Adil Muschelewicz of ‘I Am Scumbag’ is an artist and technician currently pushing the art toy world towards a new dawn, via his innate creativity and his expert use of 3D printing as a craft and artform.
Adil has already collaborated with a diverse roster of artists and brands such as ‘I Love Antix’, ‘DuBose Art’, ‘Ultimate Skull and Cobra’ and many many more. Always releasing products that scream great design and craftsmanship.
(Picture below of Adil holding one of his creations – a Thrasher by ‘I Am Scumbag’ x ‘I Love Antix’)
Adil also creates self directed work in his own right, having just released his Scumbag character – available as a drawing, action figure, t-shirt and a sculpted round head – into the world.
With many great works behind him, a busy collaborative schedule and many self-directed creations to come; now is the perfect time to get to know Adil and ‘I Am Scumbag’, by reading the interview below:
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Adil Muschelewicz June 5 1986 goes by Adil, IAMSCUMBAG or TheScumabg.
I also answer to Mr. Scumbag… it’s classy.
City, State n Country you’re Repping?
The home base is in Easley, SC.
I like to go to Atlanta to quite often dip my hands in some DJ logo work/rebranding and just chill out in the EDM scene and make stuff with friends who have monster making studios.
(Picture below of the Brewmaster by ‘I Am Scumbag’ x ‘Homebrew Paints’ x ‘DuBose Art’)
Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together your pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, college… ANYTHING man.
* age 10 – pre pubes:
Up until this time, I was running around in the woods, playing power rangers by myself, looking for sticks that resembled badass swords, climbing trees, annoying the hell out of my older sister, and just doing badass awesome kid stuff…
then one day everything… changed.
I was in grade school and this kid had brought his game boy to Recess. I asked him if he wanted to trade any games. See I had ONLY had a game boy growing up… (the fat brick with the power pack that I lugged around on my belt.) At this point I’d only beaten Mario Land because my parents were cheapasses that thought video games would take away from being a straight A student. I only really had like 5 barely playable games.
When we were at the playground I asked him if he wanted to trade anything. He said he got this new game but didn’t really understand it. It was this Red cartridge that I’d never seen before. It’s majestic Red color spoke to me and said… You must have me… my name is Pokemon Red. I gave him Toy Story and Gargoyle’s Quest as a trade and never looked back.
* age 15 – pube rage:
The year… was 2001. At this point in my life, I’d already done every damn awesome thing anyone my age could possibly do.
I successfully annoyed the shit out of my entire middle school class, beat and caught all 151 Pokémon. (legit 150, and totally gamesharked mew like a baus) won a crap ton of useless science fairs and got a lot of money. 50 dollars, I was ballin.
Then I entered this awful world of Highschool. I hated it.
After picking extremely badass friends to hang out with, I started drawing Insane Clowns that hung out in this Possee and liked singing about murder and ice cream. I also called people Ninja, and said rad things like “dude that’s so fresh” used made up words like ‘Juggalo’ I also giggled at the F word a lot. I was pretty much a badass (or thought I was). I loved anything that pissed normal people off.
I was one of the most popular kids in my high school… did NOT mean everyone liked me. Every chance I had to piss someone off, I was RIGHT up in that kid’s face. Never really got into fights, because people were afraid to… I was scrawny as shit, but I had big friends who could break limbs. Together we plowed through that shit. I’d do all of our art projects 5 minutes before they were due. They’d let me cheat off em. You know, the works. Obnoxious wouldn’t begin to describe the monster I was.
Played a lot of Zelda, smash brothers, Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Perfect Dark during these times too. I watched a lot of Dragonball Z and related to Gohan a lot. especially during the Cell Saga. This nice kid with built up rage… I could relate. Once I bought a 50 dollar paint ball gun and beat someone who had a 2000 dollar gun in a one on one match. There was this bragging right I was able to obtain by going in with nothing and coming out on top. It was this age I learned that you make it with what you got!
* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:
20 was a messed up time for me. Getting to this age, I wrecked a few cars made a few Fs in school… I watched a lot of anime and drew a lot of anime style things.
I had started college and began learning how to do “Art.” Recovering from listening to garbage music and not really developing healthy study habits this time-frame was spent just figuring shit out. Getting my heart broken, having fun with friends, and just figuring out shit in general.
