Featured Artist: Andrew Speranza of A.S. CreationsJune 16, 2013
The GCE had the opportunity for a chat with Andrew Speranza of A.S. Creations recently about his work involving creating lifesize characters as well as masks and busts, his inspiration and what is coming up next for the young artist.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Andrew Speranza. I’m 28 years old and from Nobleton, Ontario, Canada. As a child I always loved films, especially those revolving around superheroes. Growing up in the mid 80’s, I surrounded myself with characters such as Batman and Superman. They were my idols that U looked up to; I didn’t go a day without having a toy, an article of clothing or a snack that wasn’t superhero related. Sure, as all kids grow up they learn to put aside childish things, but not me. This passion wasn’t just something I could forget or grow out of. It’s been with me from when I began to walk to this present day.
2. When did you first start making masks and busts and what inspired you to start?
I have always enjoyed painting and sketching. I have always had a fundamental base for the arts and took many art classes. I began to focus more of my time on sculpting and painting as I got older. I started to re-create sculptures and lifesize replicas of my favorite characters. I focused mostly on my childhood heroes but also on the horror and sci-fi genre as I began to branch out.
3. What was the first thing you ever made?
The first character that I sculpted was the Michael Keaton Batman which was 6 years ago. Since then through practice, workshops, and of course lots of cursing, I have further developed my skills which have helped me produce more accurate pieces.
4. How have your skills improved in the years you have been doing this and how do you keep current with the methods of the trade you are in?
I try to produce what people are interested in. I have a couple up and coming pieces that are in the mainstream such as Batman, Avengers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. These franchises have either recently returned to the big screen or are coming out in the next couple years are what I focus on the most.
5. What kind of materials do you use? How easy (or difficult) are they to work with?
I use a varied amount of materials to create my projects, depending on what I want the end result to be. If I am creating display busts or statues, I use a resin which cures and becomes a hard plastic-like material. If I am producing wearable costume parts such as masks, I will cast with a hypoallergenic latex or urethane rubber. Some of the materials have longer setting times, more than one part, and are more difficult to use. It all depends on it’s intended purpose before it’s made what materials I will use.
6. How long does it take for you to create a lifesize character from start to finish?
From start to finish, it takes me three weeks to a month if I am working an hour or so a day on a sculpture from the sculpt phase to molding to the final cast product. I like to work on multiple projects at a time so I can come back and see anything I want to fix or that I’m not happy with so that draws the whole process out a little bit more.
7. Can you tell us a little about any projects you have coming up?
I have a few ideas for up and coming projects some are still on the drawing board, but I will be doing a Hulk and Wolverine cowl. I will be displaying some new work at the upcoming Fan Expo here in Toronto in August. It’s all a surprise right now!
8. Any advice for people who may want to get into what you are doing?
I’m blessed that I have had the opportunity to travel to different cities and share my work with people. It’s very rewarding to receive the amazing feedback that I have gotten from so many great people. It is definitely scary at first to put your work and yourself out there to be critiqued but it is all part of being an artist. Some people will like it and some people won’t. All I can say for aspiring artists is to do what you love–do it because it makes you happy. I have followed those words and its led me down great paths so far.
9. Where can we find you online? Do you have any upcoming conventions or trade shows?
If you are interested in checking out my work you can like the page A.S Creations on Facebook. You an also check out mine and a good friends site who also makes busts and props at www.nightfallstudio.com. I will also have a booth at Fan Expo, which runs August 22nd through the 25th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre so stop by and see what I’ve been working on lately!