How Marc became a self-taught toy sculptor and designer | COARSE

Hi guys,
Today I have just met an amazing Toy artist in Bangkok!

If you love art toys, you might have heard about him: he’s Marc from the duet Marc & Sven from COARSE.

Coarse Bull Toy Expo Thailand Bangkok Play House.jpg

Coarse Bull Toy Expo Thailand Bangkok Play House

I took the opportunity to have a chat with him and learn a bit from his creative process. In a few words, he often starts his project with quick sketches – However his main tool is a sculpture.  That’s how he brings his imagination to life! 

The Design Sketchbook Chou-Tac - Coarse Marc at Toy Expo Bangkok

Myself with Marc, co-founder of Coarse.

Coarse Toy Sculpture Boxe rainbow ToyExpo Bangkok.jpg

 Coarse sculpture with a rainbow pee!


A day at the Toy Expo in Bangkok!

I went early morning to Thailand Toy Expo at Siam Square. I followed my friend Yves who is the young founder of Funko King, a Canadian distributor of the popular Funko toys. Yves took a 25 hours flight from Canada to Bangkok to meet Prair – the co-founder of Play House – a renowned distributor of Funko Toy in the Asia Pacific.

Funko Cubed Superman Play House Thailand

A cubed version of the Funko from Play house Thailand!

First meeting with Play House 

It was a pleasure to meet the founder and to discover who is behind Play House. Play House is well established. We somehow expected to meet someone corporate and intimidating. But Prair is super fun and simply authentic.

Even though Yves went there for business purpose, we was chatting like friends. He discovered she likes snowboarding, which is pretty surprising from people coming from South East Asia. Haha.

She’s a young and successful entrepreneur. It was full of learning and a simple chat with her was enough to feel inspired.


Team with people you “click” with! 

Nowadays, if you are looking for a great business relationship – You should not look for a “serious and corporate attitude”- It’s so boring and artificial!  Instead, remain yourself and meet people you “click” with.

Being authentic is what you need for your next interview for an internship or a design job. BE YOURSELF. As long as you are passionate, you don’t have to simulate or trying to cheat with a superficial appearance. Just show who you are.

Don’t get me wrong. If a company welcome you at their place and the interview requests special attire, don’t come with a pair of jeans. 😉

Just keep in mind that: People want to work with talented people – Yes but with whom they feel good and trust. It’s how great companies build strong teams.


Interview with Coarse

Let’s go back to the artists from COARSE!

When we reached the Toy Expo, my friend Yves told me:
Hey, I think it’s one of the creators of COARSE! How about saying Hello! to them?

Coarse Bull Toy Expo Thailand Bangkok Play House 2

We simply came closer and say: Hello! 😛

Marc: Hey Hi!

I suddenly realized Marc was super tall (I am 1.80), it was kind of intimidating but he has a friendly aura of sympathy. So it was easy going from the start. Let me share with you our discussion.

“I started with no degree in Design but self-taught.”

Coarse Toy Sculpture Casctus ToyExpo Bangkok.jpg.jpgHow did you start in the creative field?

I started with no degree in art and Design but self-taught. I did my first steps in joining an advertising company with friends. Later on, my career drove me to become a marketing director, but I ended feeling bored. 15 years ago, I started to practice my passion after work. I was sculpting toys. This is how it all started.

Coarse Toy Sculpture cat fish ToyExpo Bangkok.jpg.jpg

As you have no degree, how can you explain your achievements?

It’s all about passion. You don’t need any degree.

Coarse Expo Thailand Bangkok Play House.jpgI complimented Marc about his unique style and choice of colors. Marc shared his mindset:

We started when there was nothing much about such toys. Art toys are nowadays very popular. Since the beginning, we try to do not follow the trend either what people want. We create according to ourselves and what we believe good.

Coarse Expo Thailand Bangkok Play House wood 2

What purpose is today’s event?

This event has a promotion role, but no much about selling. We have just sold 2 of our original pieces. I can’t hide that we have an emotional attachment to them.

I held one of them for more than a year. But I recently created a wood version of it. So I decided to let it go to a customer who loves it. It’s still heartbreaking.

Coarse Toy Expo Thailand Bangkok Play House Tucan

How do you create your toys?

A lot of people ask us is we use 3d printing.
We handcraft. We love making things the traditional way – with our hands. We also paint them all ourselves.

Coarse Toy Sculpture Boxe Rooster ToyExpo Bangkok

What material do you use?

There are 2 types of material of toys you can see here: Resin and Vynil.

    • Resin: The one made of resin is the original piece. The one we handcrafted.
    • Vynil: The ones made of vinyl are reproduction for production.

Coarse Toy Sculpture Whale ToyExpo Bangkok.jpg.jpg

How important is sketching to you?

I use sketching at the start of the creation. But it’s just a very quick one to put down the quick idea. I prefer to search for the form of the sculpture itself. Even after a sketch we still need to look for that 3d form, so I rather start sculpting early.

Coarse Expo Thailand Bangkok Play House Bunny

Thank you Marc. It’s great meeting you!

Hey, I have a blog about Design sketching. Do you mind I share our conversation with my readers?

Marc: Yeah sure!

See more about Coarse work on their website www.coarselife.com


I admire how Marc took accountability of not having any degree in Design or art. He’s a “real-life example” that we can succeed without. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you should not enroll in a design school. But it’s to me a message of hope and courage for whoever wanna get started –

No matter your finance, background, opportunities – if you are passionate, it’s your duty to find a way. 🙂

It’s always full of energy and learning to meet creative people from different horizons. Thank you Prair (from Play House) and Marc (from Coarse) for spending some of your precious time with us!

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About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

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