When did you create the first Booty Babe? Was it a moment of spontaneous inspiration or something that you'd been thinking about for a while?
The first Booty Babe was a very slow, evolving process. There were happy accidents along the way, but really I worked on that sculpt for about two years, just tweaking it and coming back to it as I would make observations.
Why Booty Babes? Are you obsessed with Booty?
Honestly,.. I think I am. Yes. I never get tired of the variety of shapes and sizes. Booty gives life. As fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta put it, “…fascinating as hell.”
What is your art background & what are your inspirations?
I have a degree in Industrial Design (a.k.a. product design). I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and inspirations range from Star Wars action figures to Vogue magazine, National Geographic, Frazetta, Coop, and Black Tail ~.
When I met you at the Comic Con, you looked to me like a skinny white guy. Your sculptures, however, seem to have an ethnic vibe. Do people expect you to be more ethnic if they've seen your work before they meet you?
I get that a lot, yes. For instance, a repeat customer of mine was in town recently from NY. We agreed to meet ‘cause he wanted to discuss some custom work. He described himself as having big hair. I told him I’d be wearing a yellow shirt. Well, we found each other at the agreed upon meeting place but not without a lot of looking around.
Another lady was all apologetic for assuming that I was ‘a brother,’ - but it’s all good.
At the comic convention, your booth was surrounded by a lot of horror related comic book artists and toy makers. Do you ever dream of making monsters instead of hot chicks?
Actually I have designed creatures in past employment and I love it – That’s one of the things I like best about Star Wars is the creatures. I also like the Darklings from the Darkness comic book series. I won’t likely market (creatures) among my Booty Babes…but… you never know.
Tell us about the Frankenstein Booty Babe that you are getting ready to unleash for Halloween. What inspired you to do it and how long have you been working on it?
The Frankenstein Booty Babe (the title of the piece is "Kiss the Cook") was one of the original five concepts. I created her about four years ago but was never completely satisfied. An upcoming Halloween, group art gallery exhibition prompted me to pick it back up again and really put some finishing touches into it. She’s getting her own ‘dungeon play-set’ environment. I built a wall of cast cobble stone brick work and gave her an electric chair for ‘guests.’
As for inspiration: as a kid I used to have these great coloring books with classic monsters like the Werewolf Man, Dracula, The Monster from the Black Lagoon, and Bride of Frankenstein. I never colored in them. I just carried them around ‘cause they had great line art. Also, the concept of Frankenstein has always intrigued me because it makes you wonder: “If I was ‘building the perfect beast’ where would I start?” I think we’ve all fantasized about taking the best elements of one celebrity and combining them with the best features of another…For example what would happen if you could take J-lo’s booty, Anna Nicole’s breasts, Naomi Campbell’s face…I’ll leave the reader to come up with his/her own concoction – but the point is - pure fantasy. And stitching them all up with the mystery of what the personality would be like > There’s horror!
Do you make the accessories for the dolls too? What about the electric chair for the Franken-Booty sculpture, did you create that yourself?
I make many of the accessories from scratch or ‘kit bash,’ taking elements from various toys and model kits and combining them to create something custom. Every once in a while a piece of chache you find looks just perfectly suited. In the case of the electric chair I did a bit of research and ‘found a style that I liked’ and made it from scratch out of big planks of real wood and leather.
What was the first horror movie you ever remember seeing - how old were you?
Alien. I was about seven years old. Back then it was only the most privileged of friends who had a VHS video machine!! When I would visit we could watch it over and over.
List five of your favorite horror films?
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
American Werewolf in London
Do you think that modern horror has been hurt by the fact that studios are so interested in getting a PG-13 rating?
I think the PG 13 rating is not as much THE problem – but related. I think in general “Marketing” gets in the way of creating great movies. Marketing steps in and makes sweeping generalizations based on what they’ve already seen. They take their experience working for Coca-cola and then Disney and they play it safe to ensure that they will make a dollar – and more times than not, the artist is pushed to the side so that ultimately we end up with a watered down version of the original creative vision.
How important are each of these elements to you in a horror movie: Scariness? Gore? Nudity?
Hah! There’s always a place for nudity. Especially when there’s no reason for it. (That’s what I love about Russ Meyer – but I digress.) There’s ‘funny scary’ and then there’s really terrifying. I’m very impressed with a film which is truly scary. (But I think they rare.) And gore. I don’t think tons of spewing blood is necessary in a good horror flick. Having said that, I used to find old issues of Fangoria in the dumpsters behind my grade school. And it looks like a lot of fun to make movies like that!
Do you have an opinion on artist H.R. Giger?
I love H.R. Giger’s work. He’s left a very influential signature on the genre. The guy is a true artist with a style of his own. Some of his shit is pretty sick – but I love the dark vertebral design of his work. It’s like you don’t know what his characters are thinking or why they exist but they are programmed. Very unpredictable.
Are you into comic books?
I am – but I’m such a visual person that I buy them for the cover art and admittedly don’t end up reading them half the time.
Would you ever consider doing a Booty Babes versus No-Arse Girls comic or graphic novel?
I do draw but I’m painfully f..ing slow at it. I think of drawing as a preliminary step toward communicating a 3D concept. But I do like story telling and comedy - I have more interest in making a film or a creating a book using 3D art to tell the story.
"Best on Venus" has a retro-Science Fiction thing going on, are you into 50's robots/Japanese monsters?
I am. It’s a fun genre. I have since my first C3PO always loved the robots and creatures. Specifically though, I love the aesthetic of 50’s scifi. I WILL very likely be marketing a ray gun concept based on the “Best on Venus” stunner.
I heard a rumor that you got some inspiration for the "Heavy Metal" Booty Babe from scream queen Julie Strain - can you give us a little background on that piece?
I got the idea for that piece when I was standing in line, one of the many fan boy geeks, at a HEAVY METAL debut, where we could go and get our picture taken with the star.
Has Julie Strain ever seen the sculpture or have you heard what she thinks of it?
Incidentally, Kevin Eastman emailed me saying that he and Julie both love the piece and are interested in buying it. (This piece will appear in the Bud Plant distributed SPECTRUM 10; Best of Fantasy Illustrators.)
As far as the business side of being the Booty Babe creator, what do you think of running your own business? Do you enjoy working for yourself? Does it stress you out?
It’s a lot of stress (right now) - just finding enough time in a week. I love it though. I’m constantly learning and it’s an interesting and fun challenge. Ultimately though, I’d like to learn the business and then get someone else to do it ‘cause the art is my 1st love.
Do you have any advice for other independent artists trying to make the transition from hobby to business?
Yeah, pick something you love. If you don’t genuinely love it you’ll lose interest and give up.
Do you love or hate Ebay?
L - O - V- E on the right knuckles, H - A - T- E on the left knuckles – I think eBay gives the common man a vehicle to sell product and in that sense a chance to start a business. After that they gouge you comin’ and goin.’ (Same goes for Paypal ….which is again actually eBay)
Original "Star Wars" versus Peter Jackson's "Lord of The Rings" - pick one?
What shows/exhibitions do you have coming up?
Copro Nason Gallery, Culver City: Oct. 4th – November 8th “The Haunted (Halloween) Doll House” (!)
Where can people buy their very own Booty Babe?
They can be purchased direct from BootyBabeArt.com or if you don’t like to shop on line – check your local comic book retailer and see if they’ll be ordering any “Booty Babe Art” from Diamond Distributors.
Do you have any final comments for horror fans around the world?
Not all who wander are lost. – J.R.R Tolkien
Create your own path, dream of tomorrow and enjoy the now. – Spencer