The creatives who collect things

CR speaks to illustrator Rob Flowers and designer Đức Lương about the collections they’ve built, to understand the joy they get from them and how they’ve informed their work

Many of us have an innate desire to collect things, sometimes it’s to find out more about a subject and other times it’s for nostalgia, a reminder of something we once had. For the creatives who’ve built collections alongside their practice, it’s interesting to note the ways in which these piles of things can then inform their work.

For illustrator Rob Flowers, his collection of toys has not only sparked ideas for his practice but at various points parts of it have been a focal point of the work itself. “I’ve always been into toys ever since I was little but I started seriously collecting again when I was in my second year at university,” he tells CR.

Toys from decades past like plastic figurines and old McDonald’s mascots form the basis of Flowers’ collection but he’s broadened this out to ceramic prints and anything that features good character design. “I think the internet and eBay really enabled my collecting habit. Being able to find so many amazing objects from all over the world so easily is magical really,” he says.

Top and above: Rob Flowers’ toy collection