Headandhand Featured Customizer
headandhand is the master of taking some crazy directions for customizing. He can take the most random bits for parts and off the wall concepts and make them work. His take on the extreme dirty, gritty post apocalyptic genre is not only believable, but also leaves the rest of us wanting to see more of his universe. Every detail is intricately thought out. Whether it is a gladiator fighter or a nomad cruiser, nothing is ever haphazardly thrown in as filler. If you've never seen his work before, you're in for a treat. Check out his customs from the Critiques section.
A message from headandhand
Thank you for the wonderful honor, JC!
Let me first say that I am very grateful to this community of artisans, and proud to be among you.
In the four years that I've been a member here, I have made some real true friends, with whom I share, above all, a fond interest in this most awesome of creative endeavors.
While I realize that our customizing goals are often very different, I do appreciate each person here for their unique talents, abilities, and perspective. We support one another, we assist one another, and we celebrate one another. This is indeed a brotherhood for which we can all be proud.
As for my work, I would say that I'm just doing my thing here with a passion - and that if others can appreciate that, well I am bettered by it. I am always deeply gratified to know that someone has enjoyed a work.
So ever humbly and sincerely, I thank you, and present headandhand...
Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?
Preferred Fodder: I prefer the newer products, most definitely. I've been really enjoying some of the more recent advances in detail and articulation. Happily, I've been achieving some sensible cohesion by combining newer Joe with MU components. I must admit, though, that I have always had a special appreciation for those super-articulated Marvel SHS figures, just for their poseability.
For my female customs, I have, in the past, enjoyed a few Micro Lady Material Force figures - but even with several different body types available, they remain limited in scale and relegated for use in diminutive physiques. I still enjoy working with the Marvel SHS Invisible Woman as a base.
As a customizer who's put himself in something of a weird niche, I do still struggle somewhat for parts, despite a vast variety of available products at this scale. This is just because my needs have become so specific.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
Paints: I will often mix several types of paints, but use a lot of those common craft paints which are very inexpensive. They allow me far more liberal experimentation with my color mixtures. I may mix a bit of Testors, but have not yet explored many of the brand paints available.
With regard to my approach to painting in general, I suppose that I strive for a certain realism in tones, and probably place the most emphasis on the faces.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
Inspiration: For me, perhaps it is never more available than it is in nature; I am very much inspired by the nature of things, and by things in nature... True beauty is a beautiful truth, as well...
I honestly get my inspiration from everywhere, though. There is no circumstance that is not ripe with it, and I think that being open is the option.
Wonder may actually be the better part of inspiration. That is, when we wonder, we perform a cognitive function conducive to creativity. That would be my theory, anyway. I seem to be perhaps most open when rapt in real wonderment.
As an artist, poet, composer and songwriter, I would say that inspiration for everything works in the same manner - at least for me it does. The muses are everywhere with their little bundles of truth, but the question is, who really pays them any attention?
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
Tools of the trade: Like many of us, it all began with a little mini screwdriver, hahaha. We've come quite a distance from those days, indeed.
The value of a Dremel tool is something that I only just discovered a couple of years ago - and Green Stuff, just a couple of months ago. A sharp pair of shears is a must for me. Various types of glues. Toothpicks are essential.
It might sound platitudinous to say, but in truth, imagination is utilitarian - and easily the most important tool we could have.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
Strong Suit: I don't believe that I have a particular strong suit. Everything about this art feels quite like an expedition, with new discoveries at every turn. I hope to sustain a certain equilibrium with my skills, so that they will continue to evolve together as a set. In that sense, I really hope to never have a strong suit, but to be strong enough in each respective area that matters with regard to what I do.
Style is indeed a very specific thing. For instance, there are certain features that I hope you will expect from a headandhand post:
With regard to figures, I always begin my customs with a nude base composite; I generally look for a good balance of articulation and sturdiness. Then, I add details and paints.
