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CIC IV: Hakatox

This week, I sit down with hakatox, he of rabid pit bull status.  You haven’t seen much of Hak around fwoosh lately, but he still had a lot to say about his experiences as a customizer.  Check it out!

CTV: What was the first custom you ever made? Do you have pics?
hakatox: I do have a pic of my first custom…It was an Archangel with a set of wings I made from Gundam parts…Believe it or not, I still think it is one of my best pieces to date.

CTV: What do you think about the way the customizing world has grown since you started?

hakatox: It really does amaze me to see how many people out there have decided to start customizing. I never thought I would see more than a handful of folks doing it. It would make sense that others would like it, though…it’s like legos for big kids.

CTV: Are there any tools that you couldn’t live without?

hakatox: Heh, tools I cannot live without…I would honestly have to say it is a pair of pliers…I can make alot of diferent tools from scratch. I can’t, however, compensate for pliers. Or clamps, for that matter.  My thumbnails would be runner up. I wouldn’t be able to sculpt half as fast as I do without them.

CTV: Take that, animal kingdom! So, what made you start customizing?

hakatox: I have always been a mis-match kinda guy … troll doll heads on the car antenna and what not…I got ML1 and 2…looking at the toys I was amazed and wanted to see if I could make them like I used to with GI Joes back in the day . Plus my need to see an Archangel with good wings.  I hate to sound smug, but sometimes the answer to the right articulation is right under the nose of the companies…they over-think the process.

CTV: What’s your favorite thing about customizing? Least favorite?

hakatox: My favorite thing about customizing…that would be the ability to take something so far outside of it’s original form…and create a whole new toy.  Least favorite thing…blocks…cuts…dremel slips…DANGER!…painting, even though I can do it (to some degree) I cannot stand to paint…I still get shakes, cramps or just aches that kill a whole figure near completion.
CTV: Has your fighting background ever affected your customizing? If so, how?
hakatox: Without a doubt. The hands are delicate instruments. I fully admit my physical background has affected my customizing…after 4 years of customizing I am able to finally paint. A lot of [what was preventing me] was due to not being able to hold my hand steady…it also shows ignorance on my behalf by: 1, showing I have let my anger control me, and 2, showing I learned wrong and had damaged my hands…for the young ones…the hands are very important…take care of them like they were your head.  I can also say that my training has allowed me patience and ability to see outside the box and find alternate means to complete a project (for the most part). Sometimes we just dive in, and realize part way through that we are setting [out] to do the impossible. Then it sits for years waiting for an opening.
CTV: Speaking of work, what does your workspace look like?
hakatox: Well, they say a messy desk is the sign of a genius…I would say I am Einstein 20 times over! I have a full on shop…which is a 4 car garage converted to a ventilated shop and 1 car garage.  A table that stands 36 inches high and 20 feet long.  I don’t only do custom figure work so I needed room to handle other projects as well.

CTV: What type of process do you go through as you customize?
hakatox: Random chaos…I know what I want…I see the final figure in my head…kinda like algebra…I know the answer and part of the problem.  I am also sporadic in my thought process, I may have to take 5 steps back in order to finish a custom.

CTV: Do you own any one else’s customs?
hakatox: I own some collaborative work that Venom and I have done…but I really do have the feeling that is going to change…I would love to own a Levit05 Shatterstar! *hint, hint.*  I do wish I had the kind of cash to buy up other customizer’s works…’cause there are too many worthy customs out there.

CTV: Do you keep your own customs?

hakatox: I do keep a lot of my own customs. (I am more than horrible with time and deadlines.) I don’t get requests for commissions or anything, so I stick to what is suited to my tastes.

CTV: Who is your favorite customizer?
hakatox: There is a rather long list of who I love to see work from. It seems rather cliche to mention the almighty DoubleDealer, but he is one of them, as is Levit05, glorbes, Battlemonkey, carl, LordCable, Mzeid…there are even more that I want to mention, but you would need a whole write up on that alone. Each customizer excels at so many different areas…like Venom is one of the ones who is dear to me…his work is overlooked a lot, but man can he paint something fierce.
CTV: What was the hardest custom you’ve ever done?
hakatox: Well, I cant talk about the hardest custom I have done, ’cause it is a big surprise for Summer Custom Con, but I can tell you that I have made almost every one of my customs overly difficult. Out of the force of habit I always make it harder than it should be.  But, runner up would probably be my custom Bonebreaker.

CTV: Do your parents know about your customizing?

hakatox: My father and I would play Doctor Frankenstein with my He-man, and G.I. Joes.  My mother is the one who keeps pushing me to go into props and SFX for films.

CTV: Have you ever made any customs for friends or family?

hakatox: I have made a couple of customs for friends, one of my wife, myself and my father. Not many of the people I know in life "Would want to clutter up their place with toys."

CTV: Do you have other hobbies besides customizing?

hakatox:  Wow, there are really too many to count…right off the top is martial arts, small circuit repair, videos games…I really can keep going. I have too many passions in life.

CTV: Do you have an ultimate goal in regards to your customizing?
hakatox: I always have a grand scheme going in the back of my mind. I used to do small stuff as a youth (twenty years ago or more) and I always was fascinated with film. I would love to have the chance to even sweep the floors of a company that makes movie props. Making figures for a living is a difficult market to reach. Being a realist, I know this and don’t reach for something too hard. I have the notion that I could use my life talents I acquired to help produce props and gear…maybe even offer up a new aspect of creation?
CTV: Reach for the stars, Hak.  Do you have any advice for customizers just starting out?

hakatox: Don’t be afraid to take criticism…it helps you become better and recognize what areas you may need to work on.  If the person sounds like an ass…Don’t be afraid to ask them to clearly state what they mean…and corded Dremels are the only way to go. Also I would like to note…don’t get into it just for the Ebay dollars…you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

CTV: Thanks for sitting down with me, Hak.

hakatox: Thanks for having me. 

Discuss this interview here.

Hak’s custom thread is here.