Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spidey Rogues

I've been a busy boy. I am currently working on no less than 6 pieces.

90% of that work is being spent on my various Green Lantern characters
4% of that work is going toward my Thor piece and
1% of that work can be traced back to a little project with big intentions

That little "project that could" is the topic of today's rant.

Every now and then you get rocked by an idea as a sculptor. You may have dozen's of ideas rolling around in that massively random artist brain at any given time. Usually your clients projects and a sense of responsibility to them, help quiet the noise and help you stay focused on the task at hand. Sometimes though, however hard you try, there is an idea that dwarf's all focus, responsibility, and any willpower your right-brain has a hope of imposing on you. These are the ideas and projects that further you as an artist and take you to a different level, wherever you stand in your career.

Back around the holidays, I was burnt out. I was coming off a straight year of deadline work. It was all fantastic stuff to be working on, and I am more than thankful for every minute, it's just a long time to go not having fed my own creative itch. Every now and then, I like to tell myself I am a creative guy.

Not only was I experiencing a little burn out, I also started to doubt myself as to why more deadline stuff wasn't on the tail end of the projects I had now finished up. I started to think that maybe I wasn't good enough, or maybe nobody even knew who the hell Keith Kopinski was. After a verbal lashing like none other I have received, Tony Cipriano had convinced me that maybe it was option 2 and not option 1.

So if people don't know who I am as an artist, how do I change that? I have sent pictures with varying levels of responses to art directors. They are some of the busiest folk on the planet, and receive 200 emails every day with hopefuls wanting to join their dwindling roster of freelance talent. There has to be a different way than that to increase the odds of getting those busy "decision guys" to raise their eyebrows at my stuff. I decided that first and foremost, it had to be the work. I have to keep improving every day and make the work something that is undeniable. This is the only aspect that I am in control of. Beyond that, there's nothing I can do to manipulate how busy they are, timing, how many emails that are in their inboxes.

So the match was lit, I was rocked by an idea of which I will not completely share here and in turn give you faster guys some water to dilute the gin with:)

But I will talk about the work.

Spiderman has some of the most visually fantastic looking villains in comic book form. They are all so expressive and different that if done right, could really turn a few heads.

So I started roughing in a set of three 1/4 heads. These three characters are very far apart in their appearance and that is something that I wanted very much.

Rhino = Big Bruiser, thug, lots of texture

Vulture = Old, wrinkly, huge nose, grump-ass

Kraven the Hunter = Hansome, hairy, lions mane, evil and happy about it.

The pics here are all quite rough still, but I love the in-progress stuff. I have been trying some new techniques for me with these. I am roughing everything in with clay first. For those who know me, it's not my norm. I usually just pour myself a "blank" and then do it all in wax. If I were doing that now, these would never get done because there's not much time. Clay is fast and while harder to get a feel for since I haven't sculpted a face with clay since 2004, it opened my eyes enough to question my previous method. Wax is bad-ass when it comes to finishing, but clay is liberating and you can get way more out of it in terms of having stuff look more organic.

These will not be the last pieces I do in this series. They will come in waves. I am on a mission and all I can tell you is to stay tuned and I hope you like where it goes. For now enjoy the progress shots.

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  1. Keith,
    The work is incredible, although Rhino has gotten the most exposure, the Vulture is really rocking me, the wrinkles, the old man nasty, it all really working!
    Having Tony in your corner giving you a pep talk must be like having Mickey telling Rocky to "eat lightning and crap thunder!". You've got the chops, Keith, it's obviously a matter of getting yourself on the right people's radar at the right time!

  2. awesome work all around, looking forward to more!

    subscribed :D

  3. Now that´s TALENT..!!! nice work...!!