Dok A

Tiberius Shutterbug

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Not to rub it in, but we’ve gotten a look at all of Doktor A‘s pieces for Oddfellows, and you should really just go ahead and remain close to padded objects, because you will be knocked off your feet. Doktor A has been working at a level of near obsessive detail(actually, probably just obsessive), and the work looks amazing from every angle.

Below are some sneaky little previews of a brassy gentleman called Tiberius Shutterbug. You can probably guess that there’s a camera involved, but you should plan to have your mind blown by the level of meticulous minutia in this piece, right down to the perfect little rivets and actual tiny faux vintage photographs. How many photographs, you ask? Surely no one would really bother making more than five…maybe ten of them? Well, there’s more than ten. More than twenty actually – there’s thirty-three of them.

ShutterburgTeaserLorez ShutterburgBirdyLorez

Doktor A writes:

The new science of Photography heralds a fresh artistic era.

One in which the everyman can create images as beautiful as any trained painter. Why hire a professional, when with the simple application of basic equipment, anyone can take their own pictures?

A popular idea not shared by Tiberius. Anyone may be able to click off a few snap shots, but it takes great skill to make truly great images.

Just don’t get him started on the advantages of photographs over paintings.


We look forward to welcoming Tiberius Shutterbug and his miniature photography portfolio to Stranger Factory. Doktor A and Chet Zar’s Oddfellows opens on May 3rd.

An Interview with Doktor A and Chet Zar

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So, we really love Doktor A, and we really love Chet Zar over here at Stranger Factory, so our hearts are exploding with anticipation for their two person show, Oddfellows, opening in less than a week! Both of them come from diverse professional backgrounds in film, television, music and design, and their uniquely beautiful personal work is sought after by collectors worldwide.

This time, we turned to our friendly forum elf helpers, to crowdsource some interview questions for Doktor A and Chet Zar. Read on to learn more about their collaboration, their processes, how they met and more!

CP: How did your collaboration come about? When did you first find out about each other’s work and how did you meet?

DOKTOR A: I can’t actually recall where I first heard about Chet and his work. I think it was probably Juxtapoz magazine, around 2006. I know I was annoyed I couldn’t get to his Ugly American show at the Strychnin gallery in London 2008, but I purchased a programme which I pored over for ages. We were both in the Noxious Fumes show at Rivet in October of 2008 as well, and that was a big thrill for me. It was a gas mask themed show, which was great fun. I actually ended up purchasing two of Chet’s paintings from that show.

When I was in L.A for Designer Con in 2011, I got to meet Chet via our mutual friend and talented sculptor Neil Winn. We had some splendid pizza, and Chet suggested we should work together on something. When the idea for a two man show came about, we spent a few months emailing sketches of ideas for a collaborative piece back and forth until we came up with something we both liked, was balanced well and would be able to be built modularly as we couldn’t be in the same place at the same time to work on it. I did my parts first and shipped them to Chet who then sculpted his magic around them.

CHET ZAR: I think I first heard about Doktor A from Guillermo del Toro. He is a big collector of both our works, I believe. And it is true- Neil Winn introduced us. He is a great guy and a talented artist. We had lunch at my favorite local pizza joint, Zelo (cornmeal crust gourmet pizza!). After one lunch, it felt like we had been friends for years! A collaboration seemed like the natural thing to do. I think this collaboration might be the best I have ever participated in.

(below, Doktor A, Chet Zar and Neil Winn, in 2011 – pulled off Doktor A’s blog.)

CP(via jaysea420): What are the major influences in your life that you feel first determined your direction? We’re especially interested in influences that date back to childhood…favorite books, artists, television shows, music, etc.

DOKTOR A: Oh, many and varied! H.P.Lovecraft is never far away. I grew up in the 1970’s on a steady diet of Doctor Who and Ray Harryhausen; they were probably what started it. The first thing I remember sculpting(when I was maybe five) was a Zygon from Dr. Who in terracotta coloured Plasticene. Then , there were the likes of Brian Froud and Edward Gorey. H.R. Giger and Tolkien. Vivian Stanshall and Guillermo DelToro. It’s all in a big melting pot.

