Gus Fink is a commercial artist whose multidisciplinary work all falls within the umbrella of ‘Pop Art’ – and like the Ur God of Pop, Andy Warhol, Gus works in every medium available: sculpting, painting, cartoons, film, clothing design, digital art, indie games and music.
Simply put, Gus is an all round pop art visionary!
Gus and his art came to our attention thanks to the recently released ‘Creeplings’ series of designer toys, a collaborative effort between Gus and his equally talented wife Emi Boz – and just like all works that Gus is involved in, they are well worth checking out.
(Picture of some of the ‘Creeplings’ series of blind box art toys, below)
With Gus constantly pushing his art and himself, working on project after project, now is the perfect time to get to know the man and his art, by reading the Art Talk interview below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
(Some art by Gus below)
City, State n Country you currently call home?
Newark, Delaware, USA
City, State n Country your from?
Hazleton, PA, USA
Describe a memory from some stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together your pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, romance, school, crime… ANYTHING man!
* age 5 – beginnings:
Started art around 2 and always felt a connection to it.
Around this time I was told to grab my medicine and I drank the whole bottle, not aware of how bad it was for me. Luckily my mom was able to take me to the ER and save my life.
(Picture below of Gus aged 2 with his Grandfather)
* age 10 – continuations:
By now I was overweight and had no friends.
Every day I lived in fear of getting beatings from my older brother and was a poor student – there wasn’t much hope, just hiding.
* age 15 – getting serious:
More overweight and being an outcast where I was only able to slightly fit in with other misfits that had similar or worst situations than myself.
These friends helped me discover comic books this was a pivital age for me where I realized I wanted more for my life. I decided to workout every day and prove people wrong about me.
(Picture of Gus – on the left – aged 17 with a friend)
* age 20 – young adult:
By now I fully found myself and done more with my life than during childhood, My art style was fully being developed.
I started a comic book company and let it fail at 16, graduated high school at 17 took a few months off to work at a subway till I decided to get a 2 year degree in computer animation. I graduated top of my class but realized it was a joke degree and didn’t want to move to LA to look for work. Instead I opened up a strange punk rock shop with a good friend and little money.
At 21 I decided to fully be an artist and my shop was closed down – it was a small earning but I was much happier than doing the fast food and walmart type jobs my peers were doing. I was an un-credited entrepreneur making less than my friends but with the pleasure of doing what I wanted.
(Picture below of Gus aged 20 in his old shop)
* age 25 – adult mode:
Steadily growing my art business at 26 I became a father and this stepped up my work mode and goals.
I’ve had several comic books published and started licensing my artwork and ideas into different toy lines including the (age 27) Boogily Heads, Stitch Kittens, Puff Dogs, SkullGnome, Boogily Bunnies – and did the first blind bag mini comic and sticker packs.
(Picture below of Gus aged 25)
* age 30 – fully formed:
A father of 2 by now and lived during a bad economy forced me to think up new ideas to make income off my art.
Things always change and you got to change with them. I moved around a lot and wasn’t with the mother of my children. Persevering through tough times and many more to come.
Still I was able to grow my brands , my art and think of many more ideas.
* age 35 – adult continuations:
I now make video games, many toys, apparel and write/direct short films and am looking to do feature films.
… The roads path changes all the time and every day I wake up not knowing where my next dollar is or how.
But something happens , something comes of the day and like magic it always works out.
I have the greatest person in my life and finally feel free. This freedom of creativity has me motivated to quickly take any idea and execute it.
(A recent picture below of Gus Fink and his wife Emi Boz)
Every moment has a purpose, you just have to give it the right one.
STRFKR,The Browning, Suicide Silence, Dr. Acula, Pixies, Nirvana, Chelsea Grin, DeadMau5
I don’t have a favorite just like a lot of different stuff that helps the mood I’m in.
(Picture below of Gus aged 23 and playing in his old band ‘Bleed as One’)
Favorite TV show(s)?
The leftovers, The office, Stranger things,Hard Knocks, Tales from the Crypt…
HBO does the best TV
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
(Pictures below of some art by Gus)
The Shining, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the Royal Tennenbaums, the First Nightmare on Elmstreet, Star Wars, Batman movies
Favorite books and comics?
Batman + Spawn
Favorite other artist(s)?
Kurt Cobain, Jim Hensen, whomever designed M.U.S.C.L.E. men toys
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
The politics + the gimmicks
(Pictures below of some art by Gus)
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
Capabilities of doing anything, finding anyone and making it happen.
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
True art from my mind , from the universe.
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, anything)?
It’s natural for children to feel the need to create and I never let that go. Most people let go of their child spirit and to me it was who I am, I didn’t want to grow away from it so I never did.
(Pictures below of some art by Gus)
What did you draw and make as a pre-teen child?
