Born in the year of Star Wars’ release (1977), Scott Cherry is an american artist releasing designer toys under the ‘Barbarian Rage’ brand. Primarily working in resin, Scott’s figures are all impeccably designed and crafted. With many of them influenced by the 1980’s pop culture that Scott grew up with.
Indeed a pivotal moment for Scott occurred in 1986, when he was 9 or so, and his family and friends were gathered at Scott’s parent’s house to watch the Super Bowl. An event Scott quickly realised he had no interest in, choosing instead to draw cartoons and loose himself in the singular world of artistic creation.
With Scott noting,
“I remember the Bears in the Super Bowl in ’86. Everyone was hyped up on the Super Bowl Shuffle. We had the “Super Bowl Shuffle” record. I was pumped.
But when the game came on I had zero interest in the game and drew cartoons in the next room.
Sounds banal but it was a profound moment for me.”
With Scott currently working on his debut comic, and having recently branched out into the production of Madballs-esque foam figures; we thought now was the perfect opportunity to sit down with Scott and ask him questions about toys, art, life, goal setting, issues with Patreon, and a whole lot more!
Read it all, via the interview below…
Name + D.O.B?
City, State and Country you currently call home?
Sunny California out by LAX.
City, State and Country you’re from?
I am from the border of Illinois and Wisconsin in between Chicago and Milwaukee.
Please describe some memories from key stages of your life: concerts, art, toys, romance, hunting, school, politics, crime, religion… ANYTHING really!
* Age 5 – beginnings:
When I was young, I had a He-Man poster on my wall. The Grayskull painting by William George. Amazing.
I remember trying to draw the character, “Jitsu”. The quest did not go so well and I remember being frustrated. I wanted to work on my drawing until I was good enough to draw Jitsu.
I spent most of my youth drawing Nintendo characters. Little stuff.
* Age 10 – continuations:
I continued drawing but I started making things in Junior High. I started making puppets. Once I started, I wanted to make one better than the last. I made a shit ton of puppets.
I made a few giant masks.
I also made an automatic bed making machine for an “Invention Convention” and took first place.
At age 12, I made a toy for every member in Gwar as an entry for their “Worthless Slave” contest they were having. I came in second place.
* Age 15 – getting serious:
High School was okay. I took as many art classes as I could. I really loved sculpture and ceramics. I only wanted to be a career artist at this point.
My last semester I had an “Independent Study” art class. You could do whatever you wanted and the teacher would give you a critique at the end of the semester. In so many words, my teacher said, “It’s not really good… is it?”
She was right. I wasn’t very good. My stuff sucked. I knew I had to really buckle down and take it upon myself to excel.
After graduation I would draw all day and night.
* Age 20 – young adult:
I dropped out of my second year at community college. They were not teaching me the art that I wanted to learn.
One night I took some acid with my twin brother and we decided that it would be in our best interest if we didn’t go back to school (I was failing with three Ds and an F). We didn’t need no school to teach us how to be artists… we are artists! Or, that was the attitude I had, at least.
* Age 25 – adult mode:
In my early 20’s Adam (my twin) and I got it in our heads that we are going to make a 15-20 minute animated short called “The Water Hole”. We worked for years making a huge set, props and over a dozen fully poseable stop-motion puppets.
The Water Hole was a bar so we had made miniature glasses, beer taps. Beer bottles and a tiny jukebox… All hand made. We even bought a $1200.00 camera. We didn’t know what we were going to do with it once it was done. There was no YouTube yet. We were just making it.
When it comes down to it… We never even animated one second of footage. After 3 years + of fabrication. Nothing. It was also at this time we were performing together in a vulgar puppet show called “Puppet Jerks”. We had this giant set we would erect on stage and we would end up breaking all these crazy puppets over each others heads and shit. We would have to fix the puppets for every show. Sometime have to make a cast of whole new puppets. It was a big mess.
We played a few comedy shows but the other comedians hated us. We had better luck at the punk-rock shows.
* Age 30 – fully formed:
I got a job working at an art website. I was mostly in-charge of shipping and receiving orders.
I had a good relationship with the owner, though. He paid me for my art. It was my first “Pro-Gig”.
* Age 35 – meanderings:
I moved out to California.
Got another Pro-Gig out here. This time it was putting custom paint jobs on fly fishing reels. I fucking hated it. I hated the weasel-dick managers. I had to get out.