CHET ZAR: B horror and sci fi movies, horror comics, Heavy Metal magazine from the 70’s, Giger, Beksinski, Frazetta…it’s a long list that could go on forever.

CP(via dinkycow): Are you a planner? Do you sketch out every detail of a character before you begin or do you just begin creating and let your work evolve as you go?

DOKTOR A: My characters are generated in one of three ways. Sometimes, I come up with the written biography of the character and then work out what they look like in rough sketches or ink drawings and then build them. Or, I sketch a character and then start to piece together the physical sculpture, all the time altering and refining – at this stage, the personality of the piece starts determining their story. Or, I find a particular item or piece of junk which inspires the whole creation, look, story and all.

(image below is Doktor A’s impeccably organized toolkit)

CHET ZAR: I am primarily intuitive with my work. I plan things out a bit, but it’s not about logic for me. It just needs to fit my aesthetic. My main criteria is that it is fun to paint and something that I would like to look at. I usually create small studies in oil, sometimes in Photoshop first, and then base the larger piece upon that, always leaving room for a piece to develop during its creation.

(below, a Chet Zar study, paired with a final painting. From his Instagram feed.)


CP (via dinkycow): You could pick any place to show your work, with a group of artists (dead or alive) of your choosing in any time period– where, who, when?

DOKTOR A: I am honoured and happy to be showing now and with the awesome peer group I find myself in. It’s exciting times for art. Boundaries are coming down. People are re-claiming art from those who want to cloister it and make it elite. Craftsmanship is once again being prized. Its refreshing and exciting.

CHET ZAR: I agree with Dok A – I think today has some of the coolest galleries, artists and opportunities.

CP(via Brad): What are your top three sci fi films? Top three horror films?

DOKTOR A: This is Brad’s question, isn’t it? (ed note: yeeep.) He asked me this months ago and it has been eating away at me ever since . I love sci-fi films but just picking three is torture. First would be “Quatermass and the Pit,” for sure. Although in my mind, a lot of the material from the original BBC mini series works its way into my memory of the film. I think they both have their strong points and the meld of the two gives me my experience of Mr. Kneale’s seminal work.

Second, is probably “Forbidden Planet” It’s such a beautiful, perfect, smart movie which is ageless. It also seems to hint at the same themes that Lovecraft was writing about. (Actually Quatermass and the Pit does too).. which is a recurring thread in things I find of interest.

The third choice is where I get stuck. It would be too obvious to say Blade Runner or Alien or some-such (I never really got on with the Star Wars films and consider them to be fantasy films rather than sci-fi anyway). I love Ridley Scott’s films of course – yes, even Prometheus – but think I would probably finally settle for something like Inception or Children of Men over them…though I still can’t bring myself to choose.

Horror films I enjoy, but don’t go crazy about. I prefer a good ghost story to an out and out gory horror. Things like “The Haunting” or “Dead of Night” are more my cup of tea. I think “The Stone Tape” is probably the most terrifying thing I have ever watched (Nigel Kneale again). I love “The Mist”; stuff that’s bleak is good. And I also enjoy the early Amicus and Hammer era movies. “The Abominable Doctor Phibes” films and “The Asphyx” are regularly watched in my house.

CHET ZAR: I think we are opposite in that way. I am more of a horror guy but I do love sci-fi as well. For sci-fi, Alien is up there, The Matrix, The Thing…I like a lot of the old cheesy stuff from the 50’s and 60’s as well.

For horror, the original Night of the Living Dead was a big one for me. The original Dawn of the Dead and The Exorcist are also up there.

(below, another look at the collaborative sculpt by Chet Zar and Doktor A)


CP(via jaysea420): Where do you see this toy-art scene going; how do you think it can be improved?