Felt like a lot of wasted time. I got my start making money this timeframe by doing flyers for local bands that never wanted to ever pay anything. Luckily this was the timeframe family guy became a great thing to constantly look forward to.
I surprisingly never got into drinking or drugs… I watched a lot of friends, though go through bad drinking problems and bad decisions, so I just played the role of a “responsible friend”, still have no idea why. I also became really good at Photoshop and Illustrator during this timeframe. And did I mention I got my heart broken? like FLIPPIN SHATTERED! It fueled my rage.
(Picture below of the ‘I Am Scumbag’ Scumball)
Don’t do it unless it’s awesome!
And even if it’s not awesome, make it an awesome experience!
I don’t really commit to bands I’m more a genre fan. chill stuff, mostly EDM, A lot of classic rock and 80s power ballads.
My favorite thing ever is this vinyl I found in a garage which is a Body by Jake workout album from the 80s, and the music is just amazing.
Favorite TV show(s)?
Way too many to name em all. Grew up on Turtles and Power rangers, Aah Real monsters, Rugrats, Rocko’s Modern Life.
Everything on SNICK. Dexter’s lab, Johnny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls, Courage, Batman Animated Series & Beyond. Spiderman.
Got into anime like Dragonball (z, gt), Trigun and Cowboy Beebop, then grew into shows like Family Guy, Futurama, Adult Swim stuff, Arrested Development, the Office, Walking Dead, Wilfred, Archer.
Now randomly I’ve been obsessed with Malcom in the Middle after Breaking Bad changed my life. Which seems to happen quite often.
(Pictures below of the digital image and 3D print of the Donkeylips figure by ‘I Love Antix’ x ‘I Am Scumbag’)
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
…yeaaah not a sports fan.
I’m a super movie lover so I can go ON, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d say Tommy Wiseau‘s performance The Room was quite an eye opener. Made me believe in God again.
(I have over 2 terabytes of movies… and could watch any of em, it’s mostly love stuff that i can just take myself out of this world and go on an adventure.)
Favorite books and comics?
I rarely read, but I loved getting my grubby hands on some Heavy Metal Magazines. I’m also a marvel comics fan. I liked spawn growing up a bit too.
My parents hated anything where the comic book artists drew women showing cleavage, so I never got MUCH. Had to sneak and watch X men and Captain Planet if that gives you an idea. Just whatever I could get my hands on.
I also loved Strategy Guides for video games because the pictures were cool.
Only do awesome stuff ever! if it’s not awesome, then it’s not done.
(You can still make great things even if the budgets are low; just know your limits and what you are worth.)
What do toys mean to you?
My entire office is filled with toys. I love being able to just look at all the detail, and imagine adventures. The Indian in the Cupbord and Toy Story really messed up my brain and a part of me believes that when I leave, all my toys come alive.
3D art in video games have always appealed more to me than 2D. I love the ability to just simply look around something i’m holding. 2D art was always spent trying to replicate that 3D element of something popping out of you, but you never really get to look deeper than right at it.
How did you gain your interest and knowledge in 3D sculpting and printing?
I’ve always loved art, and have always had an ability to see things in all directions. I’d always wanted to make a video game and as I learned how to sculpt on subdivided base models I started wanting to hold the object I was diligently working on.
Troy Harding and I got into making CG animations for VJs at EDM parties. Modeling was just something I got better at.
It wasn’t till I started helping out a friend at his college that I got into the world of rapid prototyping which changed the game forever. He had us make some cereal boxes for his art show, and he had us build him an arcade cabinet. We planned the thing in CAD, and got a knogsberg cutting table to cut out the pieces that we assembled.
The professor loved our work so much he offered Troy and I some of his projects. We were able to get 3 broken makerbot replicators for extremely cheap.
My friend Troy and I are the ones that usually just tag team the projects. I model and he helps calibrate the machines and fix anything that may be broken. So when we got the machines, he modded them, and we together modeled pieces that will make it print better, and we just fixed it and made it better.
Eventually I’m going to get a photopolymer based 3d printer so I can start making jewlery to be recasted in metal; but that’s another story.
(Pictures below of the Grim Creeper by ‘Ultimate Skull and Cobra’ x ‘I Am Scumbag’ in various stages of 3D printing)
If an alien landed on Earth, and you had to explain 3D printing to them, what would you say?