Average stuff for the most part but at 9 I decided to draw the things I saw when I closed my eyes. took me years to realize not everyone can see the things I see.
It’s something God given.
What did you draw and make as a teen?
Wanted to be a cool comic book artist for awhile and I did really bad drawings that nobody liked. When I was 18-19 I started to find my own style and it was the same flow of creativity it always had.
Any pivotal artistic moment/influence?
Seeing the Basquiat movie made an impact , it showed me that you didn’t have to be a boring taught artist but could do it your own way and I loved knowing you could make it as an artist without rules.
I really hate rules to any art and letting go of all that helped me take off.
(Picture below showing the 1996 ‘Basquiat’ film poster – Gus’ pivotal artistic influence)
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
I’m terrible at doing the normal things that most do and I really get depressed when I had to do it. Going to school , working for others it left me so biter and angry I decided to quit at a young age and had nothing to fall back on.
This forced me to stay hungry and work hard for every dollar so I could eat and pay rent.
Describe the process of producing your art…
I like to not know what I will create and let it happen.
It’s my favorite when I get to think up new things, new stories , new ideas and then make it happen exactly how I want to.
* Your sketches + comics?
I don’t do comics too much any more – they don’t give me the pleasure that they used to. But I will still write them and design…. I’m always sketching and usually don’t plan it just let it flow with the current feeling.
* Your paintings?
Same thing, unless its a commission — one thing I should mention is I like to make things that I would enjoy, not for others. This helps me enjoy the process and not worry what others think — usually this is my best work too when I do it right.
* Your digital art?
Digital art is my pre-planned art. Digital art is for something that needs to be correct so it’s my only planned art for the most part.
So for packaging, or animation projects, video games I usually start off the computer and then do the digital to enhance ….sometimes it’s all digital but not often.
Describe the process of producing your sculptural creations? – from original sculpt, moulding, production, to finally holding that sweet sweet finished product in your hands… (dot point all o.k.)
I mostly sculpt the way I paint and draw, without much pre planning – just feel of the moment kind of work– once in awhile I’ll do it a little pre planned and then it will certainly turn out different.
Your ‘Creeplings’ blind box series recently had a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign – getting funded and garnering a lot of praise and press…
* What role do you each play in ‘Creeplings’?
I drew them out and let Emi (my wife) sculpt – then I had to tell her if there was anything I didn’t like on the first few – she learns quickly and does an amazing job. She can take my flat drawings and make them come to life.
She’s much better at sculpting my drawings then myself and it’s a perfect balance and combination.
* Why the name ‘Creeplings’?
I used to own a website called creeplings for these creepy photos I did – I always loved the name it started from a strange painting I did.
I never forget fun names I come up with.
* How do you see the series and concept developing – a cartoon, game, plush toys etc?
As big as any IP really I think all of my ideas can grow out and become something of all media and materials as long as the masses love it.
(Pictures below of the ‘Creeplings’ line of blind box figures)
What release do you both get from collaborating, that you don’t get working independently?
Emi and I collaborate on every project in some aspect. We discuss most all we work on and share ideas constantly — everyday is full of priorities and things to get done.
What ever happened to your old plush toy series ‘Kreebils’?
They are still alive just taking a break for now.
We were supposed to do cool plastic toys of them but it didn’t happen.
(Pictures below of the ‘Kreebils’ line of plush toys)
Are art-toys for the kids?
Yes, our toys are more for kids than adults but cool enough for adults to enjoy.
Kids are very important to me and I already seen how cool the new generations are that grew up with boogily heads and are adults now. It’s so cool to see that happen.
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 never was part of the cool club of art toys or accepted in any way. I used to really want to be part of that little special group.
I think my toys are more for kids than adults and maybe that’s why, I don’t know but I really just do my own thing and not worry about those details anymore.
Thoughts on the rise of resin as an artistic medium?
I’m glad people can do that stuff, I’m not good at it but I also don’t have much energy for it.
What role did toys play in your childhood?
A huge roll – they are a big reason I do what I do, that and cool 80’s films.
Odds n Ends
Please describe your experiences growing up in the USA?
I grew up in a small town that I really enjoyed. But saw it change and grow violent. Dark and crime filled
I enjoyed spending time with my grandfather and uncle, as my father left a lil bit after when I was born.
Hazleton was mostly an Italian place. Me not being Italian I was excluded from most things but overall I look back and just focus on the good. Which was growing. And learning from experiences rather then all the bad.
Who was your 1st crush and why?
‘Who’s that Girl‘ movie came out and I was in awe. I guess it’s the powerful artist and actress she was in one.
She was the 80s so it was hard not to crush on her.
(Picture below of the poster for the 1987 film ‘Who’s That Girl – featuring Gus’ childhood crush, Madonna)
Does sex change everything?
Can’t say it does.
