We have so much talent in the Supernatural fandom! Fans draw, edit photos and videos, write fan fics, create costumes or props, make jewelry and much more. It’s time to showcase some of the #SPNFamily’s talent and ask the people behind the creations some questions!
I’d like you to meet HR, the man behind some amazing sculptures. Some of you may know him and some not. I bet all of you will love him and his sculptures after the interview.
Like always, my first questions are about Supernatural. How and when did you get trapped in the Supernatural Fandom?
Well, if I can remember, I was in my freshman year of high school looking up a book to read for class. I chose one called the Demon’s Lexicon. When I was looking it up, I ran into a photo of two guys with these very stoic looks on their faces. I didn’t think anything of it and did not revisit them until 3 years later during my senior year. It was 2012, and I started watching season 1 when season 7 was just about to finish airing. I loved this show and I wanted to talk to other people about it. So I joined Twitter and started chatting and showing my art to anybody who would look at it. I’ve always been a fan of TV shows and movies that have fan bases, but I never felt like I was a part of a fandom until Supernatural.
What does the Supernatural Fandom mean to you?
The Supernatural fandom means so much to me because it is my safe place of encouragement. I grew up not having very many friends or not having much in common with what I wanted to do in life. I feel lucky that I have a family that encouraged me to keep being an artist and go to school for it, but when I joined the Supernatural fandom I gained a second family. They are one of the main reasons why I’ve improved as an artist over the past eight years. The show and the fandom really are my muse to create; they inspire me to go forward and create more.
How and when did you start sculpting? Did you teach yourself?
I started sculpting at the age of 11. I taught myself, but I had a little bit of molding and casting techniques in college. School also helped me learn how to time out and schedule my projects so that I wouldn’t lose track of time on due dates.
What was your first sculpture ever and why did you choose it?
The very first sculpture I can remember doing was at the age of 11. It was an attempt to make a Buffy the Vampire Slayer figure. At the time, I was collecting a lot of Buffy merchandise and I was so impressed with how the figurines looked that I wanted to try to make my own. It inevitably broke into pieces and that’s when I learned that structure is so important, lol.
Can you tell us more about the process, from the beginning (idea) to the finished sculpture?
I usually get inspired to make a sculpture based on two things: I really like the character or I really want to attempt to capture a person’s likeness. From there, I’ll grab a piece of clay and reshape it to be as close to the person’s face as possible. If I see that the likeness is coming through and I could possibly capture it, that’s when I decide to make small sketches or gather photos to see a person’s posture or stance that I want the piece to have. I’ll then continue to sculpt the body using Super Sculpey firm (this is usually available on Amazon or any art craft store). After I finish sculpting a piece, I usually silicone mold it with a product called Oomoo 30. I’ve then cast the figurine using Amazing casting resin (this material can last for a very long time). Then comes the pesky cleanup of the figurine with sanding and smoothing out air bubbles. The next part is where I can sit down with my acrylic paints and figure out skin tone colors and what will be needed for the outfit. Hopefully, it all comes together.
What is the most difficult part at creating sculptures? I would imagine the face is the hardest part.
I’d say that capturing a person’s likeness can be complex and yet as I sculpt more I see that there is a pattern that a lot of humans share. Everybody has a feature that if you get just a little bit off will ruin it. Certain people can be harder than others. I’m also trying to get better at sculpting hands because my current sculptures are molded and casted hands, but I would like to get better at actually sculpting them. Getting the distance and height of ears can be complex as well. Molding and casting is not only timely and confusing at times, but very expensive. I am not the best molder, but it’s worth it to be able to have a resin copy of your fragile clay figurine.
I saw a picture on Twitter with your sculptures from then and now. Do you want to share that with us and how do you feel about the development?
Honestly I have to remind myself how far I’ve come when I feel my art isn’t up to par to maybe make it professionally. It’s a reminder to be proud of where I’m at even though I know I can get better. I also love showing the development because it truly shows what supporting your artist looks like.
Even with my sculptures from 2013, I was still getting support from this fandom and they were featured in the 200th episode Special. “A Very Special Supernatural Special” (it aired between the season 9 finale and the season 10 premiere, and is included in the season 10 DVD)
Even though I had a lot to learn, the support is truly motivational.
Not sure if you can decide, but what is your all-time-favorite sculpture and why?
I honestly don’t think I can choose a favorite sculpture. I get feedback from people who tell me that they have [more of] a certain fondness for particular sculptures than others, but I tried to treat them all the same and just keep making them better.
