The Creepy Kreations of Eric Wilkins
Black House Kreations
Words by Eric Wilkins
I’m a self-taught sculpture artist from Riverside, CA, and the grandson of a '70s era chopper builder, always aspiring to build something of my own.
I grew up watching horror movies hoping for a zombie apocalypse, building model hot rods, and being told by my mom to turn my music down. I loved art since I was a kid and started out drawing surfer dudes when I was in second grade. From there I dove into comic book characters, and then I fell in love with skulls, spider webs, and flames.
Artists like Ed Roth and Coop were big influences on me as a teen because I would always see their art in car magazines and at car shows. As an artist, I dabbled in tattooing and wood burning, but my biggest accomplishment –as far as a piece of art– is the 1952 Chevy Deluxe I recently built. However, as I got older I kinda lost touch with my creative side, but sculpting has brought me back to where it all started. Being creative, wanting to be an artist, and just make something.
Sculpting has really given me the avenue to be able to fulfill some of those lifelong dreams. I originally got into sculpting as a bonding experience with my youngest daughter, but she lost interest and I kinda liked it and stuck with it. It ended up being really good therapy for my arthritic hands, so I just kept doing it and doing it, and kept getting better and better. Then people started asking me “Aye, can you make me this?” so I did and then more people would ask me, so I’m like “Alright cool.”
I really enjoy the reaction on people's faces and seeing them blown away; hearing them say they can’t wait to show it off. I have a lot of support from my family, so I’ve been able to really dive into this head first with no restraints and just go for it.
Q&A with Eric Wilkins
A lot of aspiring artists will want to know what the tools of your trade are. Can you share what clay you’re using and the brand of tools that help you create your creepy creations?
I use Sculpey polymer Clay along with folk art acrylic paint. I use a variety of tools, from metal sculpting tools, styluses, and homemade tools.
What are your best-selling items?
My most desired items would definitely be my phone cases and Bic lighter sleeves.
What’s the wildest custom order request have you gotten? Did you do it?
The Symbiote phone case inspired by Venom with all the teeth really pushed my imagination.
What do you find is the most challenging part of your sculpting process?
The time and patience it takes to add as much detail as possible into each piece, I can get lost in a piece, and before I know it 5 hours have passed.
If, for some reason, you could no longer sculpt, how would your creativity manifest itself?
I would teach sculpting and have been asked on multiple occasions to teach my techniques and I think that is something I would enjoy doing at some point
Do you use reference materials in your sculptures or do you just go for it?
If I am doing a piece inspired by a specific character I do look at pictures but most of the time I just let the clay take me where it wants to go.
On average, how long does it take to finish one of your creations?
From start to finish about 3 days with frequent breaks in between. Lol
Who are your favorite artists and sculptors right now?
My favorite artist right now is my daughter Katie, she is an outstanding painter and mixed media artist. My favorite sculptor hands down is Anthony better known as Ace of Clay. I have learned so much from him and he is a big inspiration.
Where do you see your creations in 5 years and what advice would you give to those just starting out with sculpting?
On the cover of Gnarly Magazine of course! I hope to be an established name in the industry, doing more shows and conventions. For any aspiring sculptors your hands are the best tool, don’t be afraid to experiment and practice, practice, practice.