The world of collectible art toys is a rabbit hole of unique pieces. Like a kaleidoscope of colours, shapes, and designs, designer toys are a truly special world in itself.
Whether your collection is expansive or consists a few select pieces, you might be on the hunt for some tips for displaying your collection.
We get tagged in a myriad of photos on Instagram of so many collections, and one that regularly catches our eye is Kay Mason's (@kaymaycreates). Previously featured in our Mighty Fan Features series, we reached out to Kay once again to share her tips on her best ideas for displaying your collection!
The first of a two part series, read below for some great tips on how you can integrate your collection into your living spaces and more below!
First and foremost, I'd like to say everyone lives differently. My way of decor and lifestyle is not THE way of decor and lifestyle. Humans have been making, creating, and enjoying living spaces since the dawn of time and there's no right or wrong way to enjoy your home. What makes YOU happy in your space is the "best" route, if you ask me!
I have some hard and fast decor guidelines in my house but even I break rules... with that being said I *am* very particular about my rooms. I like to truly enjoy and experience everything I've invested my time and money into. I re-arrange my toys constantly, have displays subjected to UV light at times (which REALLY ruffles some feathers..) and Spackle pretty much constantly.
I've always been inclined to experiment with decor even when I didn't have the money or means to enjoy the finer things (i.e. tacking old Vans shoe boxes to the walls as makeshift shelves in middle school) and if you know me you know I love getting a good deal on things. I don't believe good decor needs to be purchased from a store, I think anyone can transform any space into something they thrive in with a little grunt work and will power (and time....lots of time..).
When decorating your space it's important to be mindful of your day to day efficiency in said environment. Meaning, while I think it's really dope to see some collectors with a wall to wall army of 1000% Bearbricks, it's just not a functional living option for me.
I would advise everyone to record their most traveled paths throughout their home and attempt to highlight them with your decor. Try to position your furniture and displays in a way as to guide yourself and your guests through your home, as a gallery or museum might, quite literally forming organic walkways to rooms and displays.
I think whether you're a minimalist or a maximalist it's important to consider breath-ability without feeling sterile. A great way to avoid that cluttered feeling is to keep as many things off of the floor as possible....WITH the caveat that you tastefully adorn (necessary) spots with small splashes of colors and figures (see tips on risers!!).
For example, you can see I have a figure safely and neatly displayed UNDER a sitting chair in my living room. The space under the chair wasn't being used by anything else and therefor acts as a natural display spot.
There's a very specific balance between a clean/minimal look and straight boring or bare. Hit your local thrift stores to find colorful statement books to pair with figures, stack them underneath and watch as your vinyl is literally and metaphorically elevated into importance...there *is* a reason Greek statues are typically on pedestals ;)
I have been trying more and more to integrate my collection seamlessly into my living spaces by mixing and matching them with books, plants, and other non vinyl figures and prints!
I find when I introduce more "regular" decor pieces (non designer vinyl related things) in conjunction with my designer stuff, it makes my collection feel more mature in a sense. For example, instead of loading your couch full of Murakami plushes (I know, that's a tough one...they're truly something to gawk at!) I advise getting a base of "regular" color blocked or patterned pillows and adding the Murakami's as a statement.
It can be a tricky balance to strike between not enough and way too much, it really comes down to learning and knowing the space you're working with. Study it. Study the way the light hits certain walls. Where are the rooms most flattering points. This is also very important if you're storing collectibles that are affected by UV light! Be weary of bleaching your toys by having a setup too close to the windows, it happens to the best of us.
Another tip for casually pairing your collection with a more adult atmosphere is to not overcrowd your shelves with figures! This is a BIG no no everyone deals with (especially me). Space wise, yes, it's easy and convenient to store our designer vinyl up close and personal with one another maximizing the space we have so little of. BUT I swear to you, the fewer pieces on a shelf, the more important those pieces look.
I'd suggest stacking a respectable row of books together, ending it off with an eclectically modern book end and sealing the deal with a vibrant and poppy appropriation piece, I'd stick with something generally recognizable. These pieces act as great talking points for guests, too! My Jason Freeny dissected Bugs Bunny ALWAYS gets people asking questions about my practice. It's easier to introduce toy collecting with familiar and admired characters.
I've had a handful of people ask me to gauge the importance of buying prints for them. In general speaking terms I'd say wall art is extremely important for a strong and finished room.
Whether we're talking about investment opportunity or buying for sheer joy is up to you and the artist you're contemplating acquiring, but again, wall art doesn't have to exist in the form of expensive gallery prints or paintings. You never know what you'll find on a thrift trip around town.
With that being said there is an increasingly popular movement of toy artists including prints with a purchase, that's a two for one deal I've been growing keen on. One collective who does this is 6forest toys... I'll try and compile a list later on of others who do the same!
I also recommend varying the size of your wall art but be mindful of not accumulating too many small frames. Just like any other space, the walls can become over crowded and feel cluttered too! Aim for larger pieces to cover more ground and save the smaller frames for perhaps more organic spaces and smaller nooks in your home.
For collectors on a budget: You can frame ANYTHING. I've framed 1$ greeting cards before. You can box frame a single Dunny of importance. You can frame your favorite concert ticket. It doesn't have to be expensive or brand new to hang it!
In part 2, Kay talks about shelving and placement of these fine pieces in her collection. Stay tuned to the Mighty Jaxx blog for those excellent tips coming soon!
Mighty Jaxx will be running a photo contest next week, keep a look out on our Instagram and blog for more details coming soon. Use these tips from Kay to bank up on some beautiful collection shots for the contest *wink*
All images in this post have been graciously provided by Kay Mason.