Artist Name: Kat Brunnegraff
Location: Ohio, health USA
Personal Blog:

Kat Brunnegraff may be a new comer to the designer toy scene, information pills but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been making waves already. Known for her distinct night-like style, for sale she made her appearance to the scene in the beginning of this year starting with her Custom Illazilla which was featured on the cross-country tour. We had a chance to catch up with Kat and ask her a few questions!

Custom Toy Lab:
Please tell us more about yourself Kat that hasn’t been mentioned already?

I’m 25 years old, I live in Columbus, Ohio, I attended CCAD for 4 years and have a BFA in illustration… it’s funny I don’t ever need the thing anymore but the training I got was good.
I originally went to art school intending to become an animator, but switched over to illustration after the mass firings of all the 2D animators from Disney back in 2002-2003.  I remember hating painting when I did it in school, we were never allowed to really draw the way we wanted to, it always had to be realistic, which is fine but I like to experiment with styles.  I all but gave up on painting by the time I graduated from CCAD in 2006 because I found it to be dull and time consuming.

After I graduated did a lot of digital art but a lot of people, my husband included, told me that I should paint.  I never listened to them though, I thought that I hated painting, it was messy it took forever to dry etc…  But after I found Krista Huot (a fabulous artist) on myspace I messaged her and told her how much I loved her paintings. (I eventually bought one from her) I asked her every question about the gallery scene and how to get my art out there that I could think of and she was very nice and told me that she’d give me the same advice that Gary Baseman had given her a while back, PAINT!   So I finally caved and started painting, my first few attempts were lacking, but after a while something clicked and people seemed to like them.

Custom Toy Lab:
What brought you into in the custom toy scene?
I’ve been a toy collector/admirer since… forever, I used to stare longingly at my computer screen on a website called “Sweaty Frog” back in the 90’s (now known as “My Plastic Heart”) for hours, wanting to buy the really cool, really different toys but never being able to afford them. (I was a teenager with no job back then)  It’s been a dream of mine to have toys made after my own characters for a long time, but since I’m so new on the scene people didn’t know who I was as a painter or toy artist.  So I decided to pick a theme that I enjoyed and some popular toys and start customizing them to see if I could make a name for myself in the custom toy world.  So far, so good.

Custom Toy Lab:
What is the toy scene like there down in Ohio?
There aren’t too many places in Columbus,Ohio that sell Urban Vinyl/Art Toys, but we have one really awesome gallery that does sell them called Rivet and there is Shoparooni up in Cleveland.  So, it seems like it’s just starting to get popular here, I mean I only just discovered it myself around two years ago.  Also there is a shop called Anime Palace that sells Tokidoki toys, I go there from time to time to get my cute fix.

Custom Toy Lab:
Your custom toys have a night-like feel to them. What inspired you to customize your toys with this type of style?

Well, I LOVE the night time, love the sky, the moon, the stars, I wish that people were more aware of how the nights sky is supposed to look, so it seemed natural to me to paint a night theme.  Also subconsciously I was influenced by the movie Princess Mononoke that I had seen back when I was 14.  I hadn’t seen it for a long time and only recently while watching it did I realize that the creature in the movie was also called a Night Walker, I thought about that creature often while painting my first toy in this style.

Custom Toy Lab:
If you were able to collaborate with any other artists out there in the toy scene, who would be your first choice?

There are a lot really… Jeremiah Ketner, Krista Huot, Jared Deal, Gnarf Death, Johnny Yanok… too many to list them all! I love all their styles and it would be super fun to collaborate with any one of them.

Custom Toy Lab:
Has this artist inspired you in any way?

All of the artists I listed inspire me to be a better painter, and to work harder, some of the colors I use are inspired by them.

Custom Toy Lab:
What other kinds of mediums do you work on besides toys?

I work on wood a lot when I do paintings, I prefer it over canvas, I just love the way the wood grain shows through, gives it a more natural feel.

I love to work with plush toys as well, they’re super fun to make, also easier than sculpting which I do like to do every once in a while when and back when I  couldn’t afford to buy a fancy toy I’d just make my own!   Still do sometimes.

Custom Toy Lab:
Did you find it difficult to work on a toy as opposed to [medium]?
Vinyl/Plastic is MUCH harder to paint on than wood, a lot more prep time is needed.  Some toys have to have paint stripped off, body parts removed and need to be spray painted or sanded before you can start to paint.  But I’m not complaining I love just sitting outside with some stinky nail polish remover and thinking about what I want to make a new toy look like.  It’s very relaxing.

Custom Toy Lab:
If you don’t mind us asking, what kind of other upcoming projects do you have going on at the moment? What can we expect next?

Weeeelllll I wasn’t going to tell anyone but I was thinking about doing a new series soon after I do a few more Night Walkers, with either a Forest theme or a Snow theme.   I’m also working on some toys and paintings for some upcoming gallery shows.

Custom Toy Lab:
Every artist has a set of tools that they use for customizing, what would you consider yours to be?

Paint, Nail Polish Remover, Cotton Balls, Hair Dryer, Paint Brushes, Spray Paint, and a warm dry day to help the paint dry faster.

Custom Toy Lab:
On average, how long does it usually take you to finish customizing a toy?

It depends on the size/shape/number of parts a toy has, but on average it takes me about 6 hours to do a 5 inch toy.  Sometimes more time sometimes less.  Depends on prep work too.

Custom Toy Lab:
What sort of advice would you give to new artists who are considering breaking into the toy scene?

Pick something you love, it can be anything really.  Something cool or beautiful, or crazy, doesn’t matter what, and just make toys.  It takes time and patience to get noticed.

Custom Toy Lab:
As an artist do you take commission requests? How can you be contacted if people are interested?  Yes I do take commissions, I can be contacted at

Artist name: jonpaulkaiser
Artist website:
Artist location: United Kingdom
Toy Name: Bob Marley
Toy Type: Kidrobot 3″ Dunny
Toy Story: This was a specific request from a customer, pharm
and Bob was what he wanted.
Artist available for commission? If you like my style, shoot me an email at jonpaulkaiser [at] cheers!