DOKTOR A: I think its shrinking in size and becoming more grass roots. More people self producing, less larger companies. Its never going to be a place for anyone to make any serious money so it naturally excludes large corporations. They may steal the odd piece is imagery once in a while but they have no place here. You can see in the way that any toy company of any size ( Toy2R, Kidrobot) eventually moves into licensed products as that is where the large sales numbers are. I see more resin and rapid prototyping by individuals selling direct to collectors.

CHET ZAR: I am kind of out of the loop as far as toys go. I think my stuff would make great toys, but I haven’t really had the opportunity yet. I hope this collaboration that Doktor A and I have created will help change that.

Chet Zar and Doktor A’s Oddfellows opens at Stranger Factory on May 3rd with a reception from 6-9pm. Chet Zar will be present.

Something is brewing in Dok A’s Lab!

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You aren’t looking at something from the lab I am working in right now, but an actual teaser from a piece Dok A has coming up for Oddfellows. Lab equipment strikes a chord in many of our hearts, and it leaves me to wonder what this Machiavellian robot created by the good Doktor is up to?

Bottles of euphoria, melancholy, and sin can only mean that this robot is toying with our synapses and neurotransmitter signaling, which might be a good thing.


Chet Zar and Doktor A’s Oddfellows opens at Stranger Factory on May 3rd.

Big Desk, Little Desk.

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Doktor A has been sending us pictures of his worktable lately, so when he sent this picture along, we were a little surprised to see that he’s tidied up a little bit.

Nooooope. That’s not his worktable. That’s just a blatant display of his incomparable miniature modelling skills. Go ahead, squint at it, revel in the tiny details, and be blown away with the knowledge that this perfect little drafting table is about the size of your finger.


We have a pretty ridiculous amount of tiny Doktor A details to post coming up, as his work wanders over to sunny Albuquerque, so stay tuned.

Chet Zar and Doktor A’s Oddfellows opens at Stranger Factory on May 3rd.

Dok A + Chet Zar collaboration in the works for ODDFELLOWS

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Collab1This is something that has head exploding potential – Dok A and Chet Zar are collaborating on a piece for their show Oddfellows! It was bound to happen, and with these two great minds working together, we are guaranteed to be blown away with an expertly created and executed work of art. The image above is still in the early stages with Chet sculpting a creature piloting a Dok A machine. Is this a mech, a robot, or a cohabitative arrangement between machine and a carbon based lifeform? At this early stage, it is safe to say that this piece will be epic! EPIC, I tell you!



an early look at Doktor A’s workbench

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There is some mechanical magic happening on Doktor A’s workbench for Oddfellows, and we’re tingling with excitement to see the brassy details emerge!

Dok A says – “I have broken new ground again with this group of works. I wanted to push some things I started in my New York show a little further, and add another layer of detail. I am very happy with the results.” By that, I think he means that he may have ascended to a plane of mind numbingly glorious detail. Seriously, look at this block and tackle pulley system, rendered in miniature.



Expect a panoply of pieces from Doktor A for Oddfellows – cast resin, dioramas, even a collaboration with his show partner, Chet Zar! It’ll be riveting, we promise(Get it? Rivets? Oh, I crack myself up.). Stay tuned; we have some teaser shots of something called a Shutterburg coming up.

Chet Zar and Doktor A’s Oddfellows opens at Stranger Factory on May 3rd.

Doktor A’s Maxi Phizogs

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The first ever ToyCon UK is upon us this weekend, and we hope that many of you are lucky enough to attend this inaugural event! Our perennial favourite Doktor A will be present and exhibiting, and the convention will see the first release of his fantastic Phizog wall plaques(which we also covered earlier).

However, for those of us who don’t get to travel to London this weekend, we’ll also be featuring Doktor A’s work at Stranger Factory in May, in conjunction with Chet Zar, in a two person show titled Oddfellows! At his Albuquerque show, Dok A will be debuting yet another size of Phizog plaque – the Maxi. So, if you’re attending ToyCon UK, you can pick up the Mini and Maxi Phizogs and then get a Maxi from Dok A’s Stranger Factory show for a complete set. If you can’t…well, we’ll have something for you in May, anyway!


