Interviewed by: Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
Retro Gaming is a huge passion of mine. There's nothing better than going to a retro gaming market and seeing your favourite childhood games and consoles neatly lined up ready for you to browse through and buy. More intricately, over the last five years I've noticed some gorgeous custom Super Nintendo's, Game Boy's, Game Cube's and more. Adding a splash of colour to a SNES Shell certainly adds a level of personality and charm I would have never expected. So when Rob from R.A.W Talent Art approached me to collaborate I jumped at the chance. I got the chance to catch up with Rob to talk about some of his work in the console modding community and we find out just what is it that inspires him?
So Rob, tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a 37 year old father of two. I live in Norwich, Norfolk but without the accent, luckily. I'm a creative sort that's a bit of a perfectionist who is currently learning the art of patience. I enjoy playing consoles with my kids and revel in showing them the Retro games I grew up with. Only when they get older will they realise that not every child has access to almost all consoles every released!
How would you describe Console Modding to someone who didn't know about it?
To me console customising and modding is a passion, an escape, therapy, hobby and a job I guess. Its most peoples wish to be paid for something they are passionate about and I've worked hard for almost 8 years to get to the level I'm at now.
What got you in to console modding?
Before I customised consoles I was an illustrator/artist. I was commissioned to make paintings of various things, namely Marvel characters, books covers, abstract work. I became disillusioned with the way I had to acquire work, bidding for jobs against other artists who could afford to do the work for less as they still lived at home with few commitments. I couldn't survive this way so buckled and became a driver for a big supermarket for a few years. This was OK but not my aim in life and soon felt like something was missing from my life. It dawned on me that that thing was creativity. With a full time job and two young children spare time was almost non existent. I started to think of a way to get back into being creative artistically with limited time. The paintings I made previously were VERY time consuming. I asked myself what my passions were, art was an obvious one and the other was gaming. So I came up with a way of combining my passions into a hobby.
Do you prefer Console Modding or the customisation side of things?
I enjoy modding and customising equally. I find it good mentally to swap regularly between the two so my brain gets some variety. Sometimes bad weather days I can't work from my spray shed so I work on modding inside I stead. But if someone held a gun to my head and I had to choose only one it would be customising, spraying process is very therapeutic.
Which console is the trickiest to modify?
I'm yet to customise every type of console but have worked on a good chunk of the most popular. The trickiest I've worked on would be the original ps2. It has the grill type moulding around the console which can be awkward to get paint into correctly without putting too much on. I've worked out a process to accommodate this issue since but I can't tell you how or I'd have to kill you. Just kidding of course.
The trickiest console to modify/mod I've worked on would again be the PS2. I perform a region free modchip install called the modbo chip. It requires soldering to many tiny and fragile legs of various chips and is very easy to mess up. Apart from that most consoles I modify have plenty of room and few awkward components, the older the console the easier it gets due to bigger and more simple components.
What are your inspirations for console modding/customising?
Im very inspired by the use of colour and pattern in my work. I strive to make work that stands out amongst the others out there. When commissioned to produced a themed design I'll play the game that the console design is based around and get a feel for it. I try to include colours, patterns and images that relate to the theme.
With every art form it's sometimes difficult to be inspired, a kind of writers block. You have to stand back and try to think in a different way. It's not easy but when a design comes together and the customer is happy it's one of the best feelings. I work on many commissions at the same time so swapping your thoughts from one design to the next is challenging but a challenge I accept!
Where can people find more examples of your work or possibly commission you?
You can view my work and contact me through instagram, Facebook and I have an Etsy shop.
INSTAGRAM - r.a.w.talentart
FACEBOOK - @RAWTALENTART
ETSY SHOP - https://www.etsy.com/shop/RAWTALENTART
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