An Interview with Jason Wiebe, Miniature Sculptor
We are excited to announce that Jason Wiebe will be returning to sculpt the Perf miniature for this campaign. His prior work for us includes Brother Silence, The Shadow, and of course, the infamous Mound of Dead Bards.
To begin, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? What led you into a career sculpting fantasy miniatures?
So many things combined led me to this place, not the least of which was trying to avoid any semblance of real work. I had worked as a logger in Idaho and then a carpenter, then college for a couple of degrees. I started to do art as a means of paying for school, jewelry work, knifemaking and carving stone and fossil ivory. I found I enjoyed making stuff more than my degree fields. So, to support myself, I owned a couple of retail stores. One day, working at another store, Merlyn's , I saw an ad for a miniatures sculptor in an issue of Comic Buyers Guide. Sculpting in small scale was a skill I had picked up through jewelry and lapidary. My first miniatures were made for the Rifts game. I took some time to try my hand at comics and custom jewelry, but miniatures won out. From there, I worked for Wizards of the Coast in Renton, then freelanced for anyone that would hire me. Now my clients include industry standouts Reaper Miniatures and Dark Sword Miniatures as well as many guest appearances in other lines. I feel very fortunate to be able to sculpt for my favorite games and genres, go to conventions, work with top artists,and hang around with some of the best folks in the world.
What are some of your favorite sculpts? We loved your work on Reaper's Bones and of course, the infamous Mound of Dead Bards.
We always seem to be most excited by our current projects, but there are some that stick with us. One of my very earliest lines was the Py-rats for Armada miniatures, I still like those. The egyptian dwarven cavalry on ostriches for jeff valent studios. The oni and the hill giant with the tree club for reaper. Fenrir the giant wolf in the Heroclix line. The reaper yetis, a dragon or two, and a couple things I can't talk about yet for Dark Sword Miniatures. My latest favorite is the Shipwreck Golem I made for the Bones 3 KS. That one used traditional sculpting, digital sculpting, styrene construction and carving all in one piece, but the resin approval copy I saw is really tremendous. Oh and the dwarf set I made for bones 3, still available for preorder ;) check it out on my facebook.
When you're beginning work on a new sculpt, what does your process look like? From where do you draw inspiration?
Looking at whatever source material is available for the specific character. Control art, of course, requires exact interpretation. Its lucrative to work on big properties, but I enjoy sculpting from looser concepts. Maybe drag in some classical sculpture inspiration into unexpected subjects. Then, bend around an armature to a good pose and get started. Sometimes, half or two thirds of the process is invisible as it percolates around my head. Sometimes its a matter of feeding random images and thoughts into the hopper until one gels, and then its just sculpting from there on.
We've suggested two possible poses for Perf: a heroic one with a sword or one of him running away. Which direction gets you more excited?
In miniatures, heroic poses do well. But Perf follows that great tradition of comedic wizardry, of hearty heroic attempts made with the best of intentions, yet often resulting in bailing out. His true mastery may be in running away and coming back to face ever more dire threats.