Did you grow up as a monster fan?
yeah, ever since I can remember I have always had a fascination with
monsters and aliens. I had all the Star Wars cards and figures. I
would just look at the pictures of the aliens over and over. The
realism of that movie toward a young kid’s mind was incredible. The
way everything was worn out and used. I had no idea how monsters
were made but the subject fascinated me. I wasn't really into the
horror movie monsters all that much growing up. I liked sci-fi more
and was more interested in possible real monsters. I read
everything I could about, Bigfoot, Loch Ness monster, UFO's and so
on. I have always had an extreme curiosity about the mysteries
within our real world. Even when I was young, I knew movie
monsters were not real. But Bigfoot and Aliens could be real, that
possibility has always intrigued me even to this day.
Do you think aliens are out there?
may not be the popular view, but I personally do not think there are
real aliens out there. The Earth is so perfectly set in distance
and relation to the sun and moon and other planets rotation that I
do not think it could have happened by mistake. I think the Earth
is uniquely created and that we are the only aliens in the universe,
although I would love to be proved wrong! I guess that is what
makes it so intriguing is that no one really knows.
you an artist when you were young or did you develop your talent
later in life? Any formal training?
I have always been artistic and into drawing and building things.
When I was young, the first thing I would do when I got a toy was to
take it apart to see how it worked. I loved going to the movies,
and writing stories, and magic, and practical jokes. I was also a
big daydreamer and probably would have been diagnosed with A.D.D. if
it were today.
I didn’t start
sculpting until I was 15 in a pottery class, instead of a clay pot,
I made a werewolf head, I still have it! It was the first thing I
ever sculpted. I am pretty much self taught, straight out of high
school I moved to LA and took a six month course on makeup at a
school that I won't even name. It was kind of a joke, I learned a
lot of out dated techniques from the 70's.
up some studios and showed my portfolio of personal projects and
eventually got my foot in the door. I worked with John Beuchler at
Magical Media Industries, and David Miller studios, and a few other
projects, nothing huge. It was a good experience working, but I
had 2 cars stolen and my apartment broken into within a year and a
half. I said see ya to LA and moved to Portland Oregon from there
for a more laid back lifestyle.
What did you do at those LA studios?
Well, my first job was at M.M.I. working on “The Lawnmower man.” I
worked behind the scenes as a lab technician, and later on set to
help with the scenes we had prepared for. I then worked on “Demonic
Toys” at M.M. I. I did some of the sculpting and all of the teeth
work for the puppets. We also did a few test makeups to try and
get new film projects. I later went to work at David Miller
Studios, and worked on “The Addams Family” and “Livewire” I worked
as a lab technician mostly doing moldwork and a little sculpting.
A lot of floor sweeping and cleaning up as well. I am not the type
of guy to step on people’s toes so I just worked as a peon most of
the time. I was actually a better sculptor than a lot of people I
worked with but they had been there longer, and so I just did my
Did you plan a career in the arts?
I knew I wanted to work with my hands making things and working in a
creative atmosphere. My career is still ever changing. I don't
think I will ever be content, I am always wanting to try new
LMC: Do you have another day job outside of
the art world?
I have done everything from working at a yogurt shop to artificially
inseminating cattle to pay the bills, (don't ask) A little over
five years ago I jumped into an opportunity to start my own cellular
phone business. I ran the store myself and did sculpting in the
back. It worked out pretty well, I now own 3 stores that I named
"Wireless FX." I had to throw the FX in there! hehe, I am busy
with my stores, but with the help of employees, I do most of my work
from home so it gives me the opportunity to be with my family and
run Headhunters Studio.
I can’t let that one hang in the wind, “artificially inseminating
cattle to pay the bills”. You better come clean.
Dude, I said don’t ask! I don’t like to think back to that dark
place in my life. Talk about scary. Well to be honest, I live in
a very rural area, with dairies and feedlots and farms being many
peoples income. I grew up with cows and horses and changing miles
of sprinkler lines. I have always been used to hard work and my dad
has worked in the cattle industry for over 30 years. I did that for
a couple years to supplement my income. It’s a dirty job, but
somebody’s gotta help supply all those burgers to Mcdonalds. I
worked around 4 or 5 hours a day and made good money. Some times
you have to roll up your sleeves (literally) and do what needs to be
done to pay the bills.
How did you get started making masks? What
are some masks you’ve made in the past?
began making masks in high school after that pottery class I was
telling you about. I loved the idea of making a monster and then
being able to wear it, and sort of becoming that character. Scaring
people was also fun, making masks, and doing makeup fit my
personality. I immersed myself in every book I could get my hands
on and taught myself through trial and error. I locked myself in my
room with a stack of Fangoria magazines and by the time I graduated
high school I had made several masks and appliances and worked with
a few haunted houses. I knew that was what I wanted to do. The
first actual makeup I ever did was a Planet of the Apes type monkey
on my friend. The first full head mask was a Freddy Kreuger head.
I sculpted it over styrofoam wig head and it was so small that I
could hardly put it on. Most of the masks I made back then were
like skin tight on my face. I could hardly breathe. I eventually
figured it out and got a full size headform to sculpt off of. I
graduated high school in 1990 and in 1992 I started a company called
Britton's Concoctions. I had like 8 mask designs. They were all
original pieces, I sold them through the back of Fangoria magazine
and at the Saturday marketplace in Portland. I also sold a couple
designs through Death Studio's called Lunartic and Tantrum.
How successful was your company? Did you have a lot of orders?
Not really, it was more of a weekend thing. I sold maybe around 3
masks a week. I was young and had no marketing skills and I had a
terrible catalog that did not do my masks any justice. I think I
would have done much better if it were packaged and marketed
correctly. Selling is not my specialty. I just like making the
gotten into large scale resin pieces. Why the move to resin?
I still love the latex, but I got into making trophy heads for a few
reasons. First of all, I was a little burned out on making humanoid
characters. Every mask has to fit over a head form and so your
limited to making similar sizes and shapes. The majority of
collectors requested the masks uncut and never wore them anyway. So
I figured why even call them a mask if your not going to wear it?
and if your not going to wear them why stick to humanoid
characters? They were more like display heads, I wanted to sculpt
alien animal heads of different sizes and shapes, so I came up with
the trophy head idea.
originally going to make them in latex but decided eventually on
resin. Many of the masks I had made years ago were already rotting
away and ripping. I also wanted to keep the detail in my pieces,
and I knew that mask molds lost fine detail after a few pulls. Many
of the heads I was thinking of making would not be able to hold
there shape hanging off a wall and would need some sort of rigid
underform as well. I wanted to use a wider variety of paints
without having to custom mix everything. I thought if I used a
rigid material, I could use different types of paints and also not
have to worry about the distortion and rotting. After a little
investigation I looked into resin kits. When I found out I could do
them hollow, I knew this is the way I wanted to go. I researched
the resin kit industry and the materials used. I asked a lot of
questions and bugged people who knew what they were doing until I