Mechanically, a couple of basic techniques that I have developed would include replacing neck balls with a wire mechanism that allows for a much more realistic range of motion.
Another trick that I use quite consistently is hollowing out boots with a Dremel. It requires a bit of patience, and perhaps a bit of luck, but the result is interchangeable footwear. Many of my customs have several sets of boots for different outfits, and some have a pair of matching bare feet.
When it comes to vehicles and playsets, my focus is again toward a particular degree of realism. I may see the products more as scale models and prototypes. I also try to apply creative solutions to improve the overall functionality, even if it means designing a mechanism from scratch...
We are all, ultimately, engineering translations of a vision.
When I first began posting here, I had been working on a 'verse entitled Darkness, which had featured largely the undead - particularly vampires - and a group of hunters who were also a biker gang called Kingdom Come. The vampire customs are in the gallery, but unfortunately, the vastly improved hunters were only posted on MySpace back in the day. I had presented them in the form of stop-motion animation videos set to classic rock songs, and a few of you might recall those.
Since then, I have found the very last 'verse that I will ever need to create, I think, in FutureShock:2o5o. By design, it is so open in terms of feasible tributaries from the main story that I can likely continue it indefinitely - which is really what I had quite passionately strived to develop.
I truly love bringing characters to life. From the spark of an inclination, through the process of customizing the figures and personal accessories, to the completed write-ups and photos, I just love creating complex characters with interesting traits and personalities.
Character generation is definitely among my favorite activities.
In truth, I put quite a lot of myself into each character bio and stretch of storyline. My goal is to guide the larger story with each individual character bio, without regimenting interpretations, but fostering them.
I create all my 1/18 scale clothing by hand, and will usually include some genuine leather bits or trim. Everything is artistically styled, (first to fit an original concept, which should coincide with the intrinsic fashions of the 'verse, which are specific - then, within the context of a specified environment).
The garb is done in layers for added realism, and is always completely removable. I will very often resort to making several outfits for key characters and figures that I really enjoy.
My signature Realistic Hair can be styled and worn in different ways, just like the real thing. For me, it adds an element of realism. The application process itself is a bit tricky indeed, but in the years that I've been doing it, I have learned a few personal techniques that have made a difference. I can now produce long or short hair in a variety of original styles, and even goatees and beards.
The hair does not fall out, but the entire "hairpiece" can be carefully removed, and will come off like a wig which can then be transplanted onto other figures.
I'm proud to say that the look and feel of the Realistic hair is as close to realism as anything I've found even upwards of our scale.
In general, I will always try to include several other various graphic and photo pieces, which I feel contribute to a particular character, or bit of plot. These might be digital graphic logos, lighting and photo filters, or my own sketch art.
In short, I try to present a completely immersive product with each post, that is intact as a whole, in and of itself, and yet clicks within the collective of the 'verse - and so in contribution to the continuous storyline.
All in all, this is, I suppose, what makes me unique among the community. I would never propose my style to be better than that of anyone else, but that it is entirely my own is what matters most to me.
Creation is a verb
Well, it's been my sig forever now. So what does it mean?
I never see the same piece of art twice.
When we create a thing, it is born a thing in motion, and just as our original interpretations of it invariably continue to change and develop as we do, the artwork itself, conceptually, also mutually grows and evolves.
I never lock myself out of the art after its "completion". I will always allow myself the liberty to return to it, and to change any, some, or all of the piece - that it properly conveys to me a current relevance.
In that manner, the creation itself can never be stagnant or static, but rather, is always overflowing with that original energy, which is infinite. It is the one continuum; creation begets creation. How it inspires, is how that energy is being received. There is ultimate potential - at least, until we limit such by so trying to encapsulate it otherwise.
It can be whole without being quite finished, I think. For this reason, I never call my customs truly "finished", but rather, see everything more in terms of seasons and transitions.
As the painter, Paul Gardner once aptly put it, "[It's] never truly finished, only stops at interesting places..."