Tell us about your background! What led to your job at Funko?
I've been doing art in one form or another since I was a kid, and after working in insurance for a few years after high school, I decided to go back to school to get my Bachelors in fine arts. I finished my four year degree at Digipen here in Redmond, WA.
Once I graduated, I worked odd jobs and did commission work for about a year before a friend and former classmate (now coworker!) told me of an opening I should apply for at Funko, and here I am now, around 6 months later!
What do you do for Funko?
I work on the art team! I render 3d models of Funko products and prepare them for marketing and packaging. This includes digitally painting the 3d models based on paints, concept art, or color guides. After that, I take the model into a digital lightroom and take a snapshot of it. Then I do some final editing in Photoshop, and hand the pieces off to the photography team or marketing.
What are your biggest artistic influences and/or who are your favorite artists?
My favorite artists include Wayne Barlowe, Moebius, Egon Schiele, Klimt, Rebecca Sugar, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, and Adam Adamowicz. I've taken inspiration from many sources, like the art of the Zelda and Pokemon games, as well as anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion. More recently, I've enjoyed the art style in games like Dishonored, and films like Pacific Rim and Mad Max.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on at Funko?
I really enjoyed working on the renders for the Steven Universe Pint Size Heroes! I also loved rendering the Cowboy Bebop and Rick and Morty Pop!s, Fallout Dorbz, and every Pop!/Dorbz Ride I've worked on. I seriously enjoy rendering the vehicles in those.
What programs and/or tools do you use most often?
At work, I generally use ZBrush, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Outside of that, I enjoy using paint (oil and gouache), ink, and clay. I also use Photoshop and Krita for personal or commissioned digital work.
What is your dream project?
I'd love to work on Fallout: New Vegas, Deep Space Nine, Frasier, or Morrowind toys! My dream project right now is somehow getting to work on toys of the characters from the podcast, "The Adventure Zone."
What do you collect?
I have a pretty huge bottlecap collection at this point, alongside various Fallout collectibles. I also seem to collect art supplies I can never find the time to use. And of course, since I started working at Funko, I've collected quite a few toys!
What is your favorite medium?
I really enjoy working in oil paints, though I don't currently have much room to indulge in that. I got a Cintiq from my husband last year for my birthday, so I've been working mostly in digital medium since I finished up with school. If I had infinite money and space, I'd love to work more in clay.
Any advice for aspiring toy designers?
Keep creating! Learn new tools and new mediums, find new things that inspire you, and have FUN!