Aliens invented 3D printing, bro… but if I had to explain it to someone who just has no idea what it is… It’s like… taking an object that doesn’t technically exist. Its inside of a computer. You spent time making it… but it’s not real… yet.
You can look at this object, rotate this object, imagine holding this object… but it’s just viewable on a monitor. Eventually staring at it long enough you wish you can just have it. After spending hours sculpting it digitally, shaping it… there is this urge to hold the object in your actual hands.
3D printing is slicing that file into shape slices that a machine then redraws layer by layer. It’s like a hot glue gun that draws each shape, lets the glue dry, and draws more to build on itself. The process is repeated until you have your 3D object in real life… Only it’s just way sharper and more accurate than drawing with hot glue.
How do you see the rise of 3D printing affecting…
* the art world?
The software is getting faster and our computers can have more ram and processing speed. The resources needed to make something extremely intricate are next to unlimited. There is no need to waste money on clay, carving tools etc. You buy a program. It allows you to mask out areas and really dig deep in detail that traditional modeling with clay just doesn’t have.
It’s the same reason I prefer digital photography and lightroom vs. spending money on chemicals and paper with traditional film.
For me, I’ve always had a fascination with trying to get a machine to replicate human error. The thing I love about the makerbots is that there is still this slight inaccuracy, especially when dealing with ABS plastic. There is still art needing to be done even after it’s printed. Granted with more expensive 3D printers you don’t have to do this really, but I prefer to still have some things to be done by hand.
I’m not a fan of the ultra expensive color resin based 3D printers, I love the fact that things still need to have that human touch. It’s like having a control of chaos. With each print there are hundreds of things that can go wrong. The fun is in pushing this to its limits and beyond even if it means melting down some ABS and making a few modifications. Just move forward and never go back.
* the everyday world?
I saw an article of a kid who had a broken leg and they 3D printed a new bone piece to fill it in. I saw a person getting a filling in their teeth, and they 3D printed the broken area and filled it back in. There are new 3D printers that can be set to go and build houses. The cost of the house it makes is probably going to be ultra cheap so people won’t need to pay as much to live in it.
It’s definitely a future concept. It seems like it’s only going to get better.
….if they can get the cost of materials down to super cheap, and it not be as expensive to print stuff out and use not as much power/machine wear and tear, I can see this really change mass producing things. Rapid prototyping has ALWAYS been around. It just needs to be more cost effective than injection molding.
You have spoken of “the science” of 3D printing – care to elaborate for those at home?
Machines always have their limits. With anything you have you need to know what it can and can’t do. If it can’t do something, find a way to make it.
Troy and I have printed files out for people in addition to making our own creations. He likes to create and print cases for computer components, and I obviously love making creatures and toys. Let’s say it’s got a few hands and legs that need to be printed too. Once the model is made, to save on material I can cut the arms off and place them on the build area in such a way that it builds little to no supports. The more supports it makes, the more cleanup needs to be done.
Also there is a lot of planning. For example does the file need to be made asap, is it detail heavy, can it be printed at .01 resolution or fatter. There are so many micro factors that it’s about 2 hours before we even get this thing ready for the machines. While I’m working all that out, Troy is leveling the build plates and preheating them to simulate the temperature that it’s going to be when it’s making the object. There is like up to half a millimeter of warping that can occur with the metal build plates, and something printing at .01 micron slices… that milimeter MATTERS. As a result, the machines have to be leveled WHILE hot. (We can upgrade to a glass type build plate eventually but for now we’ll make it work with what we got.) We put plexiglass windows and boxes to box in the heat to lower warping of the ABS… it’s a pain.
Most people get cracks, and things like that with ABS printing so they prefer PLA, but what they don’t realize is that it was a gush of cold air that caused it to crack and warp. Once all that’s done and everything is planned out, we melt down recycled support material in a metal container with acetone and paint a thin layer of “sludge” on the buildplate. This lets us print DIRECTLY on the buildplate and not need to waste more material on a raft… Then once the file is prepped on the computer, we drop it in an sd card and send it to go… mmmm… science.
