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Old 10-24-2019, 08:21 PM   #1
d rod
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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25 w/Rocco Tartamella - Gentle Giant / DST

Full name: Rocco Tartamella

Company youíre working for: DIamond Select Toys, Hasbro, McFarlane Toys, Neca, Mezco, Funko, Sideshow Toys, Upper Deck, PCS, Jazwares, Jakks Pacific, tv commercials, a bunch of others.

Typically, interviews ask you the same questions. Favorite sculpt, who you want to sculpt and so on. We think that if they want your bio, they can Google it. Let's get into the questions we really want to know. The stupid ones...OK, we'll throw a couple of work-related ones in there.

1-If you were a car, which one would you be and why?

Iíd be a Jeep, the strength, reliability, can go over many different terrains, tow hitch and winch. can save people from disaster, plus there is a friendly wave with Jeep owners.

2- You have to go to college and have a free ride. What non-art degree would you choose and why?

World History degree, because life is so interesting and always has been. Studying Samurai, Roman Soldiers, Amazonian, Egyptians, so many cool cultures and historical people to enjoy!

3-At what point did you decide to be a sculptor?

I always liked drawing and clay, but didnít get into it until I was about 18 or 19, I used clay as a stress reliever, but before I knew it, I had a table full of stuff, so I put a portfolio together and got my first internship with Art Asylum, after that, I started working at McFarlane Toys in NJ and then went freelance.

4-First job you ever had?

Working in a restaurant, busboy, food prep, bar, food runner, waiter.

5-First licensed piece you sculpted?

I worked on some stuff at Art Asylum for Toy Biz, but the first totally sculpted piece by me that was licensed, might have been the Hobgoblin bust I did for Diamond Select.

6-Favorite sport?

Soccer, played for years as defender and goalie.

7-Are you a gamer and if so, what do you play?

Iím actually not a gamer, with my free time, I start more projects, lol.

8-Favorite TV show?

Fringe, that was the most entertaining show I can remember being hooked on. Who didnít love Walter!?

9-What country would you live in besides the USA and why?

Maybe Italy, thatís where my family hails from, or maybe Japan, that is a beautiful country, also rich with history!

10-What is a typical breakfast for you?

Coffee, coffee, and sometimes more coffee.

11-What character would you like to do (any realm) and why?

Batman, I grew up on Batman, favorite hero in the DC universe. Iíve been blessed enough to sculpt him many times for DST Gallery line, but I can always sculpt more Bats and his rogue gallery would be a blast!

12-Cargo or basketball shorts?

Cargo, I need to carry art supplies, a quick note pad and pencil if I need a throw down sketching jam.

13-If you were to be a fanboy of something, what would it be (you can't pick anything related to pop culture)?

Classical art, I would collect baseball style cards of Bernini, DaVinci, Michelangelo etc., posters and books of sculpture and art, talk your ear off about what artists did this or that, inside secrets of discussions between Popes and painters. Hey, you took pop culture off the board.....

14-What project(s) are you currently working on?

Iím working on a Marvel Gallery piece, which I canít divulge yet, private commissioned portraits, and jewelry pendant for my wife.

15- How difficult is it to say to yourself, ďok, this sculpt is doneĒ?

Pretty difficult, I can agonize over details, but at the end of the day, I know there is an approval process and a design I need to stick to that was provided by my client, and a time line I stick to. So once I get the pose down, the likeness, and sculpt all the details I see in the ref, I send in photos/renders of the sculptures. I let the art directors and licensors direct me on anything that was over looked or there is a pose to push a little further if something didnít come across right. I mostly have had a smooth experience with this, and Iím very thankful for all the cool projects.

16-Dog or cat?


17-Favorite band?

I donít really have a favorite, I listen to a large variety of things when working.

18-How do you feel about the transition from hand sculpting to Z-Brush?

It was a different thing all together for me to learn digital sculpting. I took 8 months off from working to concentrate on learning Zbrush, I mostly used YouTube videos to teach me things I found difficult to do in the program, but I was obsessed with getting this thing, since it was quite evident the industry was totally moving to digital. I even got into 3D printing and own 4 machines, I print most of my projects for companies, unless they tell me the projects will be printed in house.

19-Youíve been in this industry for a long time, what has been the most difficult part of your journey?

By far, transitioning to digital. But once there, I eat, sleep, and dream digital sculpting. Iím always thinking of what I can make next.

20-You can only sculpt one more pop culture statue but you get to pick. Which one and why?

An X-men diorama, I always wanted to sculpt a big group team up in a dynamic setup. I havenít had a chance to sculpt many comic styled X-men and itís been on my list of things Iíd like to tackle.

21-You have a free vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Yellowstone national park, Iíve never been and heard so many great things about it, Iíve been told you can spend a month there easily, and not have explored and seen enough things. Iíd love to sketch and sculpt Buffalo, and wildlife on scene. Another thing on my list of some days... lol

22-Besides the face, whatís the most difficult part to sculpt?

Hands, itís been one of my pet peeves, if a sculpture doesnít have believable hands it makes me lose interest in a sculpture or drawing for that matter. If you can master correct proportion and positioning in hands, it sells a life like piece of art.

23-Most difficult sculpt and why?

Ragnarok Hulk Gallery piece, that Figure was dripping with details, stuff Iíd havenít before sculpted in digital, really tested and pushed me, and itís one of my favorite pieces to this day. There were some close ones too, like Star-Lord Gallery piece and Rocket with Gamora gallery.... oh, and Thor with Stormbreaker, the lightning was getting so confusing to keep track of for me!

24-Youíre asked to sculpt a specific art style, who would you choose?

Thatís way too difficult to choose from, Iíve sculpted so many different styles over 20 years, and they are ALL fun.

25-You can only display one SW statue in your office, which piece would it be and why?

It would be the new Darth Maul I sculpted from the Solo movie, I like him older with all those scars on face and the older gnarly horns on his head. I always like the Darth Maul look, but the older him, now that is cool!

Thanks so much for asking me to do this interview, Iím very thankful for the opportunity and hope to continue sculpting cool stuff for a very long time!

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