We’re back with another installment of our fandom artist spotlight series! This time, we interviewed Elizabeth Evans, the owner and chief artist of Little Pop Workshop. Elizabeth started created Pops with Supernatural, but has also done Timeless, Kings of Con, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Once Upon a Time, Castle and anything that inspires her. She also takes custom requests, so she makes them for other fandoms as well.
She was kind enough to answer a few questions, so read our interview with her below:
How did you start working on fandom art?
It all began with my first Funko Pops, Sam, Dean and Cas, back in December 2013. I was (and still am) in love with Supernatural and I wanted other characters from the show to have adventures with the boys, as I am also the admin of Little Castiel, I really love the character Gabriel (Richard Speight Jr), but Funko didn’t have an official Pop of him. I’d seen a few customs online and thought that it would be a fun weekend project to try. A trip to the craft store, one internet purchase and six hours later, I had my Little Gabriel and I was hooked. From there came Chuck, Claire Novak, Inara Serra, and so many more. After about a year of my customs showing up in Little Castiel adventures, I started getting requests from followers about getting their own Little Gabriel or Chuck and finally after a couple months, I opened the Little Pop Workshop in October 2015.
Do you have a favorite piece or project that you’ve created?
I have so many because they’re all special to me. Gabriel will always be my first favorite because he’s the one that started it all, but I also love my Kings of Con Pops of Rob and Rich, my Wayward Daughters (Jody, Donna, Claire and Alex), as well as my Kim and Briana Queens of Con Pops. I’m also particularly proud of my Timeless series, not just because of the response on social media, but because in them, I can see how far I’ve come in terms of skill and creativity.
What does your creative process look like?
It begins with an idea and snowballs from there. I get in my head a character/person I want to make and then I use reference pictures of the character/actor to choose heads and bodies and accessories. If I have the time and can do it in one sitting, it can take me between two and six hours to create a new Pop, depending on the complexity. There’s a lot more engineering to these than people may realize and you have to be prepared to mess up every now and then.
What’s one of your favorite episodes of Supernatural? What is one of your favorite Louden Swain songs?
My favorite episodes of SPN are usually the ones where we get to see range with the actors. I love the episode where Sam gets to meet Young Mary Winchester (Amy Gumenick) because he’s never seen his mom in the flesh before, just in pictures, and Jared does this amazing job of portraying that lost motherless little boy. It’s such a big moment for him and the emotion in his face breaks your heart every time no matter how many times you’ve seen the episode. I also love how he’s brought a lot of that into the new season with Samantha Smith. I also love the comedic episodes because Jensen has such perfect timing and he’s so good with both quips, physical comedy and expressions. He’s a great dramatic actor too, but when he has those comedic moments, he nails them every time and has me in stitches. I also love the episodes where Dean gets to dress up (“Frontierland,” “LARP and the Real Girl”) because he gets this excited glint in his eyes and you’re reminded of a little boy getting to play cowboys or knights. It’s adorable and heartbreaking at the same time. Also any episode Richard Speight Jr is in or involved with. Just hands down.
I am a recent convert to the awesome that is Louden Swain. I started listening just before I went to Houscon [the Supernatural convention in Houston] because I was going to the Saturday Night Special for the first time. I am so glad I did because this band is AMAZING! They remind me of my favorite parts of a lot of my favorite bands and Rob’s voice is just pure magic. When I saw them live at Houscon, I almost started crying during “She Waits” because he puts so much emotion into his performance. I’m also blown away by the talent of Billy, Stephen and Mike and loved watching them play live. There’s just something about actually watching the music be performed that just can’t be replicated in an MP3. As for favorite song, it’s a tie between “Rock Song,” “She Waits,” and “Leg Up,” but I love all of them.
Do you have any projects that you haven’t yet been able to tackle but that you hope to work on one day?
Oh yeah. I want to make my own custom Impala Pop. I’ve been campaigning to get Funko to make an official one for Sam and Dean for months but it doesn’t seem to be getting any traction. I’ve seen a couple customs online (one made by my wicked talented friend Sarah) and I really want to make my own and make it special and unique. It’s a bit of a challenge because I’ve never customized a ride before and it’s hard plastic versus vinyl so you have to go about it in a different way. But when it’s finished, it’ll be wicked cool, I promise!
