How does it feel being one of a select few known female customizers in the community?
I don't really think about it much. I'm a customizer, and being a girl is mostly just incidental. I was always a tomboy, so it's easy for me to be just one of the guys anyway. When I first started posting on custom forums lots of people assumed I was a guy and were surprised to find out I'm not. It just never occurred to me to say "Hey, I'm a girl!" LOL! I guess if I put some thought into it, I'm proud to be one of those few. Sometimes I wonder if people react to my work differently when they know I'm a girl...like they feel like they have to be extra nice or something. I'm my own toughest critic, boys...I can handle it! ;)
How did you get started customizing Sigma Six figures?
My son got a Sigma Spirit Iron-Knife for his birthday one year and I was stoked because I hadn't even realized GI Joe was still around. (We live in a fairly rural area with limited toy access.) Right away I wondered what else was out there and when I searched online I eventually ended up at JoeBattlelines where I saw an ARAH-style Sigma Shipwreck WIP by Gawd6sic6. Right away I wanted my son to have a Sigma version of my favorite character ever. I asked lots of questions and looked at lots of customs before I finally took the plunge. I had really only planned to make Shipwreck and be done, but you see how well that worked out. I was working on MacGyver before I even finished Shipwreck!
What tools do you use for sculpting?
Starting with Indy, I began using Apoxie Sculpt. Before that it was epoxy putty from the local hardware store...all I could find at the time. The tools I use most are my fingers, a dental pick and one of the scads of dull Xacto blades lying all over my desk. I used to use my Dremel a lot more to smooth the putty and blend it into the figure after it was set, but now I'm learning to make the long setting time for the Apoxie work for me and do most of my smoothing and blending with my fingers.
What custom of yours showcases the best of your talents?
I'm not really sure. Maybe Tunnel Rat is the best representative because he's got my attention to detail, a little sculpting, and I'm proud of his paint job. He was probably one of my favorites to make, even tho I'm not a fan of the character! I think each one has ended up showcasing something different. I had loads of fun working on MacGyver's details...what other figure comes equipped with matches, paperclips, Swiss Army Knife and duct tape? And I'm especially proud of little things like Shipwreck's hand painted tattoo, both Sigma and 25th. Indy really shows off the progress I've made in sculpting.
Probably Scarlett's the best example of my ability to see potential in a figure and imagine the results...who else woulda looked at Tunnel Rat and seen a woman?
Whose customs do you really like to see?
I'd have a really hard time picking out a favorite customizer because I like to look at a wide range of stuff. Of course I'm mostly drawn to Joes, big or small. Mostly I like to see work that challenges me, regardless of who the artist is, the medium, or how long they've been at it. I always look at a custom with a willingness to learn from it.
If you worked for Hasbro what would you have changed to make fans accept Sigma Six in the world of GI Joe?
I'm not sure there was much that could be done. It wasn't a line to please die hard fans...it was made to draw in kids, pure and simple. I was just excited that my son got so into GI Joe because of that first Sigma figure. He had to have as many as I could find and now he's collecting the 25th style figures. The Sigma line was a great bridge into my childhood that he could relate to. I enjoy the 8 inch line because it's fun, versatile, and has loads of play factor! But I would have loved to see representations of characters that were more faithful to the originals and maybe if the execution was a little less cartoonish it would have been more acceptable to established fans.
Your Indiana Jones and MacGyver Sigma Six style customs are truly inspiring. Do you have any plans for other non-Joes in that style?
Wow...thanks. Nothing solid yet, but I've been challenged a few times to do characters like Han Solo and other guys from the MacGyver universe, like Pete Thornton and Jack Dalton. Making Murdoc was in response to a friendly challenge! I'm tempted by Han and Jack, but I doubt Pete will happen. ;) I do have an original character in progress, but I'm mostly working on his back story before I dive into the custom. One of these days I'd like to do customs of my family just for giggles.
If Richard Dean Anderson and Harrison Ford were both stuck in quick sand who would you try to save first?
Hahaha!! You forgot Shipwreck. ;) I'd have a harder time with this if you'd called them MacGyver and Indiana Jones...LOL! Love both actors, tho I'm not nearly as obsessive about them as I am their characters. I've got a soft spot for RDA because I actually met and interacted with him...plus if he goes under, he can't be MacGyver in the rumored upcoming movie. ;) so RDA first and then we could pull off a death defying rescue of Harry together.
What advice can you give to someone who wants to start customizing?
Just do it. Don't be afraid to mess up or try new stuff. Always be willing to learn, whether you're checking out someone else's work or getting critiqued. Ask questions. Have fun. :)
If you could only have one figure and one vehicle for the rest of your life which ones would it be?
That's the easiest question here! Absolutely my 1985 Shipwreck and my 1984 SHARC.