KAWS (American, b.1974) is a notable limited-edition toy and clothing designer. He was born in Jersey City, NJ, as Brian Donnelly. Growing up in New Jersey, KAWS first became interested in graffiti in elementary school, where he spent a good deal of time copying graffiti images onto paper. KAWS’s career began as a graffiti artist in New York, NY, in the early 1990s. His images were seen on billboards, bus stops, and in phone booths. He obtained his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Immediately after graduation in 1996, KAWS began working as a freelance artist for Disney, creating animated backgrounds. Once KAWS began to gain popularity, his graffiti advertisements became highly sought after. He travelled extensively to work in Paris, London, Germany, and Japan. In 1998, he received the Pernod Liquid Art Award, which offers a grant to new artists. In late 1990s, KAWS began to design and produce limited-edition toys. These gained international popularity, especially in Japan. He also began to collaborate on several different toys, some of KAWS’s popular collaborative works include his redesign of Mickey Mouse, The Michelin Man, and SpongeBob SquarePants.