is today as a digital artist and member of the creator economy.

Mickey’s Creative Beginnings

Mickey’s love of creatures started when he was introduced to the world of sci-fi through movies such as E.T., Alien, and Star Wars. “Most of my creative style comes from science fiction. I always try to add elements of cyberpunk, neon, and fluorescence into my work, especially because you don’t normally see them in everyday life,” he says.

Unlike most, Mickey’s love for toys came only five years ago when he purchased Gallery Girl Astronaut Isobelle from The World of Isobelle Pascha series. “The proportions and lines of this figure by Ashley Wood was so striking that I wanted to buy it as soon as I saw it,” says Mickey, who recalls that this was the moment he realized toys that could faithfully recreate the art of illustrators were possible.

The Birth of MicBraining Soft Vinyl Collection

After working several years as a full-time media designer, Mickey joined the custom toy scene as the artist MicBraining in 2019.

A liberating moment that symbolized the artist’s ascension into a new space where he could breathe his love of creativity, sci-fi, and toys into life.

Since then, MicBraining has launched a series of soft vinyl, including Nyan, RoboPunch in collaboration with Mechnioz Toys, MicNie, and OBA Soul in collaboration with BigClawX.

Nyan

Representing the word “wisdom” in the Burmese language, Nyan roams the infinite universe as a space explorer in search of new life.

He encounters many creatures on his journey and passes on teachings that can be found on his space suit. Mickey engraved the Chinese characters for mind, body, and spirit on the vinyl to symbolize the teachings of Nyan being passed directly onto the collector themselves.

RoboPunch

Inspired by Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots and Transformers, these mechas tested Mickey’s creativity as an artist and toymaker by morphing from a standing battle pose into a primal ape form.

The helmet could also be popped off to reveal a built-in brain which harkens back to the Rock ’Em robot’s head popping off when defeated.

MicNie

MicNie believes in the power of change and challenges herself to be different by trying on new trends with her magical coat!

Her fashion sense mixes Chinese and Western cultures with a highly experimental and inspirational new twist. With each new season, MicNie provides Mickey with a blank canvas to create new themes and styles freely.

For Mickey, the slender and top-heavy proportions of this vinyl pushed the boundaries of his toy-making dreams to a new level. Particularly because a human character is notoriously difficult to recreate in toy vinyl form, but add the layering effect of MicNie’s open coat on top, and the creative challenge increases!

OBA Soul

An evolved species of humanoid crawfish with a warrior spirit! OBA Soul travels back in time disguised in samurai armor to take part in the greatest wars foretold in history as a rōnin with cannons and missiles under his gigantic pincers.

Mickey drew inspiration from his love of strange sci-fi creatures in bringing his creation to life as a vinyl. In homage to the classic sci-fi twist-ending, collectors who remove the helmet will find that OBA Soul is being controlled by a parasite; the mastermind behind this whole adventure!

The Creative Challenge of Bringing Toys to Life

Taking full advantage of the creative medium of toys, you’ll be sure to find an Easter egg or two tucked within a MicBraining vinyl toy. These hidden features added an additional degree of complexity to the production process that needed to be solved.

Mickey credits the movie ‘Prometheus’ as a big influence on his problem-solving mindset. The quote “big things have small beginnings” comes directly from the Ridley Scott flick, and has inspired him to see each goal as a Mount Everest that can be overcome when the process is broken down into digestible steps.

“RoboPunch and OBA Soul toys needed to be assembled piece by piece because they are fully articulated, so you can imagine the struggles and experimentation that happened in the prototyping stage when I also wanted to add removable and hidden elements into my work!”

A lot of time is spent diving into the details of each toy piece to make everything work. From stabilizing the top-heavy MicNie in statue form to creating an articulated and transformable RoboPunch, each creative work comes with a challenge that Mickey doesn’t see as a painful memory, but as a hidden Easter egg and engineering accomplishment for his eyes only!

On Joining the Creator Economy and Looking Ahead

In 2021, Mickey collaborated with UCOLLEX to introduce his enigmatic characters to a new audience of collectors in the form of digital collectible art pieces.

Nyan was minted as the first MicBraining 3D digital collectible because its story symbolized Mickey’s journey as an artist crossing over to a new dimension, in this case, the metaverse.

Over the years, MicBraining has gone from strength to strength through artist collaborations and launching limited-edition figure re-paintings which has helped push his creativity as an illustrator and toy artist to its limit.

He hopes to connect with many more brands and artists by bringing his unique style to their collection. It will only be a matter of time before we will see MicBraining showcased in an exhibition collecting his artwork for all to enjoy!

Show at ucollex

Show at ucollex

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