9 a.m, I woke up and It was the first text I got. A picture of Murakami holding my art.
For 20 year old artist Indigou, this was a text years in the making.
“Yeah I’ve been into Murakami for years, my mom was always taking me to his art exhibitions growing up and in Mexico, a lot of his work is super popular.”
Since then, Indigou has grown to be one of the most talented artists in the scene combining inspiration from Japanese manga and Tim Burton’s claymation with a variety of mediums including painting, toymaking, and animation.
“Why did you get into Art?”
“I feel like one of the main reasons why I do art / got into art is because I have muscular dystrophy which basically means I have to be in crutches 24/7 so growing up playing sports, running, playing tag, jumping etc anything like that I couldn't do. I would have to just sit there. So my next best thing as a kid to distract myself was and has always been art, it's something I could do easily and I love doing plus I've always just been really good at drawing and sculpting. But yeah if it wasn't for my muscular dystrophy forcing me to be in crutches, I don't think I would be as indulged in art as I am now.”
Her first foray into commercial art was through sewing. “I started out making clothes but over time just sitting at a sewing machine got really tiring. I remember I did my first drop and at the time, I was selling pieces for like, 35 bucks. They were all cut and sewn sherpa pieces. So yeah, really not worth my time.”
This was around 2016 when smaller brands and creatives had started to make a name for themselves through social media. “I just really wanted to grasp someone's attention with my art” she says “I was really obsessed with Bape, Ian Connor, Father Steve, Luka Sabbat all of them, and I made this toy with a Sicko Logo on it. The next day I posted it on Twitter and when I woke up Ian (Connor) Dmed me and he told me that he liked my art and that he wanted me to be part of the (Sicko) team. Him just reposting my work brought so much attention to my art” Since then, Indigou has collaborated with Sicko on numerous projects including a set of rugs and a sweater collection. As a part of the team she lived in Los Angeles for 2 years with creatives Phoenix Guerro and Zora; among others. “It was good” “It definitely was a really hectic experience though” she added, “almost like dorm living”.
Being in Los Angeles offered connections that Texas didn’t have. Many of her internet friends that she had yet to meet in person including Harlow Dove (@mister_dove) who collaborated with Yeezy as a designer lived in LA. “Dove is pretty cool. One of the sickest kids I know. For sure. He (Dove) invited me to go to Japan with him when I was living in LA , but because I'm on a student visa, I can't really travel anywhere outside of America. So him and Rex went to Japan and took one of my sculptures to give it to Murakami.”
This connection with Dove also opened a door to a more local relationship with Daf (@Daf) of Siberia Hills. “So Daf was one of the first people that bought a painting from me in Los Angeles. I had known about him since I was in middle school so finally being able to see him in person, go to his office and him actually showing interest in my art was so sick to me. He gave me a lot of advice on how to sell my art because I underestimate myself a lot. People ask me, What does this mean? What's her name? What type of supplies do you use? And I won't tell them. I won't give you much detail. But Daf would be like, no, you need to give them names, don't be afraid to fully sell your art because it's your work.”
These characters referenced by Daf all seem to be inspired by Japanese animation and manga done by Taiyō Matsumoto. “Yeah he’s the creator of my favorite manga and anime Tekkon Kinkreet, he animated the whole thing. That's where I got inspired to do characters with little ears. I had a lot of inspiration from Japanese animation, not necessarily manga, but just more so animation. I like how a lot of Japanese characters are very cartoony. They always have ears. When I was working with a lot of people they always associated my characters with Gummo, but yeah, I don’t like Gummo it’s too weird and sad.” Her characters are a little weird but in no way sad. Inspired partially by Tim Burton's “BeetleJuice”, many of her characters take on stripes, ears, and playful colors to make them Indigou’s own.
Her current workflow consists of a mix of toys, clothing, and art mostly featuring one of her many manga-inspired characters. A girl with bunny ears and multicolored stripes adorns a collection of sweaters, button ups, and t-shirts while a similar, younger version of the same girl wearing a hat made for a Gleb Kostin collab is featured on several prints. Besides clothing and art, her main focus right now is on toys. “Yeah, basically my main thing that I'm working on now is dropping a bunch of toys. I'm working on dropping one with my friend Jeffrey along with some solo projects. The stuff I make, a lot of people think I have a factory for it, which sometimes I do, but the majority of this stuff, I like doing it on my own. I make the molds myself, airbrush them myself, make the boxes myself, everything.” On how long the toys take to make herself, “About three months for a full order.” “And no sleep” she laughs.
One of her early toy collaborators was Gleb Kostin (@glebkostin) from Gleb Kostin Solutions. “Gleb really liked my work, sometimes I would wake up to him making 3D characters of my drawings or he would make 3D printed toys of my sketch characters. I would wake up and he would just be like, "Hey I made this for you." It was just super sick. So I randomly just asked him do you want to do a collab and make a toy? And he was like, Yeah, I'm down. His whole brand is solutions. So the little office guy with a tie and a very proper uniform fit perfectly.” The Office Boy collaboration was brought to life with a short video done by Yahtzee (@yahtzee), a digital designer and one of Indigou's closest friends. “Yahtzee is such a talented person. Even before meeting him, he had done random little 3D animations of my art. This was before I had even gone to LA and before he moved to LA. That's really how our relationship grew."
One of Indigou’s main goals directly corresponds to this interest in toys “I would love to have my own toy with Medicom, when people think of Medicom they only think of BearBrick but that’s only part of it, they have so many detailed toy collections” A Medicom collab for her would relieve some of the pressure of manufacturing toys so she could focus on the art. “It's super hard to find a toy manufacturer. You think you find one, and then you get the toy after maybe one or two years of delay. And the quality is just never that good.”
In addition to toys, clothes, and art, one of her new mediums over the past few years has been animation. Several individual projects and a short video made in collaboration with Gleb have been released so far but “eventually” she says “I would love to be able to work with Tim Burton. Tim Burton’s one of my favorite people; Him and Wes Anderson. I don't really see myself ever making a full-on movie, but it would be cool to be a part of that project, or at least make little films. I'm obsessed with the behind-the-scenes of a lot of movies. Since I was a kid with almost any movie I've ever watched I would just sit and watch behind the scenes. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton's movies.How they made a chocolate river, how they make the rigs, the skeletons, all that.” This influence of Tim Burton can be seen in almost every aspect of her work. From the striped characters from Beetle Juice to the basics of her drawing, “It’s how he does his line work, how he works with colors you know, that's where I really got my inspiration from. Tim Burton”.
At only 20 years old, Indigou’s future is up in the air. Having only recently moved away from doing commercial work for brands, she has found her place as an independent, multifaceted artist that can hop from mediums as well as many of her Idols.
Keep up to date with Indigou on instagram @lndigou
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