I started listening to business podcasts. I learned (sort of) how to run a small business. I was determined to never work for these weasel-dicks or any other weasel dicks ever again.
The walls closed in.
I fired my boss and went to work for myself.
* Age 40 – middle age creeping:
I’ve been working for myself, making “bootleg” toys, now for about 4 years.
I am doing a comic book right now. I hope to have a toy line based on the comic book. I’m really excited for it.
“Make reasonable goals.”
I used to always have these massive projects I was working on. Nothing ever got done. Make Reasonable Goals, stuff gets finished.
Whilst we know you through your designer toy work – care to share with us the details of your other creative endeavors… if any?
All of my creativity goes in to this. All of my time and energy is consumed. It’s everything to me.
Art, Design, and Toy Questions
When and why did you first start making art of any type!?
I remember the Bears in the Super Bowl in ’86. Everyone was hyped up on the Super Bowl Shuffle. We had the “Super Bowl Shuffle” record. I was pumped.
But when the game came on I had zero interest in the game and drew cartoons in the next room.
Sounds banal but it was a profound moment for me.
Please describe the process of producing your toys – from original idea, to preliminary design, sculpt, production, packaging and eventual release!?
Ideas strike like lighting. A really good idea will come from nowhere. I never write anything down. If its a good enough idea, I’m doing it. If I have to write it down, its forgettable.
It has got to be so awesome that I can’t wait to start it and see it finished.
Then I do whatever it takes to get it done.
Worst aspect(s) of the designer toy hustle?
Keeping up a website, making sure you have enough boxes for orders. Mundane shit like that.
Also, crippling loneliness.
Best aspect(s) of the designer toy hustle?
You get to hustle designer toys. It is the reward.
Favorite other artist(s)?
Obvious stuff like Giger. Frazetta. Robert Williams.
Earl Norem is a big one.
But, I also love what Johnny Ryan does.
Skinner comes to mind.
I mean, I could talk all day about my favourite artists…
Thoughts on the current state of the designer toy scene?
I think it’s pretty amazing that now anyone can make a toy, market it, and sell it.
It always seemed like such a daunting task to put a toy into production. But now you can just go make, like, 20.
Why did you close your ‘Patreon’ and establish your own monthly subscription club, ‘The Warriors Guild’ in its place?
Because Patreon stinks on ice. Their website sucks. They got greedy one year and announced they were changing the pay out system. There was a mass exodus. Then Patreon panicked and announced they won’t change. But it was too late. The supporters were gone.
It felt like when my weasle-dick boss announced he was cutting everyone’s vacation time. Helplessness.
So, I said “Fuck You” to Patreon and created my own service for myself. I read that they just raised their rates too. My shit is better than theirs anyway and we have a cooler name.
Odds and Ends
What role did toys play in your childhood(s)?
Toys were everything. Until we got the Nintendo. Then there was a flurry of video games for years.
Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?
Gateway, man. I love drugs.
I don’t do much but smoke a little grass now.
Please describe what you think the American psyche / zeitgeist is today?
I couldn’t even pretend to answer that.
I’d hate to give some answer that I’m trying to sound profound but really just sound like a jerk-off.
Who was your 1st crush and why?
Linda Carter dressed as Wonder Woman.
She was on the T.V. Listings for the week. We would throw them out at the end of the week. But I kept that one for a while.
Does sex change everything?
Sure. You can change anything by putting your dick in it.
What are the top 3 items you own?
One is this awesome custom work bench that my Step-Dad made for me. I spend most of my time on this.
This old TV. I watch VHS in the background as I make stuff sometimes.
My coffee maker.
In a battle between your two creations 1i-D2 (one eye dee two) Vs. Necron 88 – who would win in a fight and why?
Those things always end in a draw. They are both about to kill each other but they both realize that the reason that they hate each other is because they are so alike.
They embrace and share an oil bath.
Which cartoon character, would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why?
[Please draw a prototype of your design!]
A Popeye The Sailor Man Rubber Fist (With suction cup end) Don’t ask why. When you have a hot idea like this, you just go for it.
Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
I hope I am not remembered by anything that I have already done.
Hopefully I will do something that holds some actual meaning in the future.
If people wanted to work with you or buy something – how should they get in touch?
Go to my website for everything: Barbarianrage.com
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Announcing projects before they are done has been a bit of a bad luck thing for me.
Any major projects you want to hype?
Stay tuned for my comic book.
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- ‘Barbarian Rage’ – Warriors Guild