Is there anything challenging about being a fandom artist?
There’s always going to be challenges with being any kind of artist. With me in particular, I’ve always been a little sensitive about sharing my work because I put so much of myself into each Pop. In my view, you’re not just putting a thing out there, you’re sharing a piece of yourself, and that’s always a scary experience. Whenever I share a new Pop, my thumb always hovers over that “post” button because I worry about whether or not I did my best or if people will like it or if the paint is clean enough, so many reasons. Thankfully, I have such a great support system in my family and friends that that self-doubt is a little more under control than it was when I first started, but it’s still there.
Are there any fandom artists that you especially admire?
So many, and for a variety of reasons outside of artistic skill and ability. I admire Scout [Villegas @scoutstiel] because she approaches the world with an indomitable sense of humor. I admire Euclase [@eliciadonze] because of her strength in the face of all the criticism she faces on her work (which every piece is mind blowing and amazing). I admire Jodi [@eldwenne] because she is so open with her followers and so supportive of artists (I thank her in particular for where I am now). I admire Sarah [powerfulweak] because she is so humble even though she blows me away with her skill and amazing creativity with each piece she makes. Someday I’ll be as good as her and Misty and LM Rourke. I try to take the lessons I learn from each of them and better myself both as a person and as a creator.
Is there a cast member or performer that inspires you?
I have a couple. First, Jared Padalecki’s work with Always Keep Fighting has been such a big source of inspiration for me, and was one of the big driving forces behind my opening the Workshop to begin with. I’ve always had a problem with self-doubt and anxiety, especially when it came to putting myself out there and trying things that scare me. There were so many “What ifs” swirling in my brain when I was considering opening the Workshop, and I have a tendency to let that fear and anxiety talk me out of things. Thanks to AKF and a dear friend’s encouragement, I decided to at least give it a try and see what would happen. It took two weeks before I got my first custom order and well, look where I am now. It’s been an amazing ride and I don’t think I would have had the courage to try without this message. It may not be what he intended with AKF, but I’m grateful for him and the campaign because it reminds me every day that I can do this, and I can succeed despite the self-doubt. He probably will never read this, but thank you, Jared, and keep being you.
In addition to Jared, I am so inspired by Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster and the Wayward Daughters for a lot of the same reasons. The Wayward Daughters have been so supportive of me and the Workshop, and I’m so grateful to them every time they share one of my pieces. I wholeheartedly believe in their message of empowering women and support them 100% because they are doing so much good for women everywhere, reminding them that they are capable of so much more than they or others may think. I’m proud to consider myself a Wayward Daughter. Kim and Briana are also excellent examples of facing the world and not letting it intimidate you. They taught me to look the world directly in the eye and be me and that being me is perfectly fine because there is only one me in this world. So thank you Kim and Briana for that lesson.
What’s one tip you would give to anyone who is considering creating fandom art that they can market and sell?
- Find your voice. You have a talent and a story to share with the world and it’s worth sharing. The world will be richer for it.
- Don’t let self-doubt stop you from trying. If you have a strong voice and strong convictions about telling that story, you will find your audience.
- Also, don’t get discouraged when you don’t get a rush of orders right off. Like I said, I didn’t get my first order for a couple weeks after opening the store. It took me over a year to get to where I am (with a lot of help), and I know my journey isn’t typical at all. Work on cultivating your voice and talent and don’t be afraid to promote your skills.
Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
Try a new skill or technique. It may not work out the first time out, but if you practice and keep trying, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. Don’t be afraid to fail once or twice or even a few times before you get it down. Even if you fail, you always have the choice to get back up and try again, but it’s up to you to make that choice.
Also, ask questions. If there’s a fandom artist you look up to, ask them questions. Most of the ones I know are very nice and welcoming to artists wanting to learn from them.
You will never stop learning new tricks and skills and also new things about yourself as an artist and a person.
Where can we find your art?
You can find my pieces on Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook as LittlePopWorkshop and on Twitter at @little_pop_work. I love taking suggestions and questions so don’t be afraid to drop by and say hello!
My Etsy story is www.etsy.com/shop/littlepopworkshop.
If you have an artist you’d like featured in the Fandom Spotlight, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!