In a world of increasingly complex and detailed sculpts, CYSM's distinctive artisans make an impression with simple, well-executed form. Wenjian graciously responds from Malaysia, to share with us how he and his partner Shirley got started, and how vinyl toys inspired the clean, smooth aesthetic that have made their caps a hot commodity.
I initially started exploring resin casting because I needed a replacement cap for the 1.5u ESC key on my first board, the Vortex Rac3.
I didn't really think about becoming an artisan maker until I lost artisan raffle sales for 6 months straight. After taking so many L’s, I moved on and made my own artisans for my board.
I first started this hobby back in December 2017. My first few sculpts, however, didn’t make it to official release. My first release was in mid 2018, around July, with Lickitons and it sort of pulled me even more into this hobby. Later on, I asked Shirley to help me out as I'm super bad with color mixing/matching, hahaha! If she wasn's around, CYSM will probably only have mono and basic R/G/B colorways.
The bulls are the very first sculpts that I've sculpted (see images below). They are very much inspired by Artkey’s Bull. I made them for myself because Artkey is not running them anymore and the aftermarket price is too much for me, as I had just started the hobby back then. As for the Gameboi sculpt, it’s very straight forward: inspired by the Game Boy handheld console. I didn't release it because right when I was perfecting it, Retrochick x Tinymakesthings released their Keymo. Hence, I stopped working on it as I worry people might feel that I’m plagiarizing their work if I released it at that time.
I equally love both sculpting and casting as it’s always a surprise to see how it looks like at the end of the day; it’s so soooooo rewarding. As for the what I like least, no doubt it’s making molds. To me, the mold-making step is somewhat frustrating as it is very tiring and time consuming.
Vinyl toys! There’s a lot of toy artists that make super cool stuff with funny juxtaposition into a vinyl toy. Also the finishes on a vinyl toy ultimately influence me to have a similar finish on our work - gotta love that smooth matte finish, wuhh. As for colorways, the community has always inspired us to cast something that is fun and relevant at that point of time.
The list will be endless! This community has a lot of great artists!If i’m going to name a few, they would be... i) Artkey’s Bull & Brocaps’s Brobot. I first joined the r/MK community with the “artisans sucks” mentality. It was the Bulls and Brobots that changed me and made me appreciate artisans keycaps. ii) Hello?’s Bongo Cat!! They are super fun and casted in too many unbelievable ways. iii) Artkey’s Sirius. These caps have multiple elements that are squished into a cap but ended up looking super awesome! iv) Brewcaps’ Pain. Have you seen the details on this bad boy? Brew is a mad lad.
Without question, the community is what I like most. This hobby has a community that is so f****g awesome in every single way.The thing that I wish could be different is for me to stop getting so many losses in other artists and makers’ raffle sales. RNGesus pls! 3
Read up on Bob Ross’s quotes, they helped me a lot when I first started making artisans, and they are still very relevant up until this day.“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you're willing to practice, you can do.”