While it’s printing, we see how the supports are building if it needs CRUCIAL ones. If they look weak and wobbly, we paint ABS sludge at the base to strengthen it. The Heat evaporates the ABS quickly so we get this strong base so the towers don’t just snap mid print and squirt plastic everywhere. Then it’s going to play some GTA5, or watch netflix, occasionally checking in on it. During this time I can finish working on other models etc..
Often times we see that the print is doing well and just go to bed and have nightmares of waking up to a destroyed print that wasted 8 hours of filament because of just a number of things that can happen with Murphy’s Law. Then we wake up… walk in there, and VOLA – a perfect print that needs to CAREFULLY be removed and cleaned up.
Once that’s done we sand any blumpy unnecessary ares, etch in any areas that might have gotten messed up, and all in all polish it up to make it look like a final product. We may feel something looks awful and change it and reprint, but usually we can just build on the model with the ABS paint sludge then sand when it’s dried.
The thing about what we do is once the model is printed out, we etch in more detail because we print it with a somewhat thick shell so we can carve directly on to it. We can enhance something we may have missed, but at the end of the day we wind up with something that looks and feels handmade, yet can have perfect symmetrical precision on both sides of the object.
I look for awesome, and troy looks for any resolution lines that may need sanding. Once we both feel it’s awesome, we are just… baffled because this thing now EXISTS.
What is the narrative back tale for your ‘I Am Scumbag’ mascot, The Scumbag?
(Picture below of a drawing of The Scumbag by Adil)
The whole Scumbag name came from my wife’s father calling me a scumbag once because he hated that I was an artist. It later became the identity, this character.
He’s an anti-hero in a story for a videogame/comic book I am writing.
After an “outbreak” he got infected with a virus that should have turned him into a mind controlled zombie, but he had a different reaction… he regained his consciousness and managed to heal himself. The government wanted to experiment on him so he escapes a quarantined city only to find out that outside the walls of this quarantined city is a desolate wasteland of mutants and monsters. He has a run-in with a mutant gang and they take him to their god: a steamy massive landfill that they call “the Source.”
In this world, his powers are matched by the mutants… so they vote to make him one of them. They tie the him up and throw him into the radioactive landfill. He arises from the sludge forever changed… forever scarred… but stronger. During his rage he breaks back into the city to try to expose the government’s secrets, he still has the ability to heal any wounds, but his disgusting look and scarred face and horns growing out of half of his body make people fear him.
The government is still after him… Mercenaries are after him, and he somehow always seems to get away, exposing one secret at a time till he gets his revenge…
That Scumbag! He is me. The inner rage that I unleash because those who said I couldn’t do it. He’s the alternate reality of this badass that takes no shit from anyone and just jumps without thinking… he’s a state of mind. He’s understanding, and brutally honest and knows that he has no limits.
‘I Am Scumbag’ Art Questions
Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?
I’ve always loved the greats Jim Phillips, ED Roth etc. Just pretty much any artist that gets their hands dirty and likes drawing gross things.
I loved the grit of art that makes your stomach churn. H.R. Giger-esque disgusting things that you just can’t take your eyes off of.
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
People who aren’t honest.
Everyone always tells you to get the money up front, but sometimes I still take the risk… and SOME of those times it’s an 800 dollar loss, or a 400 dollar 3d spinning logo that these assholes refuse to pay for… but it happens. But that was when I was doing 3D animation work… Now that we’re doing toys, if I model something, I usually end up wanting it. So if they somehow wanna back out and not pay for it… it’s MINE NOW. 🙂
As long as they are honest we can always work something out, but thankfully that’s not happened. Over the years I can usually suspect when that starts to go that direction.
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
The rush of taking risks.
Sometimes they suck, but still… I got my first big job way back pretending I knew how to do something I didn’t really know how to do: make websites. So when they offered me 2400 for the job… you bet your ass I learned everything I could and every limit I had and built them the best website I could. Once I got in over my head, I found Troy and pulled him in to help me with the coding and together we split the money and just kept on making things for people.
Why pay for school when someone can pay YOU to learn something and if you don’t do a good job, you don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that. I’ve always had that mentality getting into the game. If I don’t know how to do something, I can section off part of the budget to pay someone to help me, it taught me how to manage the project and make something great with the help of others. There is this sense of great feeling when everyone works together and benefits from the result.
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
It’s really a bit of the first 2 and being cautious of the 3rd.
