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CIC V: K&L

This week, I sit down with the terrific twosome of spousey-custom-bliss, K&L! They had tons of knowledge and advice to share, so take a look at the interview!

 

….has anyone else noticed that these intros are getting shorter and shorter?  Weird. Anyways! Look down. 

CTV: K&L, welcome to CIC!

K&L: First off CTV, Leah and I would just like to say thanks for asking us to do this intreview. We would also like to apoligize in advance if our answers seem random and scattered. That’s what happens when you have two people sitting at one computer trying to answer the same questions.

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

K&L: We would say all of them! We can’t live without each one, because each is essential in it’s own way, but the ones we find most essential are a dremel (K) and a very small paint brush (L) to do the eyes.

CTV: What inspired you to get into customizing?

K&L: Well, if truth be told, Kyle loves to buy and collect Star Wars toys. So one day, he was shopping on ebay and saw some custom clone troopers and thought, "hey I can do that and make money to buy more Star Wars toys."

CTV: Which of you got the other one into the hobby?

K&L: Kyle got me into customizing. I have a degree in ceramics, don’t laugh, It has really helped me in sculpting figures, so he had me sculpt some of the clone trooper heads. Kyle on the other hand has no formal art training other than he used to paint Warhammer figures when he was younger.

CTV:When did you get married?

K&L: We have been married 16 years in August. It does not seem that long, we really get along pretty well most of the time. We’re kind of like banana pudding and vanilla wafers. OK, that sounds cornball.

CTV: Have you ever customized for family/friends?

K&L: The only person we have customized for that we consider family is Grandpa. And even though everybody knows him as Grandpa, he reminds me more of my dad than my Grandpa. Maybe it’s the age, he’s not really old enough to be our Grandpa.

CTV: When you customize, who does what?

K&L: Well, faces and eyes are all Leah’s department. I don’t have very steady hands anymore, so I leave that all up to her. Not to mention when I do girl faces they always look like drag queens (our first Marvel Legends Emma as an example of what I’m talking about) instead of sexy ladies…no offense to drag queens. The prep work is usually what I do, because you put a power tool in Leahs hand and you can KISS the figure good bye. Her nick name could be Leah the Butcher! Oh and let’s not forget the sculpting, most of the time she does the bulk of the work, but I do my fair share. Belts and BOOBS are my strong suit, and Leah gets the nodd on hair styling.

CTV: What would you say your specialty is?

K&L: That’s easy, we love to do the girl figures. The guys are great, but I like girls, and Leah likes to make them up. It’s almost like playing Barbie, only not quite so girly for me as a guy to do.

CTV: How do you choose who to make?

K&L: Most of the time we make figures that we think look cool, and would like to have in our own personal collection. We do most of our customs to sell on ebay, but we always try to make figures that interest us, so if they don’t sell, we’ve got something that we don’t mind keeping.

CTV: How many commissions do you receive on a weekly basis? Monthly?

K&L: We really don’t get that many commissions on a regular basis. Most of them come in spurts. We may go months without any, and then all of the sudden we have 5 or 6 people intrested all at the same time.

CTV: That’s interesting. How do you decide how much to charge for a commission?

K&L: WOW, you’re really asking some hard questions. We base our prices on
how complicated the figure is and what parts and base figure we use. Sometimes we have to order figures from ebay to get the parts we need.

CTV: Do you have an ultimate goal in regards to your customizing?

K&L: We just want to try to continually get better and work to refine our skills so that we have a really high quality product that collectors would be proud to own. Also, we try to make our customs as accurate to the source material or comic we use for reference as possible.

CTV: What do you like most about customizing? What do you like least?

K&L: What I like most about customizing is after all of the prep work, sculpting and base paint, I get to put all the finishing touches on it. My least favorite would be base painting (it’s so tedious). Kyle’s favorite is sculpting and his least favorite would be trying to fix something that I’ve messed up (like base painting).

CTV: What type of process do you go through as you customize?

K&L: We sell on ebay, so we look to see what figures are popular and what sells well. We then print out a picure or two. We prep the figure, i.e dremel, sand and clean it. Then we do all of the sculpting. After that, base paint, then final paint, then accessories.

CTV: What does your workspace look like?

K&L: Well, it used to be very unorganized, as we would work from our kitchen table.


K&L: But then I decided to reclaim our kitchen so now we work from Kyle’s office. It’s a lot nicer. 


CTV: Definitely not as messy as some of the others! So, how does it feel to be the prominent husband and wife customizing team?

K&L: We don’t think we really have that title. There are other husband and wife customizers like Moni and Kirk that do super work and we’re sure there are others.  Our only hope is that people like our work.

CTV: Do you guys ever argue about customs?

K&L:  Kyle says, "Do bears crap in the woods?" He gripes at me all the time about my painting techniques, but sometimes I tell him to do something and he’ll disagree with me but do it anyway.  Then later, he’ll say "Hey, that really works! I’m glad I listened to you."

CTV: Do you own any one else’s customs?

K&L: We would love to own many other customizers customs, doubledealer, or hobbymaster, but we’re poor tight wads and can’t afford them.  We do have a Danger from Flytrap, got a really good deal on it from ebay at $20, a steal.  It looked like he spent a lot of time on it.

CTV: Do you keep your own customs?

K&L: We do have a few customs that we have kept. Some of the Star Wars, because Kyle is such a huge fan.  We have a Misty Knight and a Colleen Wing, but we will probably sell them when we make another Black Cat and Tarantula.

CTV: Who is your favorite customizer?

K&L: ? We have so many. Our first would be Hobbymaster because he is the pinacle of girl customizers, but there is also 2D, Glorbes, DarthLeon, Ray, man the list could go on forever…

CTV: What was the first custom you ever made?

K&L: If anyone has ever been discouraged about thinking they do not have the skills to be good customizers, just look at our first Marvel custom.

CTV: What do your friends think about your hobby?

K&L: Most of my friends don’t really care, but Kyle has friends that think it’s really cool.

CTV: Do you have any other husband/wife hobbies?

K&L: I don’t think it’s a hobby, but we both love Arena Football. We see all the Dallas Desperados home games. We have been season ticket holders for three years now. It’s a lot of fun.

CTV: Would either of you ever go solo?

K&L: I feel like Kyle is going solo right now. Since I’m pregnant I have quit sculpting. It says it is non-toxic, but I think it stinks. So now I just do some on the painting. I think he is doing a super job.

CTV: Do you have any words for customizers just starting out?

K&L: We said already in the last question, but also fwoosh is a great place to get tips and ideas. Once you get the basics of painting and sculpting down, you can really focus in on your own personal style.

CTV: Thanks for sitting down with me, K&L.

K&L: You’re very welcome.

 

K&L also left a sneek peak! 

 

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