Interpreting the Yoka Bear, Designer Con 2009


This past Saturday was Designer Con 2009 in Pasadena, where toys, art, a lot of Japanese anime influence, and a distinct smell of BO (c’mon boys, hygiene is not hard) converged.  There were plenty of pretty rad vinyl toys, super kawaaii t-shirts and posters, and I was super excited about checking out Christopher Lee’s new (ad)venture, The Birds and the Beasts – but nevermind all that.  The coolest things on display were formerly naked 3″ Yoka bears (above) distributed by adFuncture and provided to a little more than 150 individual artists.  These artists went all the way and back in customizing the little bears to their creative hearts’ desires.  I wish I could post a picture of them all – and while we’re wishing upon shooting stars, I also wish my camera didn’t crap out and lose a bunch of the pictures I took there – but here’s the next best thing:  a few of my favorites that survived the Casio Exlim Crash of 2009 follow after the jump.  Hopefully someone over at DCon will post the entire collection online, because the variety of Yokas was mind boggling.

Yoka is so cute, many artists wanted to eat it.  Yoka-as-Food was a common theme:

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Left to right, Melonsan by Robert Cashland; a Yoka pancake by an artist whose name I failed to catch; Yoka O-No by Jeremy Brautman at HeebieGB; and a caramel Yoka bear by another artists whose name I didn’t catch.

Horror also was on the artists’ mind.  Some went straight to Jigsaw; others like my personal favorite, from artist Amanda Louise Sayd, channeled Tim Burton.

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Clockwise from the left:  Sick Monster by Shawnimal; Yoka the 13th by Soak for Thick Magazine; Happy Birthday Yoka by Amanda Louise Spayd; a pretty wicked Toy Story-ish Pooh Spider by LEECIfER; The Best Way to My Heart is Thru the Arm? by Chris Hamer; and La Muerte Chiquita (“The Little Death”) by Bere & Bere.

Finally, Yoka found itself dressed up and transported gnome-style to various locales, movies, paintings, time periods, and worlds.

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Clockwise from the left:  Yoka Sand Baby Castaway by Glenda Rolle; a pretty cool Rigorberto Mortis that seems to be straight out of a Miyazaki movie by Chouskoskis (AKA Walter Jacott); Yoda Yoka by Wade Lageose; Randy Martinez takes his Yoka to a Lakers game; Yoka Scream; The Vanishing Woods Bear by VCR (I think there was a similar X-Files episode); and an Untitled piece by yellowspiral that may or may not be the distant cousin of Eve, Wall-E’s girlfriend.

3 thoughts on “Interpreting the Yoka Bear, Designer Con 2009”

  1. HEY txs for the post and such cool review of the Yoka show! and more than that txs for the cool comment on my Rigo Mortis !

    Sadly i see the little monkey miss a ear :( and get a little dirty…

    txs Queequeg

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