Shown above are the three sizes of the the Phizog wall plaque(primed, unpainted). We’ll have the largest size only, the Maxi, at Stranger Factory in May, so mark your calendars!



May Shows at Stranger Factory – Doktor A, Chet Zar and Doubleparlour

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May 2013 brings two new exhibits to the Stranger Factory gallery; a dual show by noted character creators Chet Zar and Doktor A, and a special Project Room exhibit by Doubleparlour. 


Oddfellows is a collection of new character work by UK artist and steampunk aficionado Doktor A, and dark art monster-maker Chet Zar. Oddfellows is an expression of how despite their vastly differing styles, both Chet Zar and Dok A are essentially doing the same thing – using inhuman forms to illustrate the human condition. In spite of their gas-mask faces or giant mechanical moustaches, each artists creations are, at heart, just regular joes with lives, wants, dreams of their own. By using non-human characters, each artist is able to force the viewer to focus less on the superficiality of human form and bias and more on the details of each character’s existence.

As Doktor A says, “Even though our respective creations believe themselves to be quite ordinary they are of course quite extraordinary…as are we all.”


The Stranger Factory Project Room will be showing Doubleparlour’s newest exhibit of hand-crafted resin figures, Pink Eye. This exhibit features Doubleparlour’s trademark monsters, mutations, and animal hybrid characters experiencing the full range of familiar human emotion.

From pain to pleasure, and joy to dismay; by exploring human emotion through familiar but inhuman forms, Doubleparlour give us the opportunity to see what we might just look like on the inside.

Chet Zar is a renowned monster-maker and character artist whose work has been seen in “The Ring”, “Hellboy I & II”, “Planet of the Apes” and critically acclaimed music videos for the art metal band Tool.

Doktor A is one of the most well-known steampunk character artists in the world, and his work has set the industry standard for mechanical gentlemen. His characters have been produced by multiple companies including Arts Unknown, DYZ Plastic, and Kidrobot.

Doubleparlour is Ernie and Cassandra Velasco, a husband and wife artistic collaboration living in San Francisco, CA.

(Press Release by Steve Brown – contact Steve at for more information and high resolution images)

A 5 Piece Screen Print Set for all Circus Fans

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Before you get overwhelmed with the awesomeness of Monsters and Misfits III, coming to Takayama, Japan in September, pick up the 2012 Monsters and Misfits II Screen Print Set

This 5 piece set contains iconic characters by Doktor A, Amanda Louise Spayd, Chris Ryniak, Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters.This amazing set perfectly embodies the legacy of the 2012 Monsters and Misfits show, and is an outstanding 2D companion for many of the recent 3D sofubi releases of Stingy Jack, Stinky Ginger, Calliope, and more. This hand pulled, hand signed, and numbered prints screenprinted by Tiny Bird Press are an edition of 125 measuring 8″ x 10″ on French Speckletone paper.

5 prints are only $125, and can be found in the Circus Posterus Store here. 

Amanda Louise Spayd Screenprint for Monsters and Misfits II

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Dok A’s “Heart of Empire” for the Conjoined III show

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The gears have definitely been turning in the glorious mind of Doktor A. For his contribution to the Chet Zar curated  Conjoined III group show at Copro Gallery in L.A opening on January 19th, Dok has created a meticulous gear laced heart. Perfectly titled “Heart of Empire“, this amazing piece is made of vinyl, lead, rubber, paper, fabric, vintage clock parts, and winding key. This vital organ even comes in a vintage oak box. Splendid work as always from the good Doktor!

In the meantime, if you are looking for some of Dok’s production work, we have some in the Circus Posterus Store.

EmpireHeartFrontLorezTo see more detailed pics of this gorgeous clockwork heart, click MORE

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