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Career path interview with Joseph Menna

By 3dtotal staff

Web: http://www.josephmenna.com/ (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 3rd December 2013

This was a personal work of Caesar from Joe's foundry years

3dtotal: What can people expect from working in the industry?

Joseph: Honestly, the foundry industry SUCKS but toys and collectibles are awesome. I'm a huge geek so being able to participate in the creation of homages to some of the greatest characters in modern mythic storytelling is an awesome experience. People like me get to make stuff that people want to spend their hard-earned money on, so I don't take any gig lightly.

Marvel's Mephisto made for Bowen Designs

3dtotal: What are the key things that a great portfolio must have?

Joseph: A lot of people want to work in toys and collectibles these days and it takes more than being able to sculpt muscled-up dudes in tights in fixed poses or monsters... you really need to be able to sculpt a wide range of subjects to make it in this business and I think a lot of people trying to get in are missing that in their portfolios. Student work tends to look like student work, too. Only show your best. Fewer amazing pieces are better than a lot of okay pieces in a portfolio, in my opinion.

Arkham City's Solomon Grundy made for DC Collectibles

3dtotal: Where would you like to be in five years' time?

Joseph: Still enjoying my family and still being able to take care of them by making a living doing something that I've loved since I was born.

Detail on the Injustice – Gods Among Us premium statue

3dtotal: Looking back with the benefit of your experience, are there are things you wish you had done differently, in terms of your career?

Joseph: Not wasted as much time with self doubt and second guessing. I tend to over-think things. Paralysis by analysis – it's poison to an artist. I also wish I hadn't struggled so much with the decision to go digital early on despite having gotten involved with it over a decade ago! For many years I was one foot in, one foot out and my development with digital media has suffered as a result. It's only now that I feel that I can really fly a bit with this stuff but even so, I try to keep a constant beginner's mind and keep learning. It gets harder as you get older in my experience.

Voldemort for Gentle Giant Ltd

3dtotal: If you could give one piece of advice to people looking to break into the industry, what would it be?

Joseph: Work your ass off and be honest with yourself about the results. Nothing will blind you more than your own indulgent self satisfaction. If you climb the mountain, look for a bigger one, always thinking your best work is still ahead of you.

Joe created this image of Darth Maul for Gentle Giant Ltd

Related links

Joseph Menna's Instagram site
The Bridgeview School of Art in New York City, United States
The Repin Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia
The Stieglitz Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia

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