Tell us about your background! What led to your job at Funko?
I've always loved making characters, so I went to art school and earned my degree in Video Game Art & Design. I hoped to make video game characters - I had no idea that making toys was even a career option. Funko contacted me about a week before I graduated and I started working here a few weeks later. I've been here about a year and a half now and I couldn't imagine working anywhere else!What are your biggest artistic influences and/or who are your favorite artists?
I take artistic inspiration from so many different sources. My favorite artist of all-time is Francisco de Goya, an 18th century Spanish painter and printmaker. Other artists I love are Jamie Hewlett, who did the art for the original Tank Girl comics, and fantasy illustrators Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallego.
Of course I'm influenced most by my fellow sculptors here at Funko. They're all ridiculously talented and I'm always learning new things from them.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on at Funko?
When I was in school, I wanted to work for Bethesda Game Studios, so it was a bit like a dream come true working with them on the Fallout and Skyrim Pop!s and the Fallout Mystery Minis. I'm a big Fallout nerd, so the Fallout 4 Pop!s are probably my favorite thing that I've mad thus far, especially Dogmeat.
I'm also a big Adventure Time fan, so sculpting the latest series of Pop!s was totally math. The Jake Car Pop! Ride was a lot of fun to make.
Also Star Wars. I'm always excited to work on Star Wars.
What programs and/or tools do you use most often?
I live and breathe ZBrush, the 3D sculpting program I do all of my work in.
What is your dream project?
Legend of Zelda is definitely at the top of my list. One of the first video games I remember playing is the original Legend of Zelda for the NES and I've played every Zelda game since. I'm hoping that one day we can make that one a reality!
Some others on my extensive wish list are Pokemon, Dragon Age, The Witcher, Tank Girl (the original comic version), Saga, and Rat Queens.
What do you collect?
My collection of figures I've worked on is growing to epic proportions. The only other toys I collect are Adventure Time toys. I also collect and paint tabletop miniatures.
What is your favorite medium?
Most of my work is done digitally in ZBrush, but when I do step away from the computer, I love knitting (is yarn a medium?) and making props for costumes, usually using foam.
Any advice for aspiring toy designers?
Don't get stuck working in one style. One day you might be working on a super stylized figure and the next you might need to sculpt a realistic action figure. The more versatile you are as a sculptor (or designer), the more successful you'll be in this industry.