Say what... Magazine : 1611
PAG E 14 Say what... Digital Magazine • Issue 35 • November 2016 • • http://saywhat.nz A Different PAth WAlkeD... This month we find out more about being a commercial artist and sculptor by talking to Brent Larsen from Kustom Design Studios in Hamilton. How long have you been doing this? Over forty years, since I could hold a pencil. I started working for myself from about 17, with a little employment or contract work here and there early on, but mostly it has been self employment for the past 25+ years. What inspired you or steered you towards this line of work? I have loved drawing, designing and constructing things as far back as I can remember. Way back in primary school I made a cardboard model of a Battlestar Galactica Viper ship (it was the 80's ok), my mates went nuts over it and I got orders! I also loved to draw cars, hotrods & monsters, kids would ask me if I could draw the Dukes of Hazzard car or the A-Team van but with Yoda or Frankenstein driving. The seed must have been planted as I haven't stopped since. What sort of experience and/or qualifications are required to work in this role? It helps if you have a vivid imagination, are a little mad and have a PHd in the School of hard knocks. I self taught myself most things and learnt a few tricks off pros I met along the journey. These days you could approach this from a few directions like Design or Art degrees, or from a 3D CAD/Engineering background. A signwriting apprenticeship could be a good place to start but the main thing is to be creative. What's the best experience you've had on the job? Over the past 30 years there have been so many amazing experiences. The response from clients & the public are always very rewarding. When you see someone taking a selfie with something you created you just know they love it! I always enjoy challenging projects where you can push the envelope or think outside the square, also projects that involve travel or going somewhere new, it keeps things interesting. Recently I went to Melbourne to help assemble the Bosch Transformer/Robot we designed and built for them. It was quite funny trying to explain to NZ customs that we were exporting a full size transformer robot!