So, those of you who read the blog and/or follow me on instagram (etc.) will undoubtedly know that I have been based in Tokyo (Japan) for the past 5-ish years. The first year was a wild experiment in living in the boonies and regularly commuting hundreds of miles to Tokyo for events. The next 4 years, up until now, saw all sorts of awesome, as I opened RAMPAGE STUDIOS, took on the responsibility of self production, and occasionally managing production for friends and close collaborators. I can't imagine ever having accomplished what I have without the opportunities provided by actually living in the mother-land of Sofubi; 30 minute access to the mold makers, direct phone calls to all production facilities, purchasing paint and other necessary supplies at local storefronts and face-to-face communication with every person who does this sort of work for a living in Japan. Top all this off with the incredibly unique space that I was able to rent and use as RAMPAGE STUDIOS, and it all adds up to a dream-like happy-land without limits for progress in the field of Japan-based toy production.
I am endlessly thankful for all the opportunity afforded to me while living in Japan - and in Tokyo in particular. I also realize how fortunate I have been to have the long-term acceptance and support of the vast majority of Japanese collectors and creators - something I attribute to my willingness to learn the Japanese language and communicate with Sofubi enthusiasts and makers in their own tongue.
OK, so, yeah - I'm moving back to America - specifically to the Northeast (NY area-ish).
It's hard to explain the many reasons for such a move, but it's basis is the fact that I had never intended to be abroad for much more than one year. And now it has been five!
RAMPAGE will continue to produce Sofubi at the same feverish pace, and with the same focus on quality and the same materials. I have every confidence in the connections and support system I have established in Japan, so I'm not stressed about the transition - though it might result in a momentary slow-down.
Honestly, I am very excited for this move. The timing for actually departing Japan is based roughly on my attendance of New York Comic Con in October. I'm over-the-moon excited for Fall in the northeast; pumpkin patches (and pumpkin beer!), apple orchards, and perfect weather for rock climbing and mountain biking with friends I have seldom seen in the past 5 years. I also look forward to getting involved in the art scene in the New York area, and hope to meet a bunch of people at NYCC and the Clutter Gallery, and hopefully elsewhere as well!
I'd like to wrap up this announcement with this: Thank you to my incredibly (unfathomably incredibly) supportive and awesome wife for being there over the past 5 years - always supporting me to push and develop my work to the point it has now reached.
So, that's the news. Thanks for reading and thanks for all of your support. Stay tuned for new toy news and updates on the move!