Ratfink Interview

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What was your very first custom?

My very first GI Joe scale custom was Targat. My main memory of making that custom was using green stuff to make the stitching across the chest and how insanely proud I was of it. If you Google long enough you can still find it.

Original TARGAT custom
2012 TARGAT custom

Where do you feel your artistic talents come from?

I love toys, I love what it does for people and what it can do for the imagination. For the past 7 years I have been actively making custom toys and only within this past year do I feel I'm actually making what I set out to make. The creative drive has always been there. If I wasn't working on plastic I would be doing something else. If I couldn't be creative my life would drastically different.

You've created tons of totally unique characters with inspiration from so many medias, it would be impossible to list. When creating them, do you start with an intentional design or do you let the parts map out your direction?

That really depends on if it is for a customer. I am just making it to have fun or if I am sitting one day and the idea just happens. For a customer I plan it out as much as possible and work with the person to ensure they are happy with the direction its going. If it's my own projects it tends to be just pure chaos, but some of my best stuff has been because it wasn't planned.

Can you give a brief walk through of your customizing process?

I wake up, hang around a bit and then go into my workshop and work sometimes 5 hours, sometimes 10 hours consistently at least 6 days a week.

What do you feel separates your style from your imitators?

If you give credit for something you are copying I wouldn't even consider that imitation. It then becomes that persons own version. I love seeing those! It's when you try and play something off as your own when all you did was copy it, for me that makes you a scumbag. After years of doing this I don't put to much stock into those people, there are way to many other talented people out there.

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, what were you totally mistaken about when you started customizing?

I chased the dollar for the first few years trying to make a profit off of my work and in that time I should have been trying to improve my technical abilities.

What other customizers get you the most excited when you see they posted new work?

I know a lot of the people in our community, that list would be to long for this interview! But here are a few people who come to mind: MSWI , sithfire creations, Skiman and Snow Corporation. There are a ton of other amazingly talented artists.

Have there been any instances where you were able to apply something you've learned from customizing in your day to day life?

I see everything in steps, like a 2d blue print in my head. I think that is every bit because of customizing. Also it has taught me to take my time no matter what. I also build props for my wife's photography business and my skills definitely come in handy there.

What do you feel has been your greatest customizing accomplishment so far?

I don't think I have one yet. I have a lot of crowd favorites, everyone loves my zombies and my steam-punk stuff. I'm not sure I have one just yet.

If you could take one figure and one vehicle back in time with you to prevent the Zombie Outbreak, which would they be?

Battlewagon and Cesspool! If we will be a rag tag duo of death I would like to be the handsome one!

Cesspool showing his good side

Custom highlights

Additional work

You can follow Ratfink of Facebook and on Youtube for some of his tutorials and custom showcases. Be sure to check out his Youtube video covering all of his 2012 customs. You can also listen to him on his One of a Kind Workshop podcast.

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