I am going to start doing interviews with artists who create things that would be of interest to Luck and Luster readers. I thought that doing an interview with someone who sculpts skeletons, demons, zombies and all manner of dark, demonic and evil creatures would be perfect right before halloween.
How did you get started with sculpting?
I think the earliest sculpts I did were for miniatures where I couldn’t stand the face or some other body part. I would use modeling putty to alter the figures then repaint them to use in dioramas or table top rpg’s. I didn’t free hand sculpt until a couple years later when I took my first Sculpture class. I believe it was a culmination in my other abilities that led me to sculpting,- modeling,painting & modding miniatures. I wanted to see if i could learn to create something on my own that no one else is making. My prize piece aside from the Human skull was a rendition of the incredible hulk, which had broken in a earth quake some years later. One of several earth quake deaths for heavy ceramic pieces over the years. I think I’ve recovered from the loss since then =).
What drew you to sculpting nether imps, demonettes and crypt walkers instead of say… trees, deer, children or anything else?
I suppose I have a fascination with the magical & fantastic. I used to read the Fighting Fantasy game books growing up, plus any art fantasy magazine always held my attention (heavy metal, dragon magazine). My summers were filled with long nights of D&D in my friends’ parents’ garage. Those were the days, as they say…
Years ago I started keeping a sketch book. Whenever I had what I thought to be a good idea for a sculpt project, I would just make a thumbnail sketch. It doesn’t need to be pretty to preserve your ideas as you know.
What is your favorite bit of lore?
I would say some where between the Greek Mythos, the Arthurian legends & Cthulhu Mythos. There all so interesting & epic. A love of horns, swords & tentacles helps I suppose hehe.
Since you sculpt midnight crawlers and zombies, it seems as though you might have some geeky tendencies or hobbies, what are they?
I’m a Gamer as well as general hobbyist. The drawback is game time takes away from your creative time, the trick is to balance what you like. I just finished Dantes Inferno last week,
it’s a great game & the artwork is top notch. I did make my own PW(persistant World) for a old pc game that I still enjoy called Never
Winter Nights. I host on occasion. It lets you be creative in other ways. writing, level design & encounters. I’m also a comic fan. Of late I don’t collect that many but I subscribe to the free comics from publishers. You can read some on your smart phone now >=)
How did sculpting skulls and dragons evolve into a business for you?
I had finished several sculpting classes at Valley college. most of them being independant study. The teacher knew I wasn’t interested in making garbage sculptures & such, so they pretty much left me alone. They would judge me on my design & creativity.
After my last Art class one of my teachers introduced me to the owner of a Studio in San Bernardino. Kevin (the owner) Hired me after I showed him My work & molds.I worked at the Studio for 4 years. My skill in mold making increased dramatically. I then used that knowledge to help replicate my originals in both hydrostone & resin.
It’s always been hard for Me to market my Art, whether it’s on a website like here on Etsy or consignment in a physical shop. I think its safe to say that I’m not in it for just the money at this point but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to just work on sculpts & orders all day sometime in the future. My pieces seem to go over well at work. Though most of the people I work with would only display my castings during Halloween. I think the next step for me is to advertise more for my Etsy shop in person.
Do you think your geeky tendencies shape the way you make your art and the way you run your business above and beyond just the subject matter of your sculptures?
I think what you do & enjoy has a direct influence on what you make. I get inspiration from books,movies, comics, games, Mythology & even my other ideas from sketches inspire Me. I’m sure if I had a Business background I could run things smoother & possibly make better connections with those that could boost sales. Visibility is always key. I sold more to my co-workers than I ever have anywhere else. There is
something about seeing the item in person than looking at a screen shot online. Etsy remains a great forum to showcase your work though.
What would you say to other unique artists trying to make the same transition?
I would have to say to use other sources to draw people in. You also need enough items to sell & keep peoples interest. If time is a factor for making sales then you can sell in physical stores. Sometimes small shops are great. You can also do custom orders. You just have to weigh if you can sell something wholesale & still have it worth your time. I have never done craft shows but I hear they are hit & miss from my Etsy Group.
Finally, where can we find you and your art?
That’s All for this week. I would like to say a big thank you to Slaine for taking time out of his day to do this interview!