We sat down with the super talented and ultra creative Jack Venturo! Jack’s diorama are possibly one of the most detailed and amazing things I’ve ever seen at a Con. We also discovered his talents go well beyond dioramas….
- How do your dioramas compare to now and when you first started at the age of 15?
The more I do it the better and easier it gets to make dioramas, when I was doing things back then the internet was not what it is today, now If I am doing a replica of a movie scene I can actually see the blueprints from the set or fine detailed photographs for reference.
- You are also an accomplished filmmaker; do you feel that’s helped you in making your dioramas?
I think they help each other out. I’m a storyteller, whether I’m telling a story with a movie or with a piece of art I still need to get a message across. As far as the technical aspect of the construction I feel they also work together to paint a scene and block it in a way to also tell a story.
- What finally convinced you to go out and sell your dioramas?
Ever since I started making them everyone always told me to start selling them. I never wanted to sell the ones I made for myself. My friend and business partner Ben Goretsky who is the director of Designercon finally convinced me to make new pieces for the public and get a booth at the convention. Now I make new pieces every year for sale on my website and at Designercon I will be going again in November in Anaheim, CA. This will be my 8th year.
- You are pretty involved with every medium…from dioramas and film-making to painting and puppetry. How do you keep the creative juices flowing?
The creative juices are always there; I have to do things to keep them at bay. I try my best to have as much quiet time, reading, writing, hanging out with friends, engaged in conversation, reflecting and relaxing.
- Has becoming a parent changed your creative process and how much you are able to work?
It did, it does, it will. At first I took a break from a lot of things because I was so concentrated in just being a father and a stay at home dad, the creative juices kept flowing and the creativity was always there, it was frustrating because I thought I would have to give it up but I realized I found new inspiration from my children. It took a while to realize there needs to be a balance and it took some work to rethink the process and create a healthy balance as to always be there for them but also take care of what I needed to do for my work.
- First thing I noticed when I saw your dioramas was the incredible detail to each piece, can you take us over your process on what it takes to make each piece?
The main inspiration when making a diorama is the action figure, the character of whatever movie or TV show it portrays. I try to replicate the scene with as much attention to detail as possible but not to make an exact copy, I like to add my own spin on it, also to make it fit the space. I plan everything out and draw on the wood where everything will go, measure and start building layer upon layer.
- Is it hard for you to sell the art you’ve taken so long to create?
The art I make for the public is strictly that. For the public. I actually want these pieces to go to good homes, I want people to display them and walk by them in their houses and stop for a bit and stick their heads inside the dioramas and enjoy them as much as I enjoy mine, I get excited to meet the people that buy them and I am excited to build the pieces for them.
- Do you take requests on dioramas? and if so which is the strangest request you’ve had?
I have taken requests on special occasions but I don’t actually do custom or commissioned work on a regular basis. I have gotten a lot of requests for large pieces, nothing strange really just stuff that I wish I could do for myself as well. Just shipping and materials would make these pieces almost impossible for your average everyday customer. Of course I would want a dining room table sized battle of HOTH but who’s going to want to pay for that?
- Film-making, dioramas, puppetry… what’s next?
I am currently re editing and will be re-releasing all 7 of my movies and I am in development on a new movie. I will be building new dioramas for this year’s Designercon, the puppetry will always be with me and I have a lot of fun doing it. Currently I am working on a web series on YouTube called “Toy Geeks: Behind The Counter” it’s on its second season and I direct, edit, produce, co-host and puppeteer. I have a few other projects and ideas in the works, just have to see where they take me.
- Where’s the best place for our readers to find you?
My main website is www.JackVenturo.com that has links to everything. You can follow my film-making directly at www.VenturoProductions.com my art and dioramas are at www.Jackorama.com and of course on YouTube every week at www.ToyGeeks.com