For today’s PopLurker Artist Spotlight, we are diving back into our favorite topic– toys and action figures. So when we discovered Greg Delia of Kimota Customs with his stunning one-of-a-kind action figures, we knew we couldn’t miss the opportunity to highlight his art!
Hello and welcome to PopLurker! Would you please introduce yourself for PopLurker readers? What is your name, where do you live, and what sort of art do you produce?
My name is Greg. I live in the Philadelphia area. I make custom action figures. I mostly work in six-inch scale and tend to do more Marvel Legends than anything else, but do movie figures like Star Wars, Aliens, Predator, John Wick, and other stuff. I even went and made a Jack Slater last year. I cover most pop culture stuff with my art.
What are some of your favorite things? Like, anything, really. Tell us about yourself!
I like comics. I’m a Marvel guy but love DC too. I don’t stray too far into indies. Most people ask what one of figures I collect. I don’t. I used to. I don’t have the space or desire to. Everything I buy is for parts. The parts are my blank canvas to work with.
When did you know that a lifetime of art was in your inevitable future? Is this a hobby or a career? How do you make time for the things that you love?
I had no idea that I’d still be doing this. My first custom figure was in 1995. So Kimota Customs has been around since I was a teenager. I made some Batman the Animated Series stuff and rolled into Star Wars. when POTF figures came out. Went into sports figures for a while. I dabble in every genre.
It’s not a hobby or a career. It’s my art. It’s an artistic outlet that I need to have. It’s unique. It requires sculpting, painting and engineering skills. There’s nothing else like it.
I don’t keep anything that I make. So, while it’s not a career, I sell it all. I always thought that if you painted a picture and hung it on your own wall, that would be weird. I’d only see the flaws or what I should have done better. I also never repeat a Figure. If I get a request, I make it slightly different. I don’t want to be an assembly line or mini toy company. I want to make art.
I try to make stuff that the companies never would make.
When did you decide to make the leap into Pop Culture art? What was the show or movie that really inspired that for you?
I can’t say there’s just one. I’ve been a Marvel fan since I was two. A Star Wars fan since I was three. A MOTU fan since I was four. GI Joe and Transformers since I was six. Everything people watch in a movie theater or on Netflix is something that I’ve cared about for my whole life.
What would you say are your biggest fandoms? The ones you enjoy most or consider yourself part of
Silver and Bronze Age Marvel Comics. RIP Stan Lee. Excelsior!
Are there any unexpected challenges you face specifically with making custom figurines? What would readers not expect about the work itself?
Yeah. Everything is trial and error. I’m self-taught from an era where we pioneered this medium. There weren’t forums, groups, tutorials, videos or anyone to ask questions too. I just tried it, ruined a lot of figures and learned what works and what doesn’t.
I think most people don’t know what goes into it. It’s 75% prep. Disassembled figures, sanded down, primer, sculpting, base coat of paint, reassembled, multiple layers of different paint techniques, sealer, etc. It’s a lot of work and time.
What are some fandoms or hobbies that your own fans wouldn’t expect? Something that never makes an appearance in your art?
I don’t think there’s anything that wouldn’t be expected. I think most people know my style by now. Like the lives in universes feel to my art. Nothing is crisp and clean. It has to be worn, beat up, damaged.
That can be a beat down almost dead zombie Storm Trooper or it can be how I weather a “leather” belt on Captain America. There has to be a real world feel for me.
Where do you currently sell your pieces? Are you in the convention scene? How far do you travel to build your platform?
I do commission work mostly. But if I want to make something that no one is asking to buy, I make it, post it and usually get offers. Sometimes I sell on EBay. My stuff all gets posted to the Kimota Customs Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube pages after its done.
Is there anything new in the pipeline for you? Do you have any upcoming projects or secrets you want to share with us here at PopLurker?
I’m toying with the idea of cel-shaded Transformers figures. I like how they look like a 2D cartoon in 3D form. I also keep getting more requests for video tutorials. I may explore that a bit on YouTube.
Do you have any social media or an online store? How can our readers find you and your awesome work? Plug yourself, your projects, and give me all your links!
All of my stuff gets posted to these sites. Thanks for checking it out. If you like it, follow, like, subscribe, etc.
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