Passion for figures
Names: Winson Ma Che-hung, William Tsang Chi-wai, Kenny Wong Shun-ming Occupation: Figure designers
Young Post: How did you come together to set up a figure studio?
Ma: All of us had worked as advertising designers before. We were once colleagues and shared the same hobby of collecting figures.
We created the figure series Brothersfree Workers together, which was showcased at a toy exhibition and received a very good response.
The series had eight characters and the story is about the friendship between them.
The first 200 figures were snapped up within an hour at the exhibition. This motivated us to quit advertising and set up the figure studio Brothersfree
We sometimes design promotional cartoons for big companies such as Levi's and Nikon.
YP: Was it a difficult decision to switch to a completely different industry?
Wong: There were indeed some worries at the beginning.
We had been working in advertising for more than 10 years. But we're newcomers in the figure business. We also have a family to feed, but we're earning much less than before.
But we finally made the decision because we really love making figures. I get much more satisfaction from my job now.
My family has given me a lot of support too.
I think it's worthwhile for people to take their interests to heart, even though they may earn less.
YP: What is your greatest satisfaction?
Tsang: The freedom to create. In the past, we had many constraints from our clients in designing an advertisement. But now we can create freely. The clients come to us for our original designs.
Wong: I'm very happy that our figures are well-received in different parts of the world. We have clients from Taiwan, Japan, Russia, the US and Europe.
It is very encouraging to know that other figure-lovers admire our work.
YP: What challenges do you face?
Ma: All of us are designers, so
it's inevitable that sometimes we have different ideas and get into an argument.
But we respect each other and try to settle our differences in a civilised way. We know we all want to make good products.
Individuals who work on their own would not have this problem, but three people can brainstorm together and come up with more ideas, as we have different strengths.
YP: What are the requirements to be a figure designer?
Ma: The most important thing is that you must love playing with and making figures.
You should also be creative. It's much better if you have studied design and have an artistic sense.
You should be knowledgeable about current affairs so as to get more inspiration.
Tsang: After 9/11, we created a series of clowns wearing the uniforms of policemen, firemen and rescuers in recognition of their heroic spirit.
We used clowns because we wanted to cheer people up and view the incident from a positive angle.