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CIC: Back and Better than Ever with Benty!

Who knew Shakespeare could paint? That’s right, faithful readers, after a short absense CIC is back and better than ever, and this week I sit down with Ibentmyman-thing, one of the more humorous of the fwoosh customizers.  However, we’ll see another side of ol’ benty in this interview, a side that’s eager to learn, and eager to inspire.  Intrigued? Read on!

CTV: Are there any tools you couldn’t live out?

benty: Two sharp plastic sculpting tools. I use them for almost everything.

CTV: Nice, where did you buy them?

benty: I bought them from Michaels around 10 years ago.

CTV: A decade later and they still work? Sturdy. Have you been customizing since then?

benty: Unfortunately, no. I didn’t even know what customizing was back then. I started last year, around March.

CTV: And already so good. What inspired you to start?

benty: Thanks a lot. What inspired me was basically being on fwoosh and other forums, seeing all of the customizers make characters I wanted but knew wouldn’t get made. It made me want to see what I could do myself, so I did some research and just jumped in.

CTV: How enterprising of you. What was the first custom you ever made?

benty: The first custom I ever did was Snake Eyes, from G.I. Joe. 

CTV: That’s not bad at all, especially for a first attempt. Do you consider the making of that custom a learning experience?

benty: Absolutely. I learned that I love apoxie sculpt, heh. Seriously, I learned to just go for it and not be afraid to try something for fear of messing it up.

CTV: Was there a specific aspect of customizing that making that custom opened the door for you to try?

benty: Well, for a long time I didn’t try the most basic part of customizing which is part swapping, mostly from lack of fodder or not wanting to hassle with it. But I’ve done it a little more and now I’m more comfortable with it.

CTV: See, everyone? Even seasoned customizers have their hang-ups. So, what type of process do you go through while creating a custom?

benty: I usually start with a list of who I want to make, and from those try and choose someone who will be challenging, and might teach me a new technique or help push my skills. Then I try to find an appropriate body. The rest is just moving around generous amounts of apoxie until it looks like what I want it to look like.

CTV: Do you have a favorite part of customizing?

benty: Sculpting, definitely.

CTV: What about it makes it your favorite?

benty: It’s the part that makes a plain base body look completely different. It’s the purest translation of either the source material or what’s in my head, right out of my fingers.

CTV: And you’re usually pretty dead on to the source material, your Penance being an example. 




It’s quite a piece of work, did making that custom help you "push your skills," as you say?

benty: Thanks. It was definitely my most ambitious, in terms of sculpting and it taught me that hard work will pay off no matter how time consuming the process. Since then I’ve tried not to let difficulty level stand in my way.

CTV: Are there any customs that you may have been wary about before but now welcome as challenges?

benty: I’m very soon going to be starting a scratch-built Rom:Spaceknight that I doubt I’d have been confident enough to try once.

CTV: I’m sure that’ll be a crowd pleaser. Do you prefer making characters with outlandish designs like Rom and Penance or characters with simpler looks?

benty: I really like the crazy designs. I tend to gravitate toward unique and odd, and always want to see how well I can pull them off.

CTV: That’s interesting, I’d imagine most customizers would favor simpler looks that are easier to perfect. So, what does your workspace look like?

benty: I may be the only customizer with no regular workspace. I’m all over the place, with all my paints in a shoebox, moving from desk to desk to kitchen table, wherever I feel most comfortable at the time, always bringing my apoxie with me.

CTV: Indeed I think you are the first customizer I’ve interviewed with a nomadic approach to workspaces. Do you have any other art backgrounds that help with your customizing?

benty: Not really, nothing formal. For most of my life I’ve been the guy who envied people who could draw, but 2D art has never come easily for me. The first time I tried 3D art though, it actually looked like something in a way 2D never had, at least to me. So I attempted some sculpts, but customizing was the first major application of anything artistic.

CTV: Hm. Now for a more oddball question from fwoosh regular, Chase: Do you listen to music or sing while you customize?

benty: I do listen to music, but most of the time when I’m working I zone out on background noise, so usually I’ll have some classical music on in the background but won’t really "hear" it.

CTV: Classical, eh? So you’re wordly. Do you take commissions?

benty: I’ve taken a few, but I doubt I’ll be taking any more than one here or there. I don’t mind making stuff for people because it’s nice to have my work appreciated, but letting them go once they’re done is extremely hard.

CTV: I think it would be for a lot of customizers. Still though, money talks. How much do you charge?

benty: I don’t really have a set price. It depends on a lot of factors.

CTV: Do you own anyone else’s customs?

benty: Nope. Usually, if I see a custom I like, it’s more fun to try and make it on my own than to just buy it.

CTV: A true customizer’s mentality. Are there any customizers whose work you would buy? Basically, who are your favorites.

benty: I like the ones who are the "usual suspects" on fwoosh, for good reasons: DoubleDealer, Glorbes, Zombihamma, Actorjez. I think all customizers agree that Zombi’s ability to go from nothing to a fully made toy is amazing. Ray’s sculpting abilities especially with clothing really make me study his work, RoboKillah’s painting, Pablolobo’s scratch-built stuff, all high levels of talent. And recently, Liquidisk’s new female body is setting an enviable example of amazing craftsmanship.

CTV: Of course. All of those customizers are noted for their immense talents. Do you have an ultimate goal for your customizing?

benty: Taking over the world.

benty: If that option fails then at least some new person who’s never tried customizing looks at my work and wants to try.

CTV: Speaking of, do you have any words for customizers who are just starting out and looking for advice?

benty: Don’t be afraid to get in over your head. Try not to listen to terms like "novice, intermediate and advanced." Just pick something you want to do, and do it. Every aspect of customizing comes back to learning, and nothing is going to be wasted by attempting something. In fact, something will most certainly be gained.

CTV: Thanks a lot for the interview benty. benty: Thanks a lot for having me. *Benty, being such a nice guy, left CIC a sneak peak!

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