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Josh Church aka "The DarkArtist"

Tell us a bit about yourself and your love for horror. What are your earliest and fondest memories regarding the genre?

I've loved horror as far back as I can remember, my parents were split up and often my Dad and I would just go and rent horror films.

We'd t back and eat dinner on the couch, watching the newest horror movies or B movies, often times ending up too freaked out to sleep as nicely as we'd like.

The original Halloween struck me the hardest, putting such a fear into me that I couldn't hear the clasc Carpenter muc without freaking out a bit.

Eventually it became my most favorite horror film of all time.

I have a lot of great memories tied to various films, they always take me back to those early years.... I can smell the beer and fried chicken almost instantly.

What has your experience been like so far within the horror collecting community?

At first I was very intimidated.

The fans knew so much about EVERYTHING that I was a bit hetant to really dive in and join the fun.

The mask community "speak" took a while to master, as I struggled to find out what NAG meant or

But once I learned what companies did what and started to check out some of the amazing art that was out there it really drew me in.

The bad thing about that is that now I want to send money all over the place, it's hard to not just want everything.What sort of items pique your interest as a collector? Is there anything that you’ve had your eye on but have yet to get?

nce my first love is Halloween and Michael Myers, I tend to gravitate to White Masks first.

But I also collect other slasher stuff...i.e.. NOES, Jason, etc.

I love anything Evil Dead or Zombies as well.

There are a lot of things I want to get eventually.

I really am desperate to get a HSS Devious, CGP Warlock, and a complete set of Hocks from Fiberglassmasks.

So much to buy, so little green.What is your favorite piece in your collection? Which one means the most to you?

My favorite item is my Nightmare Gloves FVJ glove... it's just such a damn nice glove that sometimes I find myself just tting on the coach wearing it.

The workmanship is insane, I can almost see someone ung it for home

The piece that means the most to me is my HSS Devious Tramer.

I never in a million years expected to win the Horrorbid contest, so once I actually DID and finally got my hands on my prize... it was a moment I will never forget.

That Devious really brought a smile to my face.

Have you ever condered giving up on the hobby? Ever think about selling all your horror stuff and doing something else?

I actually DID give it up once.

A few years back I got into dire financial distress and sold all of my masks and horror figures.

I eventually regretted it, as any true horror fan would... and started buying again.

Horror is a part of me, I couldn't give it up if I tried.

We are who we are, to deny it would be insane.How did you get started making your own custom figures? What was the very first figure you ever made?

It started out mply... 3 years ago I bought a figure from deshow Collectibles and didn't like the paint that the factory did.

I wanted to try and make it look more real, and after asking several other artists about paints and brushes I gave it a shot.

I painted up my Evil Ash figure, and while it wasn't anything all that amazing... it was a start.

I branched out to human figures and eventually started working for other people.

The first full custom figure I made was Michael Myers.

It was a

horrible figure, bad sculpt...bad hair..bad jumpsuit.

I was very proud at the time, but I knew I would revit it. At what point did you realize that you could make and sell your figures for profit?

About 2 years ago.

I had finished a repaint of the deshow Collectibles Anakin figure, and a friend asked me to do his.

The repaints started piling up and soon I was doing a lot of varied work.

I started trying to find figures I could actually build up ealy that would fill the gaps in the collections of my fellow geeks.

I built one up and offered to remake it for anyone who wanted one.

Within hours I had 8 orders for The Joker from The Dark Knight and realized that I might be on to something. Who is your biggest supporter? Is there someone who is always there to lend a hand?

I'm very blessed to have many amazing supporters.

My good buddies Michael, Sean, Josh, Roy and others have lent me money for bills, sent me free figure bodies to use, free parts, and have been infinitely patient during my growing pains months when I was still finding ways to do my work faster.

I also have to thank Justin and Joel for trying their damndest to get me here with all of you at Horrorbid, I owe a lot to their perseverance in getting me to commit and come on over.Who and what are your biggest inspirations as an artist?

Most of my inspiration for art came from German Expresonists films and paintings...

Tim Burton was a huge inspiration when I was young as well as John Carpenter.

I just loved stark imagery, lots of black and white, high contrast, and linear art.

But from a figure standpoint my greatest inspiration was my good friend Les Walker, he taught me a lot about painting and building figures as well as helping me to find my style.

Without his help, I wouldn't be what I am today.What does it take to create a hand-crafted figure? What might someone who has never made one need to know?

Patience and time!

For something so mple looking, you'd think it would be relatively easy to put one together but it's not.

Parts all have to be either hand made or bought from specialty stores around the net.

Sometimes it can take several hours of searching for something specific before you get anywhere near what you might need.