When I make art, I’m expressing something, so when someone pays me to help make something it becomes design. I have to understand an artistic interpretation of this abstract one-dimensional thought image. If it’s re-hashed garbage, I have to figure out how to make this thing into something that’s NOT re-hashed – Unless that’s the point of the satire to BE re-hashed and laugh at those buying into it. I challenge myself to make it into something entirely new and badass. It takes a deep understanding of all of them.
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (toys, drawings, paintings, anything)?
I was like 4… in pre-school.
This kid drew Michelangelo and it was awesome. I attempted to draw Donatello because I didn’t have a red crayon for Raph; just green, brown, yellow and purple. I figured a staff would be easier to draw him holding. Everything about it was just garbage.
My grandfather told me to learn how to do something correctly first then when I’m great at it, I can do whatever I want. I won’t have to worry if it “looks correct.” The Donatello picture was probably Badass, but I’ll never know… I think I tore it up when some girl said it looked stupid.
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
After college, I wound up with an associates in art, but it started early for me. When we would get assigned something in school I’d get it done that day. Then I’d sit around bugging the shit out of everyone.
My teachers put me in AP art classes and taught me very important elements of composition. Eventually they let me walk around and offer advice to people, but I’d end up making girls cry because I’d go in serious depth why their pastel drawings were garbage.
I’ve just always had an eye for what I’d considered good. I took my time on stuff I cared about, and crapped out whatever was assigned to me. I always had rivals in school that I always wanted to outdo. I was Red constantly looking for Blue to compete against. I always loved that when 2 people busted their ASSES trying to outdo one another they both wind up with something awesome and everyone wins.
(Picture below of a toy version of The Scumbag, by Adil)
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
A lot of people had said to me growing up that art is not a real job. So to retaliate, in high school, my friends and I started making t-shirts for people with stupid stuff on them and got shut down because we were not supposed to be selling anything on school grounds.
That rush just stayed with me and I’ve always just loved making things that people wanted to buy. I loved working as a team and doing my part to get everyone money to spend on crappy McDonalds food after school. That energy never dies.
Describe the method of making an ‘I Am Scumbag’ piece? (dot point all o.k.)
* your 3D printed works:
It goes through a conversation phase. The budget is discussed. Corners that might need to be cut are figured out once I see what I need to create. Sometimes people want me to just make something cool – they’ll show me stuff they like and want me to create a toy for their brand and I have to get completely creative.
Other times they have an idea they need me to work out and it sometimes comes from a pencil sketch. My brain can see behind objects that don’t have the backs created. Some people need weed for that, but I’ve just always had that ability.
Often times I’ll just model it and wow them away because I can down a Full Throttle energy drink and power through it in less than a day. Then it’s back and forth tweaking/sculpting/adding/subtracting.
The majority of the time is waiting on a response of “HOLY SHIT THAT’S AWESOME” or “that drip in the back is throwing me off”. If I get the latter, I change it and keep rolling till I get the reaction everyone is happy with. Once I get the thing modeled it’s planning joints if they need them, adding joints, and figuring out how to bring it safely into the real world (the “science” of it).
Then troy and I just get it printed out/finalized. Sometimes my clients want to keep the project a secret, other times we’re blasting it all over instagram because we are so excited. I figure the best way to build hype is to show people that something amazing is on its way into our world.
* your drawings:
The process is very similar. Budgets are discussed sometimes someone needs a terrible drawing redrawn that they had made. I’ve been doing this so long that I can usually figure out what someone is looking for, and if I don’t get it the first time, I keep at it.
Usually the hardest projects are when someone is vague as hell and just is trying to waste my time. I usually can pick those people out early on and just cut my losses and duck out. 2D art most always gets money up front because it’s a bit more time consuming – especially if it’s an allover t-shirt design or something; But usually once the sketch is approved I can color it and get it color separated for screen printing. Having friends who do screen printing, and have been dabbling in it a bit here and there I know what is needed to be done.
You have collaborated extensively with many artists, craftsmen and companies to help bring their ideas to life. Please describe the process and what it was like collaborating with:
…i’m gonna arrange these roughly in the time they occurred and add some so it completes the circle of where I’m at.
