Tell us about your background! What led to your job at Funko?
I was really lucky to get my job here at Funko, or at least I consider it that way. I had just graduated art school locally and was trying to figure out not only where I wanted to go in art, but also who would be willing to hire someone so fresh out of school. The idea of working at a toy company never seemed like an option for me. I had been under the assumption that what I had gone to school for wouldn't allow for me to even explore this as an option. However, the opportunity came up and I figured I'd try. I am so glad it worked out because this is more than I could've ever hoped for as a first job in the art field.What are your biggest artistic influences and/or who are your favorite artists?
There are a handful of known artists that I've enjoyed and been drawn to through life. However…and this might sound cheesy…but I would say my mom is actually my biggest influence in art. Growing up she was always artistic and doing crafts. I think that was basically where I got it in my head that I can do this, and fell in love with that artistic side of me. What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on at Funko?
Tough question! I think I gear towards our Mystery Minis series. Sculpting those are probably the most fun. I think this is because the styles are so different and we get to mess with posing the characters in more unique and exciting ways. I like the Supernatural toys - some may say I'm a fanatic for that show, so I've been lucky to get to work on all the toys we've done for that license. Of those, I think my favorite is the gym coach Dean Mystery Mini. Outside of Supernatural, I had a bunch of fun on both Sci-fi series- I think the big robots in this new series were the best to work on. Also, anything classic Disney related is up there. I think my favorite would be the new seated Stitch…super cute!
What programs and/or tools do you use most often?
Zbrush is the big program I use the most. There are others but almost constantly that is what I'm using everyday to get things done.
What is your dream project?
Our company is really great at getting licenses we're excited about. I would say the first two projects that come to my mind that I've already worked on are Sailor Moon (which is yet to be released) and Supernatural.
Regarding licenses I really hope we get in the future and would be ecstatic to get to work on, I'd say anything from Studio Ghibli would be amazing. Although I'm sure if we did get that license there would be a duel within the sculpting department over who would get to work on them! We're all big fans.
What do you collect?
Before Funko I used to only collect movies and books that I enjoyed. However, as I've grown with the company, my collection of toys has expanded. I'd still say I'm a novice collector, but I've broadened my toy collection from purely Funko products to a handful of other items. My desk at work is loaded with all the toys I've worked on - I think that's my favorite collection.What is your favorite medium?
Aside from digitally sculpting I actually really love to traditionally sculpt. Though, currently my go-to thing outside of work has been cosplaying. Sewing costumes is okay but crafting foam to make weapons or armor is tricky and fun. There is a big difference from the control that working on a computer allows. I'm not the best at it but it's a great creative outlet.
Any advice for aspiring toy designers?
Just don't give up. You never know what is waiting for you if you keep pursuing your dreams and continue to push yourself. It's definitely a field that is worth it.