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Casey has been nothing  but helpful since I first met him.  He is always willing to answer any question I have thrown his way and with a well thought out response.  I have thrown a lot.  He's a real talent and has a work ethic like no one I have seen before.  You will find a lot of original and neat designs in the following interview.  Casey has a unique ability to turn bugs, sea life and all kinds of various organic features into some new and wonderful creature.  Very few artists can do this with such mastery.

 

       LMC: Where did the interest in creating creatures come from?

CL:  My interest in creating creature's came from none other then horror and sci-fi movies.

 

LMC: Did you do much creature creating as a kid?

CL:  No, I never did any creature creating as a kid. I actually never even put my hands into clay until 1997, when I ordered my mask kit from Monster Makers. That was my first experience in creature design and it wasn't the greatest experience because I had no clue as to what I was doing and everything that could go wrong did go wrong!!! I then went to make-up school shortly after that.  Whew!!!!! 

 

LMC: Talk about makeup school

CL: I attended M.U.D. Make-Up Designery in Burbank California.  Basically, I was one of their first students.  I took the Animatronics make up class for a couple months.  I had two great teachers, Paul Thompson and Karl Zundel. I think they have the best school around and they really care about the students and how they do after they graduate.  They helped me get my first job at Almost Human studios.  Rob at Almost Human was a funny and cool guy to work for even though my time there was brief.  I then got my hands on Dick Smith's course and went through it.  Even though I didn't pursue FX, I was able to use almost everything I learned at M.U.D.

 

LMC: Did you intend on going to makeup school from an early age, or was it not your first choice?                                    

CL: I never intended on going to make-up school.  In fact I never knew such a thing existed. I was involved in the extreme sports side of things such as skateboarding, snowboarding and riding my bike.  When I moved to Washington I was actually planning on opening a skateboard and snowboard shop. It wasn't until I was 24 that I finally realized what I wanted to really do with my life, and that of course is sculpting.

 

LMC: Wow, do you still do those sports?

CL: No, I don't do any extreme sports anymore, otherwise I would probably start to look like my creatures from all the slams I use to take.

 

LMC: : What do you think the formal training taught you? How does it compare to on the job?


CL: The formal training taught me alot about working in the studio environment. It has also taught me two very important rule's which I still live by today........K.I.S.S. "KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID" And "NEVER LET ANYONE SEE YOU SWEAT". Basically you should always try to conduct yourself at a professional level.

 

LMC: When you finished school, what were your plans?            

CL: When I finished school the plan was to become a make-up artist.  However, that took a sharp turn into Resin Model kits and just freelance sculpting. While I was in school, I found out very quickly that I didn't want to do the make-up side of things. I enjoyed sculpting more then anything else except that I was horrible at it.  This is also when my interest in model kits took over. It was in resin model kits that I found an industry where I could sculpt the stuff I love and produce it. So, after going into a dead make-up industry right out of school, I chose to head home and work on my sculpting. I sat in my room for two years sculpting and learning anatomy and rarely sculpting monsters. It took a lot of dedication to learn anatomy. But if I had not done that, I would not be the sculptor I am today. Now I'm making a living as my own boss, doing what I love to do....creature design!!!!!

 

LMC: Who has been the primary influence on your work?   

CL: Wow, I have alot of influences but primarily, I would have to give credit to all the big name FX guy's. They were the primary influence. This is a tough one, because I like sculpting a wide range of subject matter. I like to get my inspiration from such things as insects, sea life, reptiles, mammals, sci fi, horror etc.....you name it I probably have already sculpted something that fits into every main category. I love 2D artist guy's like Brom or Frazetta and Brian Froud. So I would have to say all my original stuff is my favorite stuff to sculpt.

 

LMC: You sculpt a wide variety of things of all shapes and sizes, what do you like sculpting the best?

CL: My favorite sculpture so far would have to be the Assassin. I didn't just sculpt another creature, I created a monster!!!! It has a backround story to it and to me I like the designs that have character as well, not just another zombie or whatever.

 

LMC: Did you approach it with a story in mind, or did the story emerge from the sculpture?

CL: Yeah, the story emerged from the sculpture. It was really the segments that led into the background story, because it looks like the creature could split into segmented parts or something.

 

LMC: What's your favorite work done by someone else and why?

CL: I have several favorite pieces done by other creature designers, however my all time favorite would have to be Jordu Schell's Bug Boy. It's the piece he sculpted in Movie FX issue 4. I have a painted version in my studio and I guess I like it for a lot of reasons. Besides it being very creepy, it also has tremendous character. The beauty of the piece to me is the simplicity of it as well.  O.K. I also love bugs. But that's not it, it says something to me and I never get tired of looking at it. I'm always amazed when I look at it and it always inspires me to sculpt and paint.

 

LMC: Any pros you admire?


CL: Wow! There are too many to name, but here goes..........Steve Wang, Jordu Schell, Miles Teves, Takayuki Takeya, Yuji Oniki, Yusuke Takeyanagi, Taishiro Kiya, Steve West, Mike Cusanelli, Tony Mcvey, Shiflet Brother's, Mike Elizalde, Jose Fernandez and Mark Newman , Mark Alfrey etc.....I probably left out alot of others but that's a general list that comes to mind.

 

LMC: What type of masks/props/models do you like to collect?

CL: I have a ton of resin models in my collection. I like to collect alot of the creepy stuff like Feweture models but there's to many to name and most if not all of them were done by the list of previous sculptors.  I also like to collect masks done by Jordu Schell or Steve Wang. Steve you can count on me buying a few of those new masks.

 

 

 

 

 

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Let Casey know what you thought of his interview.  At the end you can leave him some comments or click the doggie to go leave your mark now.