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An Interview with Mari Kasurinen creator of the My Little Pony Customs

Last week we posted an article artist Mari Kasurinen’s custom My Little Pony figures. She has created some very unique customs that are really fun. I contacted Mari, because I was curious about¬† how the idea to customize My Little Pony toys came to her. Here is the interview:

MillionairePlayboy: What is your art education /  background? Did that help you with your toy customizing?

Mari Kasurinen: I’ve done art all my life, I was 5-years-old when I first said that I wanted to be an artist when I grow up. I applied to Taideinstituutti, an art university in Lahti 2007 and got in. Before that I practiced by myself. Of course it helps, all though I feel that everything you learn in life affects in many areas. Expecially in art!

MPB: What artists (painting, drawing, sculpture, ect…) inspire you?

MK: My favorite artists at the moment are Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Outi Heiskanen.

MPB: Are there any custom or designer toy artists work that you enjoy?

MK: I haven’t become acquainted with that area quite yet.

MPB: How did you come up with the idea to make custom My Little Pony toys of popular culture characters?

MK: I’ve always been interested in Pop art and popular culture itself. I was looking for a way to express myself concerning today’s materialism and individualism. I was very interested in the whole customisation phenomenon; how you can get anything done just for you. What does it tell about peoples identity today if even your credit card can’t look like your neighbors one? I had a great urge to modify, to transform something. I found out that you can get even toys customed. For a moment I was jealous; I remembered myself when I was 6-years-old and my Batman doll had to ride a My Little Pony to get around with. Even then it was very frustrating. I decided that I wanted to do something with toys. At this point my love for popular culture kicked in; I wanted to work with pop-icons. I had to find a toy which provided a good basis for my work. I tried Barbies, Action Mans, He-Man dolls, tin soldiers, plastic animals… They didn’t fit. Then I remembered that frustrating pink My Little Pony, the ever faithful partner of My Batman doll. It was perfect! My Little Ponies are so plain; some plastic and fake hair. They didn’t have a gender and the fact that I could transform a human character into pony form was really exchiting. It didn’t set any boundaries; I was free to explore pop icons the way I wanted to; how they are born?What kind of feelings the cause in us? What kind of features are needed to be recognized? What makes Batman Batman? When does the border between human and animal start to fade?

MPB: What was your first custom?

MK: My first custom was My Little Batman.

MPB: You have done Star Wars, He-Man, and DC Comic custom Ponies. What other pop culture characters do you want to tackle?

MK: My next project is a series of real-life icons, such as Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Dalai Lama… Better to stay tuned!

MPB: Any plans on customizing other toys?

MK: I don’t think so… But you never know!

MPB: Do you collect any toys besides My Little Pony?

MK: Yes I do, I love He-Man, Batman and Star Wars toys. And those vintage metal robots!

MPB: What are some projects you are working on right now?

MK: Besides the series of real-life icons I’m painting and doing traditional printmaking. I’ve got my hands quite full!

You can see more of Mari’s work at her website www.marikasurinen.com.


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