We had the good fortune of connecting with Renee Tay and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Renee, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The hunt of finding once loved and now abandoned vintage toys to recreate into something that will be adored and loved again. By finding quirky toys and figurines, it makes my assemblage sculptures even more unusual. I have searched an old dump on Jamaica Bay in NYC and found doll heads and toys from around the 1940’s. The hunt keeps me entertained and delights my collectors by the finds I come across. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Each piece I make is from once loved and now abandoned toys. My VINTAGE TOY SCULPTURES bring us back to memories of our childhood. Because I have a quirky sense of humor, each piece reflects this attribute. You’re invited to a tea party for a wee wee spot of tea. I create endearing NAUGHTY TEAPOTS from vintage baby dolls and real teapots. Travel the world with my TOY TRAVELLERS made from vintage pull toys and ceramic figures. Have nightmares with my SLUMBER MONSTERS made from vintage creepy toys. I got where I am today by pure determination. No fear to submit to galleries. No fear of rejection. Just do it! Make it happen. Believe in one’s self. Researching galleries that my work would fit it. I am most proud of getting into La Luz De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles twice so far. I have a few other famous galleries I dream of being in. Maybe someday it will happen if I work hard and create new pieces that reach higher peaks.

One of my clients recently has given me the title of:
Saint Renee Tay
Savior of Lost Toys

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When the world is safe to explore again in San Diego. 1) Fiesta De Reyes in Old Town San Diego Historic State Park where I am resident artists.. Dinner at Casa De Reyes. 2) Hotel Del Coronado and lunch back across the bridge for lunch at Salud for tacos 3) Balboa Park and lunch at the Prada. 4) Shelter Island and a seafood lunch at either Point Loma Seafoods or Mitch’s. 5) Cabrillo Monument and then Ocean Beach with a walk on the pier with lunch on the pier at the Barefoot Cafe. 6) Liberty Station to feed the squirrels. Public Market and dinner at Buona Forchetta. 7) Little Italy and Maritime Museum with dinner the new Brigantine restaurant on the docks

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout is to Nathan Cartwright who is the owner of The Hive Gallery in Los Angeles, California. He was the first gallery owner to invite me to show for the first time, my Naughty Teapots as a featured artist in Master Blasters of Sculpture. The first gallery owner to take a chance in me.

Website: https://www.artwanted.com/reneetay/profile/
Instagram: @renee.tay.wee.wee.spot.of.tea

Image Credits
Renee Tay and Tayloe Wimmer

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.