I know that some of the stars not only met you, they also saw the sculptures you made of them. Can you share some of the moments, their reactions and how you feel about it with us?
I feel lucky to say that any sculpture I’ve made from the Supernatural cast, I’ve had a chance to show them and have a few conversations with their human counter parts. They’ve all been great.
Out of the entire cast, I’ve shown Misha every Castiel sculpture I’ve ever made since 2015. I really appreciate his support and feedback of my art. It was in 2017 that I learned he picked one of my original Castiel sculptures to be in an article (“The Core” pic above) he was a part of for The University of Chicago when they asked him to curate some fan art. I was touched by that because this is a guy who’s seen a lot of fan art in his day from a very talented fandom.
I recently met Lisa Berry and that was really great because she’s been a fan of the show longer than I have, and I was so pleased that she liked it.
Jared’s reactions are always fun and Jensen has also given some nice feedback.
During 2019 Vegas con, Richard gave my Gabe sculpture a shout out on stage and I thought that was really cool of him.
Another great moment was when I got to meet Felicia Day. I’ve been a fan of hers longer than I’ve been a fan of Supernatural. She gave me some feedback saying that I captured her likeness in a way that a lot of professional companies haven’t. Getting that kind of feedback was really impactful because it is something I’d like to do professionally. She’s awesome.
Kim and Briana were super sweet and excited when I showed them the sculptures I made from early 2017. All of them have been very kind.
I know you sell those cute Moose, Squirrel and Catstiel sculptures. Are you selling other sculptures too, or do you make customs when someone asks you?
As of right now, my little animated figurines are the only things I’ve sold. They’ve done very well in the past and I always try to come up with new things, but my more detailed sculptures I usually don’t sell. I tried to be careful about things like that. I would love to one day work for a company to sculpt detailed likenesses that are tied to licenses. I don’t usually sculpt one offs by commission, but if I was asked to capture a likeness or work on a project for a company or art team of that nature, I would like to try that because that’s close to a dream job for me. Commission work as a 3D artist is more complex than working on a 2D project; mainly because of materials needed.
Do you use other ways to be creative besides the sculptures?
Well, before I started taking sculpting more seriously, I was always drawing. When I would draw, I was still trying to capture likenesses more than I was drawing landscapes or objects, so the need to capture a likeness has been with me since the age of 9 probably. In recent years, I’ve really started to fall in love with painting my sculptures because I realize it can be such a huge part in bringing a 3D form to life.
What are your plans for the future? New sculptures or something else?
I’m always thinking of new projects that I want to pursue. I’m definitely going to be working on some different variations of my HR critters. I’m still trying to build my portfolio of capturing likenesses. I have some other Supernatural sculptures I want to do, plus Walking Dead characters and Lucifer from the Netflix series. I’m always thinking of stuff. I’m also trying to learn more about the inevitable digital sculpting world. Professionally it’s becoming more and more common, but I hope to use my traditional abilities in that realm as well because some of the most detailed pieces I’ve seen were done traditionally.
Is there anything else you like to share with the SPNFamily?
Just that their support for the past 8 years has made me a better artist and they’ve gotten me through a lot of doubt that I have towards myself and art. SPNFamily is a special thing that I know a lot of us feel lucky to have.
Now it’s time for the question I ask everyone. If you could change only one thing in the world right now. What would it be and why?
If I could change one thing about the world right now it’d be to gain an understanding of the difficulties of the human condition. I feel that even though we are all on different paths of life, we all have hardships that are difficult to describe. Whether it be physically or mentality, and understanding of those difficulties may make life a little easier.
There is one thing I want to share with you. Nightsky (our managing editor) met you at SPNVegas this year and she said you are a nice person and that you are very proud of your work. She was happy to meet you.
It was so nice to meet her. It’s always interesting to meet people at conventions. A lot of the time I don’t recognize people right away because I don’t see the faces behind social media accounts. It’s so cool to either put a face or a voice to someone you know of. I enjoyed showing my sculptures to Nightsky and the rest of the SPNFamily.
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me!
Please share your comments, questions, and reactions below! If you want to follow HR, the links are below:
Facebook: Hrzone2 Sculpture
Thanks for reading.
-Using Words, Telling Stories, The Writer Business-
Read More Stories of Fans who have been “Inspired by Supernatural”! They can all be found in WFB’s “Lighter Side” articles!