Welcome to the November edition of Reactor-88's Custom Corner. This month we’re highlighting Mind of the Masons. In the past I’ve kept Custom Corner features fairly concise, but when I contacted Joshua he really had a lot to say, so here are Joshua’s responses in all their glory- enjoy!
What’s your name?
My name is Joshua D Mason and I run Mind of the Masons. My wife Bethany and brother Mykel are my partners in crime and help run MOTM as well. The three of us bring different skill sets to the table, and hopefully down the road we'll be able to offer a wide variety of artistic services to our customers, family, and friends.
Where are you located?
Colorado, born and raised! We've never really had the desire to be located anywhere else. Mountains, lakes, sand dunes… We have it all, other than some salt water action but that's what vacations are for. Bethany and I own a house, "The Masonry" which is a bit out of the way from any major city- something we both love. A large yard means plenty of space for our Great Danes to play and I wouldn't be surprised if we own a farm within the next 10 years. Seriously, my wife loves horses!
Day job or full-time artist?
The day that at least one of us is able to take this art business full time will be a milestone for us. We all currently work full time jobs. Bethany works at a plastic surgeons office in Boulder, I work with 401k plans in Longmont and my brother Mykel works at our family owned sew and vac shop in Thornton. When we get home, we almost always have something to do for Mind of the Masons. You could easily say we have two jobs.
Any random things you want people to know about you?
I could comprise quite the list if given the chance- which with an open question like this I should, but I'll keep it short. I have an open mind for all forms of art and creativity. Growing up I was influenced by both table top games and video games. Zelda, Ogre Battle 64, Diablo, FFVII, Morrowind- the list goes on, but you could safely say that gaming was a must! I also started playing Dungeons & Dragons when I was 11 years old and have been hooked since. I'm quite alright with my nerdy side and I have to point out that my love for D&D drove me to pick up a paint brush and have a go at those old pewter miniatures. Customizing them for other players around the table, having requested for color ways- yeah you could say that my custom work started at a much earlier phase in my life, haha.
How long have you been painting toys?
I didn't get into customizing toys until 2009, and that was only after I remember seeing a customized Munny in a tattoo shop- the artwork on it was amazing! I told my wife what I had saw and she scouted out the interwebs for what I had described, sure enough she found the DIY Kidrobot Munny. The first custom I did was with Sharpies- "Valentine". I quickly jumped onto KR's forums and started reading about what others were doing with their figures. I was drawn to the sculpted work and wanted to take a crack at it myself. Sewing machine & vacuum parts from the family business were easy to come by, so I decided to take a swing at making a robot for a friend's birthday present- "MMROB-033109". Looking back at those first few steps, it's amazing to see where my works have taken me. While I still feel like I hold true to my original tracks, the materials, techniques and tools have advanced. I’ve been going strong and concepts continue to flow to this day, so you can bet on us sticking around for a while!
Anything specific you’d like people to know about your toy work (style, influences, special techniques, etc.)?
If you were able to see our feed for both Instagram and Facebook, you'd see that we attempt to surround ourselves with creative minds of many different scenes. Customizers, illustrators, photographers, sculptors… I can never get enough of what's out there. Major influences within the toy scene are guys likes Huck Gee, JPK, Scribe, Squink, to my more close dudes I talk to and respect- Rsin, Playful Gorilla, Mike Fudge, 84Pages, James Fuller. There are many more as well but these names stand out- the craftsmanship, concepts and work these gentleman put out there are top of the line.
Do you take commissions?
While most of the time we do, this past year we've only taken on a few requests. Bigger projects have been happening behind the scenes that we are very excited about. Expect to see some openings in 2015!!!
Best way(s) for people to contact you/see your work?