Please describe your latest dream in detail…
Don’t want to give good ideas out. Lots of great ideas come from dreams. But I’ll make one up and see where it goes…
The was a factory that used to make clocks. It went abandoned long ago with the owner dying inside. But when a teenage cat decided to rest inside he accidently turned the owners clock heart back on. Now all the old sold clocks are in sync with the factory…
Wait this sounds more like a strange movie or something – Sorry!
Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
I don’t think I’ve done my most memorial stuff yet.
(Pictures below of some art by Gus)
Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?
Huge waste of time for people like me. I never wanted to be around or get involved with them.
The body and mind should be treated with more respect and take in all the reality we perceive so we can come up with better ways to change it with good sober thought.
Please describe what you think the American Psyche/Zeitgeist is today?
The American psyche today. Hmm. So do you mean what the masses are thinking and feeling – And my take on it?!
Without being political. Respect at all times. Americans want it. And respect is really from love – The world wants to be loved and respected.
Americans are a diverse pool of all kinds from this planet. Probably the most diverse. Which is why it’s hated and also so loved and great at coming up with cool things. It’s the perfect center point to grow up poor. Be carved up and look to make it.
Probably didn’t answer this well. But I believe personal opinions only get people overly criticized in today’s internet mind set.
Which 1990’s era cartoon, would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why?
…I guess this is why it’s called art whore? I don’t consider myself an art whore in any way. Almost didn’t do the article since it’s called that.
But I like what you’re doing over all and how we connected…
Who would win in a fight and why: a redneck on his way home from the pub Vs. A gang of teen art punks out on the town?
I’d say the rabbit with the baseball bat would defeat the clown bear with hammer.
Gus Fink – Stand Alone Questions
You have been involved in the indie game ‘Fright Show Fighter’ released by 3Fright
* who is involved and what role did you each play in the game making process?
I did all the character designs and background designs.
I didn’t do the 3D graphics. Jeff Brown took my designs and does what he does best as well as animating everything.
Doug K is our master mind programmer and invented his own game engine.
Together the 3 of us are the perfect video game trio and love what we do.
* why the decision to venture into the world of games?
Video games are the future. And I loved them so much growing up. It’s another dream come true.
People seem to be against making dreams come reality but I’ve always believed in them. And not giving up on any of them.
* any other game projects in the works – either independently or with 3Firght?
I’ve done some others and have a few in different stages but the other people I work with don’t get things done in a timely manner. Which is why it’s so delayed.
More will happen. Mostly with 3 fright.
(Pictures below of the ‘Fright Show Fighter’ game)
I discovered you also make films when researching your interview, which was a nice surprise!
* Who is involved in the making of your films?
I’ve been working with a lot of people and made new friends from my new films. I now live in a great area which I wasn’t used to seeing people so kind to helping me with my ideas and visions when it comes to making films.
I write and direct and executive produce them and have assorted actors, Cinematographer, and loads of others helping out. Producers. Audio. Musicians. Editors.
All great people too!
* Care to explain your recent film – ‘Hubert and the Night People’?
Hubert is my first film. I’ve done 2 since that are near completion.
Hubert is about a lonely middle aged man that has no friends in the real world but each night is visited by the night people after he does his daily routines. The night is what he lives for. The days he dreads.
(Pictures below of Gus’s film work ‘Hubert and the Night People’ in VHS format)
What ever happened to your old project ‘Dr Kinkles’?
It’s not an old project but still going. It’s more so a brand for certain ip we do. So instead of saying by Gus fink, it will be by Dr Krinkles.
It’s a very long story that I’ll talk more about in 10 years haha!
What is the backtale – both artistic and narritive – to your art toy series ‘Boogily Heads’?
For boogily heads I’m in a car so I’ll make it a lil short…
Artistically I wanted to produce a line direct from my sculptures. This was a time when all the smooth slick artist vinyl were out but not many sculpted them. I also wanted to do something my way. Since making them I noticed recently the design is being copied of the body shape and such with no legs
The backstory on them is they are creatures from my head and came alive in the boogily world . From creating a magical box I was able to take my original sculptures and make them real once placed in the fink box
(Pictures below of some of the ‘Boogily Heads’)
How did you come to have your Antique Horror clothing designs stocked in ‘Hot Topic’?
I’ve met some great people that sell into hot topic and we became good friends.
At first we weren’t sure which line to do but they really loved the antique horror line.
So it’s been a fun progression and experience.
(Pictures below of some of Gus’ ‘Antique Horror‘ t shirt line)
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Films and video games are the ultimate collaboration.
I’m sure I’ll be doing more.
Most of my projects I can’t announce until their release so I got to keep this more brief…
Any major projects you want to hype?
Let’s see…. Creeplings.com for sure.
Gooli monsters and Stitch kittens have brand new plush toys that are launching as we speak.
Keep an eye out for my video games release and stay tuned on my films. I suppose that’s all!
Thanks for the opportunity.