UVD: Would you mind telling us a little background about yourself?
JC Rivera: I’m originally from Puerto Rico. I came to the US in 2001 with Disney’s College Program and after the program was over I decided to stay. I lived in Florida for 7 years and then moved to Chicago in mid 07. I’ve always had a sketchbook with me since I remember. I sold my first Spiderman drawing to a friend for $2 in 7th grade. True story! But it wasn’t until 2005 when I was a retail manager and I really didn’t see myself doing that forever. That is when I started to put more time and energy into my arts. My wife had some acrylic paint and a canvas and I started playing with that. I liked it and I kept at it and it’s turned into my full-time passion.
UVD: Since you are fairly new to the scene. What attracted you to the world of designer toys and what made you start customizing?
JC Rivera: When I was living in Florida I went to see the Terribly Odd show at a Store/Gallery in Winter Park called Uberbot. Great Work btw! I saw some Munnys on display and I was like “cool! I can paint it my way!” So, I got one, and then another one and I was hooked! But it was as a hobby, I was not interested in selling or to showing them to anyone. I did my first show in 2009. It was a Skully custom show at Chuckwa. After that I slowed down for a little bit until late 2010 when I decided to go at it hardcore.
UVD: You have been utilizing many of the new Dunny sculpts. Are there any interesting challenges working with these new designs? Or is it exciting to work with different figures than many other artists?
JC Rivera: Dunnys are fun to customize and everyone loves them. Or maybe it’s the fact that they don’t come DIY that makes them attractive to people.. It’s hard to get that type of effect.
Lately I’ve been working on a lot of different figures and yes! It is fun when you feel challenged by the figure and other artists that already did a custom of the figure. That pressure is good stuff!
UVD: Besides making custom toys what are some of your other hobbies?
JC Rivera: I’m a wannabe photographer. Love taking creative pictures. I used to have a blog for my amateur photography but Instagram came along and makes me feel like I’m a pro with all the filters and stuff. A lot of people know how much I love that app ;)