ART/ SPRING   2001                                                                                                                                                                               ISSUE  2
                                                                        By Jim
JIM:  How would you describe yourself in the sculpting profession?

KEVIN:  Outsider.

JIM:  Why?

KEVIN:  I'm trying to develop a somewhat different style than what is currently favored.

JIM:  So you would consider yourself a trendsetter of sorts?

KEVIN:  Hardly.  In this business, like any other, most people really don't care what you think or are trying to do.  I'm just rather tired of the highly imitative work that is currently out there.  Hopefully enough people will find it attractive enough to be profitable. 

JIM:  Tell us a little about what you do.

KEVIN:  I sculpt master copy miniature figurines for mold and toy companies.

JIM:  Explain what you mean by “master copies?”

KEVIN:  The original artwork.  The thing they make the mold out of.

JIM:  What types of sculptures?

KEVIN:  Mostly fantasy and science fiction.

JIM:  How did you get into this profession?

KEVIN:  I saw somebody doing it and thought I could do it better.  I also had an interest in art, especially sculpture.  This is very small-scale sculpture.  I can work virtually out of a shoebox if I had to.  I like sculpture and this proved to be a very convenient way to get into it.

JIM:  What is the biggest/smallest sculpture you have done?

KEVIN:  Usually run between 5mm on up to 100mm.  Mostly things around an inch tall for the most part.

JIM:  What is the price based on?  Size, detail?  Both?

KEVIN:  Both.  The complexity of design.  Complicated works have to be done in several pieces.

JIM:  What is the most difficult piece you have ever done?

KEVIN:  Generally my last one.  I always try to make each one better.  This involves creating new techniques and experimenting with different materials.  When molds are made they are heated up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and are put under a ton of pressure.  So the challenge is to make a highly detailed and sturdy design that incorporates as much action as possible into a flat mold.

JIM:  Do you have any personal favorite pieces that you or someone else has done?

KEVIN:  Usually by the time I am done with them I do not want to see them again.  But when I see someone doing a really nice paint job I get really excited.  There are some very talented painters that can really bring your work to life.  That’s the main reason I enjoy this medium.  The people who purchase it get involved with it and add their own creative touches.

JIM:  How many people sculpt as you do?

KEVIN:  Not many.  There are many who do it on a hobby basis, but to do it professionally requires a lot of practice and time.   There have been major shake-ups in the gaming and miniatures business over the past 8-10 years.  Major companies have gotten bought out.  The distribution network has been turned upside down and with the emergence of online sales there are whole new opportunities for smaller companies that never existed before.

JIM:  Do you see a rise or decline in the future for your profession?

KEVIN:  There should be a rise in all sorts of arts and crafts work.  A small company can now have a very big web presence with affordable shopping cart tech and data management.  A very small operation can be very effective and more flexible than a larger company.  What I do is a boutique type art and it's a lot easier to find a niche market these days.

JIM:  Is there anyone in your profession that you look up to or have great respect for?

KEVIN:  Sandra Garrity is a good friend and a highly talented artist.  She lives just north of Dayton with her husband John and two great kids.  She really hustles.  She has done some toy work and a lot of commemorative pewter collectable pieces for Rawcliffe Pewter and Franklin Mint including Star Wars(c) and Star Trek(c) figures.

Kevin Contos secret to success....the Drimmel tool.



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