Adam Hughes - Designing Collectibles

Hello to you handful of dedicated blog readers out there. This week, I'm coming to you with a pretty cool interview... The one and only Adam Hughes!! I ask Adam about designing sculptures for the collectibles industry. Hope you enjoy it!!
AP: When did you first start designing comic sculptures, and what was the first piece you designed? 
  
AH: I think the first statue I designed was Wonder Woman fighting a three-headed hydra, for DC Direct. That was... 9 years ago, maybe?
  
AP: In the two big lines that are out now (DC Direct and Sideshow Collectibles), there seems to be a slightly different sensibility between the two. Sideshow's line looks more like "real" women, and DC's stuff has more of that comic look. Was that a decision you made or did each company have a different look in mind? 
  
AH: I think that's the companies themselves making that decision.  I just come up with ideas for stuff, and the companies' sculptors & painters interpret them in their own way.
  
AP: The story that's captured in the pose, look and details of these pieces are what really set them apart from other comic statues. What goes into coming up with the stories for these pieces? Are you tying it back to a particular story line, or are you looking for a part of that character that hasn't been explored? 
  
AH: It all depends on what'd make a cool statue, so 'yes' to both.  I take it on a statue-by-statue basis.  As for what goes into coming up with these stories of each statue, it's just a small attempt to make the statue more than just a pose, when we can.  If a statue or cover can require some kind of closure by the viewer, then I think people enjoy looking longer.  Their brain tries to fill in the missing parts of the story, usually 'how did she get in this predicament or wonder what's gonna happen next?'
 
AP: How much freedom are you given in the design of a piece? and how long do you spend on the design? 
  
AH: I'm given a fair amount of freedom, especially by Sideshow.  I think my input is valued by some, and my ideas are sometimes listened to!
  
AP: Was having a line of sculpts based on your designs your idea or were you approached by Sideshow and DC with the idea? 
  
AH: I was approached by the companies.  I'm so busy trying to be a 2D artist I wouldn't think of working in a different field or medium...
 
AP: You're known for sexy boobalicious girls, and all the statues so far have reflected that, but are you at all interested in designing some male comic statues? If so, which figures would you like to do? 
  
AH: Captain America, Batman, Superman... some of the biggies.  There was a Marvel character from the 1970s black-and-white magazines called STAR-LORD that I really loved.  I think designing a statue of him would be awesome, but I think there's only about 8 people who'd want to buy it...
 
AP: As a sculptor, I know the challenges of creating a Three Dimensional piece based on Two dimensional art. Was this a challenge that was difficult for you? Did you work with the sculptors to improve the designs? 
 
AH: Yes.  I've worked with them all, pretty much.  It's challenging to create a  concept that works from several angles; not difficult, but certainly challenging.
 
AP: Is there any one piece that really stands out as one that captured the feeling you were after, more so than others? 
 
AH: Probably the Rogue comiquette or the Catwoman minibust.
 
AP: Now that you've designed so many of these pieces, are there any characters that you'd still like to do, or possibly re-visit? 
 
AH: Too many to mention.  But I'd love to do a big Premium Format Catwoman statue, with real leather.
 
AP: In recent conversations with sculptor friends, we've talked about the difficulty of pleasing the collectors. Do you look at the feedback that's out there, or do you try and avoid that? 
 
AH: I have to avoid it, and I used to pay a lot of attention to what the collector's say.  But most of what's said is toxic: impolite, or downright hateful.  I believe in Teacup Rules when it comes to the Internet - don't write anything you wouldn't say to someone's face.  People also seem to think that fame, dubious or otherwise, comes with a thick skin.  After a while, the shitty stuff people would write about me would start to preoccupy my mind, and it would affect my work.  So, I stopped reading everything.  I just do my job now; if you don't like a statue I designed, don't buy it.

 

AP: With your new book coming out (Cover Run: The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes), have you considered putting out a book of all the sculpts that you've designed along with pictures and stories behind the making of those pieces? 

AH: Actually, no.  That's a neat idea.  Maybe we'll do something like that down the road.

AP: I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my silly questions. Are there any final thoughts you'd like to add or something you'd like to throw out to the fans? 

 

AH: Nothing more than a heartfelt thanks for 22 years of support.  I hope to keep going for a long time, unless I win the lottery.

-Adam-