* ‘Clemson University‘ – were you worked as a teacher
After working with Clemson University for a bit helping teach a few Photoshop and Illustrator crash courses, and giving talks on how to concept model, the students created a bobble head. It took a classroom of 20 students ALL working together on ONE TOY an entire summer semester to do what Troy and I could do by ourselves in less than a week.
It involved artwork for the box, designing the toy, making the toy, painting the toy, planning for mas production, shipping etc.
* ‘I Love Antix’ – for Donkeylips, the Thrashers and the Antix
(Picture below of an Antix with mini body)
I had met Luke on instagram, not sure how we came to be friends, but it was great nontheless. I guess we both had a massive man crush on Tom Selek.
While I was at the college I modeled the Antix ant head as an example for some of the students. I ended up showing it to Luke who had seen some of the stuff I was playing with. He and I talked about his Antix guys as figures and I was using a makerbot 2 at the time and working with PLA (u can ask johnathan, that stuff is a pain in the ass.) We set up a budget and rolled out the whole gang.
The project was awesome and the prototypes were pretty awesome for some of the first real deals outside of the stupid nondisclosure projects I was involved with at Clemson. Luke introduced me to Johnathan DuBose (of ‘DuBose Art’ and ‘Homebrew Paints’) and i talked on the phone with how to clean up the PLA figures which he just KILLED! we even included mini bod versions for the heads to get early runs out to save on costs.
I’ll get to Donkeylips in a sec…
* Shane Wood of ‘Eagle Eye Prime‘ – Stardust the Super Wizard.
(Picture below of the Stardust the Super Wizard 3d print)
A fun thing to mention is Shane Wood and him commissioning me to model Stardust the Super Wizard… if you don’t know who that is, Google him, he’s a hilarious comic book hero from like the 40s.
It was the first I’d stepped foot into the world of japanese sofubi. I had to make something that could later be recasted out of soft vinyl. The budget was set, and we took flight.
During the same time Antix hit me up with the Donkey Lips project. This was the first time frame I had to really capture the person I was modeling. Michael Ray Bower who played Donkeylips sent us the reference images… and yeah I even have a Budnick in the works too, heehee.
All in all the prototypes we made were really fun and we’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback on both. Stardust will be available at some point, but u just gotta follow Shane @eagleeyeprime on instagram for details on that.
Last I checked, he arrived in Japan.
* Kyle Crawford of ‘Electric Zombie’ – for the Dead Heads
(Picture below of the Dead Heads)
During going back and forth with ideas on what to make, I decided to try to make a Madball inspired piece. I made ‘8 Bit Zombie‘ and Matthew Skiff’s ‘radball’ as a test once the machines were fixed, and due to some unforeseen reasons, we never were able to push forward with em.
After Troy modded the machines to print better, I really enjoyed the quality once we got into working with the replicator 1’s ABS plastic. I made the Scumball to test out one of the other printers. We brought the machines from the college to the house at this time. Ironically Kyle Crawford had wanted a madballs inspired toy for Electric Zombie for some time too, so I’m like. “LETS RAGE!!”
We set up the budget and together we bounced around ideas. I did my best as usual, But I felt something special here with Kyle. I’d always loved what Kyle’s brand stood for. It was the same energy Luke’s stuff at ‘Antix’ stood for: quality and badassery. I wanted to make sure the project would be awesome. The original idea was to print 25 of the heads and do a trial run, soon into that idea, we eventually decided to get em recasted. We wanted the balls to be THICK (giggidy) and the prototypes were lightweight and felt like… well prototypes.
So we immediately decided to shave some of the budget money and get Johnathan (DuBose) to recast them. I sent Kyle the balls we printed so he can get package sizes figured out, and sent Johnathan 3 of the best polished ones I could pick from the lot. Of course he did his magic on them as well offering INSANE color options for Kyle to pick from. He even sent me a few throw-away samples of just ODD color combinations (one of the perks of being a toy creator is the WEIRD unofficial color versions of prototypes).
We have a “couple” of the deadheads printed out in this weird chinese glow in the dark filament, but there was an inconsistency with it, so we decided to stop screwing around with color filaments and now we only use makerbot brand true white ABS and until we ever get around to recast stuff for our-self, we figured spread the wealth and grow our friendship with the recast and resin community.
(Picture below of the Motorbat)
I cut Jbones in on the budget of the Electric Zombie balls and from there a trifecta of badassery was born.
