''This is not a job... this is a verdict''
I am passionate about human emotion, flaw, and behavior. This is the driving force behind most of my artwork. I continually explore love, human shortcomings and frailties, disappointment, vice, accountability, repentance, regret, grief, denial, hope, etc. It is the most inspiring subject I know of. Besides death, it's another thing we all have in common.
Most of the Broken Toyland characters came to life in the 90's and early 00's. A lot of it started with my series, Weeds. The visuals have to do with my love of the past... vintage toys, cartoons and such. Then came the rag dolls, patchwork bunnies and others. Broken Toyland is comprised of many endearing characters. It's base is in behavior, emotion, situation and imperfection. While Bunny very often has a smoke or a drink (or both) in hand, this is not what's being promoted. There's much more going on than what might be assumed at first glance. The anesthetics symbolize something else. (Listen to what I'm not saying... over and over.)
Flaw, mortality, loneliness, apathy, misdirection, being invisible, being an outcast, etc, are what's being symbolized and/or portrayed. I have a lot of empathy for the characters and feel drawn to keep recreating them again and again. (They tell our story.) I suppose I identify with them all too well, as would many. But never fear... there is a glimmer of hope, as well.
1920's - 1950's celluloid, tin and plush toys, as well as cartoons and comics from the era, are my inspiration. I absolutly love this stuff. A simpler time with great music. When certain things weren't as important as they are today, and life was a lot slower (it seems... I wasn't alive then).
Though my artwork stems from a love and obsession of 1920's - 1950's cartoons and toys, my artwork isn't for children. My artwork is for adult children (aren't we all? whether we admit it or not).
Some of the backgrounds in old comics and cartoons were amazing. As if someone went crazy with spatters, drips, scrapes, layers and whatever else they wanted to do to create an effect unlike any other. I try to emulate that because it's just so cool, impactful and interesting. Even in recent cartoons like Ren and Stimpy, you'll see this type of thing still being done.
The name, Broken Toys, was inspired by the book, The Velveteen Rabbit. Read it if you haven't. It's beautifully touching.
In early 2000, the Broken Toys Series was born (which gave birth to Broken Toyland). The sketches started and evolved to many characters. Some of which haven't even be introduced yet.
While the series has officially become more of a universe than a series, this is precisely what you will find here at my website. It has literally overtaken my life. I am the universe of Broken Toyland.
Old photographs are something very dear to me. I've always felt a twinge of pain when I see discarded old black and white photos. Why are they unwanted anymore? So I collect them, looking at them every so often as if they're from my own past. Kind of like walking around a graveyard. It's quite nice, actually, trying to imagine what kind of lives they led. I feel bad for those folks. Once in awhile, I'll use one of the photos in my art, freeing it from it's paper border to start a new life in Broken Toyland >:)
I have been drawing since I was 2 years old. I have dabbled in just about every medium since. I prefer a combination of acrlyic, with other mediums on whatever I have access to, on wood.
Creating isn't an option. It's a drive... a need. A habit I'm actually thankful for. Both a blessing and a curse I cannot live without. A verdict.
You will see a lot of skulls in my artwork. Some people find skulls evil (or something). I don't quite understand why (and usually neither do they) but a skull is not evil unto itself. I really love skulls. Why? Well, because we all have one. To me, they symbolize our commonness. One of those things being our mortality. Another is we're all human. Take off the skin (colour) and we're the same. We very often live as if we're immortal. The skull symbol is a reminder to me that I am not immortal but am very temporary. That time actually DOES matter. And time isn't our friend, so we need to make the best of it while we are able.
Keeping that thought in the forefront of my mind, it's a good attitude adjuster. That's the plan anyways.
I currently reside in enchanting northern New Mexico, having lived almost my entire life in California. I miss it sometimes,but still, life is good.
To all the people who have purchased and who continue to purchase my artwork, I am very grateful. Thank you.
- Valery Milovic