Updated: Mar 30
CREATORS CORNER WITH MARTIN G. PEÑA FROM "NITRAM PRODUCTIONS"
Interview conducted by David Rodriguez
In this edition of Creator's Corner, we spoke with one of our favorites, Martin G. Pena! Although Nitram Productions is in the early stages of development, Martin has been working on masks and sculpting for about seven years. He loves doing what he does and is excited to put together a portfolio and grow! Thank you, Martin, for being a part of this project and we look forward to what the future holds for you and your company!
See below for our in-depth interview as well as a myriad of pictures showing his work and links to where you may reach him.
Often times, artists like yourself can pinpoint an exact moment in their life which they attribute to their interest in their work. Can you describe a point in your life that created this passion for you?
Well, I can’t recall an exact moment in my life that made the spark happen, but I know that I didn’t find this talent until the day I bought a Trickortreatstudios, "Halloween 2" mask. That was back when that was the only 'Halloween' mask they had. I eventually thought I’d just mess around with it. Long story short, I did horrible; I totally failed, but at the time there wasn’t many people doing “Tots” overhauls. There weren't any others to compare to, so when I posted mine it got fairly good feedback - back when times were more simple. I ended up stripping the paint off of that mask (which was crappy tempra paint), added extra weathering and gave it to a close friend of mine. After that - I’d say - is when my interest grew and never stopped since then.
What are some of the goals that you have in your art, and even in your life? What are some things you hope to get better at?
A goal I have for my art is to become better at speed and execution. I think a problem within the Halloween hobby is how long people take to finish orders, making people wait a long time. I’m guilty of that as well. I just feel that there comes a time when customers and the artist become tired of this just repeating itself. I have been doing this for quite a while now and I can tell you that this stuff shouldn’t take years on end, because a mask doesn’t take that long to finish. I care so much about my work and customers that I want to change the way I do my business and improve. Wait time is one that I’m making necessary changes to my work to improve that.
How does it feel to be someone whom many in the hobby look up to, and what is one thing you would say to those looking to start masks?
It is awesome. I mean - I’m not a huge artist or anything - but getting compliments from strangers on my work, and messages from people I don’t know telling me they are a big fans of my work is something special to me. I’m very grateful for all the people that support me. For anyone looking to start working on masks, I’d say just practice as much as you can. Buy cheap masks, practice on them and then buy good blanks to practice on. Then look into buying master copies to work on your own copies. I think that’s the easiest way to get into it without having to learn how to sculpt. Unless you just had an act for sculpting, then you’ll be set.
Most in the community have inspirations that led to their amazing work. Are there any people in the hobby that gave you inspiration to do exactly what you do? If so, who are they?
From this specific hobby, I’d say inspirations have been little pieces of everyone. A huge help along the way has been my friend Tommy Pickering, of Ghastly Productions. James Carter was also kind enough to give me a few pointers. Benny Harke as well. When I first started out, Chris Morgan helped me back when I knew him. He was the first person that told me I had to mix paint and latex together. As far as the Hollywood artists, I remember wondering how the hell the stuff on screen is done and always thought, "ordinary people like me can’t do that", so I never actually looked into it until I learned that normal people make masks and props from home. When I learned that for the first time it blew my mind (laughs).
"I remember wondering how the hell the stuff on screen is done and always thought, "ordinary people like me can’t do that", so I never actually looked into it..."
While we are most interested in your mask making, we also try to focus on some of the attributes of our creators outside of the hobby. Besides being an artist, what are some things that you do behind the scenes in your free time?
One thing I enjoy doing is automotive work but I don’t do it as a job. I have a high interest in a lot of the electrical part of automotive as well as mechanical.
Before we end, I have to ask: what is your favorite movie coming from the Halloween franchise and what makes it important in your eyes?
Has to be the first Halloween. The rest of good for what they are, but nothing can touch the original. It’s special because it’s the basis to a lot of slashers. Imagine a world without it?!
We ask this question to all of the artists we’ve spoken to, and we're just as interested in your take on it all. In your own words, how would you describe The Shape?
I would describe the shape as how he was in the original. When you watch the original "Halloween", Michael Myers looked normal. He wasn’t super tall or buff, yet he was able to pick up a grown man with one arm with no struggle at all. Wouldn’t that make you question who the hell this guy was or what he was? And of course getting shot six times, falling off a two story building and walking off. So many things in the original is how I would define the shape.
Again, we would like to thank Martin G. Pena for working with us on this project! We could never accomplish what we do without the help from all of the artists you have heard from thus far! Thank you Martin, and we look forward to what the future holds for you and your company. Remember that you always have "The Halloween Market" on your side!
Article written by David Rodriguez and The Halloween Market team
Interview conducted by David Rodriguez