He and his Wife have been fans of the work Troy and I were doing. I wanted these balls to be perfect and I loved what he did with Antix’s stuff so naturally I reached out. We talked for hours on the phone and just clicked.
I bought an Alien from him and he custom painted it for me to show me his painting quality. I paid him for his help in the first casts of the Deadheads and since then he’s been my go-to guy.
Johnathan loved my prototypes more than most others he’s dealt with becasue he loved being able to tinker with them. So he proposed a project… we began planning the Motorbat. We kept it hush hush, then released it’s badassery to the world. It was our first real attempt at joints that just worked out awesomely.
Everything up until this point was playing it safe. This was the first step. Together we just discussed and talked about birds, bats, animals, and he got me thinking deeper in the detail world and we’d seen the quality with the Deadheads, so we just did it. What’s the worst that can happen? The budget was agreed on and the material costs set, and this was the first time I got a taste of the resin-recasting world and I haven’t turned back since.
The Brewmaster is our 2nd tag team effort as well and you can probably still preorder it. It’s like 2 pounds of resin… and holy crap is it massive.
Johnathan is a wizard with shrinking powers. He can take a 5 inch tall motor bat and shrink it down to 2 inches tall and keep all the detail… he’s a WIZZARD, HARRY!
* Mike Marinello of ‘Blurble’ – on Kid Toxic, Shroomy and his yet to be revealed Ooze Club Tribute
(Picture below of the 3D prints of Kid Toxic and the Ooze Club Tribute on Adil’s work-desk)
Mike struck me as an awesome guy from the getgo. He always had badass stuff to post on his IG. He came to me and needed Shroomy to be made from vinyl and Kid Toxic as well. I made a 2 part figure for both of them and sent em off to him.
Eventually Johnathan talked him into doing Shroomy AND kid toxic in Resin to get the jump on having one. He’s still getting Kid Toxic made in Vinyl tho which is exciting.
We also did the Ooze-it bootleg of a bootleg project where I took what was there from reference and did my signature thing and we all ended up loving how he came out. He retains the charm of the original bootleg, and on him I made his head rotate in the prototype.
He recently painted Kid Toxic and holy crap is it amazeballs.
* Manny Romero of ‘Art is Dead’ – for the This Too Shall Pass figure
(Picture below of the This Too Shall Pass figure mid 3D printing)
Manny hit me up quite recently and we just got done with the drippy skull project. I’m extremely pleased with how it came out.
We ended up trying something new on his and that’s making it with a logo on the bottom of the slime. I’m also doing a keychain for him, and this mouse guy with a camera as his head… just odd badass stuff.
His reactions on instagram are why i keep doing this. It’s just something about thinking of something and just waiting like 3 or 4 days and it’s just here.
It’s the weirdest feeling to think of something, sketch around and just have it in your hand in a few hours… it’s like he said… “is this what it feels like to be a dad?” – his reaction to the finished piece. I hope he cuddles with it when he gets it in the mail. It’s one of my favorite pieces to date. (skulls and slime. mmmm…)
* ‘TravisWoodArt‘ x ‘I Am Scumbag’ – for the Goose-Goat Chimera collaboration
(Picture below of the 3D print of the Goose-Goat Chimera)
Travis and I are twins. He and I were born on the same day probably the same time and in different parts of the world.
He and a few friends of ours came to our studio and wanted to learn 3D modeling… so I taught them. It’s the Travis we’d done the Arcade Cabinet for the art show, so naturally he stuck around and wanted to take the 3D modeling forward.
Together we team-viewed an idea he had. Both of us working on the same file, looking up reference images of animals. Both of looking at the same screen. We worked together to make this massive goose-goat chimera. It was freakin odd.
He has been showing it at art shows and we’re probably gonna get Johnathan to recast it for us. We contemplated recasting it ourselves, but would rather trust Johnathan to work his magic.
* Tim Stephson of ‘Ultimate Skull and Cobra’ – for the Grim Creeper
Tim’s Creeper was a heroic story. He had gotten the thing modeled for him by some other artist, and couldn’t find anywhere to print it out. So he set up his budget, and I looked at the file and realistically told him what I could do. We came up with a size… (which still is just freakin massive lol) and got it cleaned up.
