Awhile back, Paul Bedford (writer/creator of THE LIST graphic novel) was showing off an awesome statue on facebook, that he had made by a local sculptor, Julian Briones.
It was bloody impressive to say the least, so I got Julian’s email from Paul and dropped him an enquiry about how much he charged for custom statues like that, and if I could possibly get one made of Killeroo.
He replied back, very enthusiastic about the character and the chance to sculpt him, but I didn’t have the funds at that time so I put the idea on the backburner. Julian later contacted me, explaining he had a window of time in his schedule, and reaffirmed his enthusiasm for the character. I was impressed not only by his rates, but also his obvious passion for his craft. I organised a payment plan and gave him the greenlight to get started.
He gave me an overview for his idea for the pose, and it sounded pretty good. I could tell I was dealing with a professional here, not just some enthusiastic amateur. After looking through his portfolio, my expectations were pretty high. But he still BLEW THEM OUT OF THE WATER right from the first WIP photo:
With each progressive email, the more amazed I became. The fur textures, the facial detail, the outfit and accessories… just spectacular craftsmanship.
I think I tried to play it cool at one point, with comments like “yeah it’s okay, looks half-decent bro, but you need to work more on this area…” but I couldn’t maintain it. Before long I just gushed my admiration for his work, unashamedly.
Through it all, he was very open and accommodating for the few little tweaks I asked for, and even came to me with some ideas, which I usually agreed wholeheartedly with. Holding the kangaroo sign was Julian’s idea, not mine (tho I wish I’d though of it)!
WHERE CAN I GET ONE, I hear you ask.
Sadly (for now at least) it’s a one-off piece. Julian and I looked into the costs of casting moulds and mass production, but they were just too cost-prohibitive.
I think it has the potential to be commercially very successful, even to people unfamiliar with the Killeroo comics themselves. It’s just such an iconic statue, it reeks of Australia, which would likely make it particularly appealing as a high-end piece of tourist merchandise. One day my friends… one day.
This last photo shows him very near completion and fully painted, there’s just a few little details and tweaks to go and I’ll be taking delivery next weekend. I can’t wait!
If All Star Comics in Melbourne have some space in one of their cabinets, I might ask them to display him there for a few weeks, as it’s too great a piece of art for me alone to enjoy.
The best part though? My statue is better than Paul Bedford’s.
Last but not least, here’s how you can get in touch with Julian to make a personalised sculpture for YOU!
Unfortunately, it seems like his website (http://www.julianbriones.com) is currently down as of this writing, but you can check out many of Julian’s sculptures in his DeviantArt gallery. His DA account also lists his prices for the work too, in case you’re wondering how much it will set you back.
Or just drop him a line at julianbriones at gmail dot com