Artists have an innate ability to see things that do not exist. Inside their mind's eye lives a fantastic world of imagination & creativity. No one has never really understood how this works. There is no real switch that turns off & on. This ability is just always there...living inside of them. For Jeffrey Scott Hower, this ability manifested itself one fateful day early on in his childhood.
"I was almost 7 when A New Hope debuted in theaters. My folks took me to see it & it was a very impactful experience. I was stunned by the visuals, the sound, the music, the creatures...it was just so amazing. I had always been into figures at that age too. Action Man, Adventure Team, 12" GI Joe, Evil Kneivel, but the Star Wars toys were just incredible. The figures, vehicles & playsets were the best."
Embracing the impact that this experience had on him, Jeffrey began creating...building his own imagination into pieces of reality. Untouchable things only existent in creative visions were now tangible, able to be seen & appreciated. This did not come without some trial & error. Acts of hard work & patience became daily rituals.
"As I got a bit older, toys lost their allure & I got into model building, cars, military & of course Star Wars. But no matter how much I bashed, modded, & detailed those kits I couldn't build enough personality into them. Then I found GI Joe 25th anniversary figures & that took me back to my childhood memories of having battles with my younger brother mixing our Star Wars & GI Joe figures into crazy armies. So, I started swapping parts from all over the place with those new Joes & Star Wars stuff, then discovered a couple websites where I learned that there was a huge community of builders & artist doing the same thing. I learned what I was doing wrong & ways to do what I was doing right better."
How did this experience of networking with other builders help Jeffrey? He put his talents to good use. By finding creative solutions for the small problems he faced with different builds, he discovered that bigger problems were just as easily dealt with. He practiced & experimented with different techniques until he became grounded in a comfortable style of customizing. Obstacles became part of the process. Weaknesses were turned into strengths.
"I use parts from so many different toylines to make my pieces as different & individual as I can, sometimes I have to heavily modify parts to make them work. I still have a hard time painting eyes after 7 years of building customs. Also, I recently had eye surgery to repair a detached retina & had to really change how I do things now, since I only have around 50% restored vision in my right eye."
Typically, putting in 12 to 20 hours of build time per project has helped to keep Jeffrey working towards his short term goals. Keeping a humble attitude & open mind towards his progress also helps to strengthen his craft. When asked about personal success & plans for the future, he replied with the following...
"I don't think I have built anything really spectacular yet, but I recently did a GI Joe Croc Master that was a great challenge & I'm really proud of how it turned out. For a dream build, I would love to build a massive Mos Eisley 1:18 scale diorama with structures, inhabitants & vehicles."
As for passing on his knowledge to other customizers, Jeffrey stays very active on social media. Using several Facebook groups for sharing tips & advice, he makes himself available to help anyone willing to learn. When asked about helpful hints he could offer to someone new to the world of custom building, Jeffrey offered this advice. "I would tell novice customizers to be patient, learn from tutorials that are out there, practice & don't be afraid to try new things."
Dedication, experimentation, & hard work are all noticeable in Jeffrey's customs. His builds are that of true creative artistry. Thank you, Jeffrey, for your contribution to the Star Wars Fan Community. It's artists like you who keep our imaginations alive.
To see more epic Star Wars Customs you can follow Jeffrey Scott Hower on Facebook.