I even told him ways he can clean up the model if he notices anything I may have missed while sanding all 40billion of those damn spikes lol. but this was nice change of pace just helping out someone and cleaning up a file so it could be printed properly.
Since then we have started helping out friends print their files too.
What are your thoughts on ‘The Sucklord’, and his role in the art-toy scene? (I ask as he is the ‘ur’ toy-bootlegger)
I’ve always liked weird color versions of popular toys. Growing up I would mix and match arms of toys and just make “new” toys so I can see the appeal of bootlegging weird stuff from existing stuff. I also appreciate when someone takes the time and money to recast and make something.
As long as they are doing something original with it then I find I can dig it. The way I see it is that if he’s worth bringing up, then he’s doing something right. Even if it’s considered by some to be unethical.
Art is doing what you want to do, breaking rules, and owning up to the consequences.
Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an indication of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?
I believe the rise of designer toys is just one of those things that’s to be embraced.
There is just this feeling of awe when I hold an S.H. Figuarts Zyuranger figure of the Green Ranger. I’m not going to let a kid play with it, I want to protect it and hang it on the wall because it inspires me.
When I get a weird pop funko figure of a xenomorph from aliens, it’s fun because it’s a thing that once scared the hell out of me as a kid just… not so scary anymore… but just awesome because it gave me an emotional response… it’s those feels, bro.
Favorite toy/figure? (I’ll allow self promotion)
My cousins stole my Dragonzord dagger/flute toy from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and took it with them to Wizardcon in NewYork and got Jason David Frank to sign it for me… I was looking everywhere for it and they show up and are like… check this out! We got this signed for you! They also got a white Ranger Pop Funko with a personalized signature from JDF too. It was great.
I also have these Papo T-Rexes… and holy crap are they awesome. They also got me Tron 2.0 neca figures and the BEST THING EVER… some Papo T-Rexes. I could throw every toy away but never part with these T-Rexes… they are AWESOME.
(Picture below of some Papo T-Rexs – Adil’s most loved toys)
What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/Peter Pan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?
My family has always been supportive. They always give me constructive criticism when I need it. Toys have always been what I love. They boost my creativity and give me something to aim for in terms of quality of my work. My family understands it’s something I love.
It’s the same way I understand that my wife loves girly makeup stuff. I personally wouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars getting my hair straightened or styled, I’ll take a 30 dollar beard trimmer and go to town on myself, but it makes her happy so more power to her.
If you force someone to take that thing they love to do away, they become resentful. So it’s just an understood thing that you just don’t force someone to take away what makes them happy. She likes to buy cute boots and clothing and I like to buy computer upgrades and amazing figures to decorate my office.
Any collaborations on the horizon?
More than probably…
*looks around suspicious-like*
Any major projects you want to hype man?
Just keep following me on Instagram. Lots of stuff in the works.
You are primarily known for your collaborative work… Will we be seeing more solo work from you soon – such as your amazing Madballs tribute, ‘Scumball’?
I love working with people, and helping bring other’s ideas to life. When I get down time I work on my own things… and yeah I’ll probably get Jonathan to make a few Scumballs. Might get him to test em out of some polyurethane foam. *insert giddy girly excitement*
I’m also wanting to make the 4 main characters to the I AM SCUMBAG universe. I haven’t decided fully what style i’m going to go with the first round of characters. I considered that crazy style you see in some street sharks and extreme dinosaurs figures, or go marvel legends style poseable but with big heads… I dunno. I’ll keep pushing this idea when I get downtime.
I’ll probably print out the scum-fink figure eventually too.
Just taking it one thing at a time so I don’t get sidetracked and forget about my clients. I mean shit, I still haven’t finished this Ganon statue from Zelda I was modeling a while back. I’d LOVE to submit that to Nintendo and get licensing rights for a release.
Also after we did the ironman helmet for our cosplayer buddy it opened THAT world of large scale replicas…. being a Gemini I can see all possible outcomes, and I’m excited.
I’ll be probably going to Atlanta to the HexMortis studio here soon to work on a life sized Grayfox costume from Metal Gear Solid as well.
Time will only tell but I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I’m extremely appreciative of the support and energy from my friends and family and it’s that drive that will keep me going. So expect a TON of stuff as we move forward.
– The Scumbag