Also, sculpting at that ze can be a challenge.

And I won't even get started on the scale issue, it is a real bitch to find fabric or hair that looks realistic in the 1:6th scale.

If someone was so inclined to make one themselves, they would have to find a body first.

I recommend Dragon bodies because they are cheap and have lots of hand options.

You then would buy hands, clothing, weapons, and any accessories you can find.

It's always best to use what is on the market if you can, it's not easy to make a lot of this stuff.

Once you have all of that you can build up the figure and have it ready for whatever head you want to put on it.

Heads and parts can be found at places like or xth Scale

It can be a complicated process, but with time and patience... anyone can make a mple figure. With paint, it's best to use Acrylic paints and water them down a bit so the coats don't go on so thick and obscure the portrait.

I could go on and on about painting techniques, but I don't want to bore you all to death just yet... lolOf all of the figures you’ve done, which project required the most time and effort? Which one is your personal favorite?

The most exhausting project that I ever got myself into was my custom Heath Ledger Joker figure.

When I started making him, I first had to alter an existing sculpt for his head.

I then had to hand paint the shirt pattern, hand paint the socks, hand paint the vest, cut and glue the chain on the pants, weather the boots, hand paint the gloves, dye the coats and paint the tie.

It was an insane thing to even attempt once... I have done it 8 times, and still have 5 more to do.

Not to mention, I was naive and stupid.... so I was only getting $20 (after buying parts) profit for all of that work.

As for a personal favorite, my current favorite is a two way tie... I love my Loomis figure, it was a long time coming.

Thanks to my partner in crime Ryan (BlindVoyeur) I was finally able to make it a reality.

The second would have to be my Zombie Holocaust Survivor... It was a completely original figure and came out far nicer than I ever could have imagined.

Every time I see it on my shelf I smile and remember making it.

It really was a dream figure to make.

What projects do you have in the works? What’s next for DarkArtist Productions?

I have a lot in the works, working with my partner Ryan... we plan on releang Ghostface from Scream, posbly UberJason from Jason X, and many more that I cannot yet reveal.

As for myself, I will soon be doing custom 1:6 scale Jason masks to replace any deshow Jason figure.

I also want to make my own Jason IV, because I wasn't happy with the deshow veron.

I'm contemplating a "Boy Jason" custom for myself, maybe a very limited release.

I am working on a Remake Jason as well, just waiting on pics of the face makeup before I do the head.

I might do more Myers figures too if I can find more of the jumpsuits.

It would be nice to do a few more original figures as well... but we will see.

Lots on the horizon for 2009!Thank you very much Josh for sharing this with us. Below you can see pictures of Josh's collection and some of the work he's done.

If you're interested in seeing more of Josh Church's work, follow this link to his HorrorBid Shop:
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Myers31TKD Monday 1/05/2009 at 05:48 PM | 31041
great article Josh! Thanks to Patrick for conducting this interview. I really learned a lot about ya man. Now I can start making my own figures and taking all your buness. MUAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Horror Domain - Cursed Evil Overlord Monday 1/05/2009 at 06:40 PM | 31050
Thanks man!

And big thanks to Patrick for asking cool questions.

It was a lot of fun writing this, I even lost track of time and once I was done realized it was 4 am.

And great pic choices, I sent a few.... but I am glad he found more... Some really great items in there.

DarkArtist81 Monday 1/05/2009 at 07:38 PM | 31056
Very awesome...Great interview. The figures are just awesome
Matthew Mayhem Tuesday 1/06/2009 at 07:29 AM | 31150
Great interview guys...I read it earlier at work but hadn't had the chance to comment. You make some amazing figures Josh. ...and love the gloves lol
kweandee Wednesday 1/07/2009 at 12:39 AM | 31222
I'm glad these are coming back. I always love to read up on people and the collections they have put together over the years. I love the figures and really like the Indiana Jones and Darkman the best.
quietonthesetstudios Wednesday 1/07/2009 at 03:19 PM | 31330
Thanks guys!

I was very honored to be the first one, that really was awesome.

And thank you all for the great comments!

DarkArtist81 Thursday 1/08/2009 at 06:29 AM | 31426
great interview and your figures kick major ass
oldskool Sunday 1/11/2009 at 07:56 PM | 31731
Fantastic interview, and even better pieces of art! Awesome read!
strangerathome Thursday 4/30/2009 at 06:26 PM | 44635
Great interview and killer collection you have there Josh.
cropsy Thursday 4/30/2009 at 08:45 PM | 44643
A lot of nice pieces you got there bro!
Hordak Friday 10/23/2009 at 04:39 PM | 56878