Today it gives me great pleasure to introduce a long time customising friend and someone who inspired me back when I first started customizing, not only because of his awesome creations but because he was/is such a down to earth approachable bloke. I’m speaking of course about Sean aka @Witheredcustomz – it’s bloody awesome to have you here mate!
Let’s get straight into today’s customizer spotlight by getting to know Sean, the Brother, the Customizer, the Legend… albeit withered somewhat 😉
Before we begin allow me, well Sean rather, to set the scene. The following image shows how perfectly Sean manages to get the spectraflame patina on so many of his customs as well as highlighting his eye for photography and art. Between you and me it also hints at the fact Sean does way too much acid…. or something.
How long have you been customising Hot Wheels and diecast cars?
January of 2013, but I only made 15 that year. Was more into collecting at that point. I created 129 in 2015 and my collecting got more focused so I pretty much stopped hunting at that point. I had a small network that would help me get cars I needed if I couldn’t get here, since central Florida is always cleaned out. Slowed down again in 2015 due to work and life, only made 47 that year. To date in 2016 I am at about 300. Almost a car a day. Within the last month I have started using an airbrush and why I didn’t use before is beyond me. I have about 400 total customs around me, it is hard for me to get rid of them unless I specifically make for someone or it’s a custom for custom trade. I also have about 45 pre painted cars in a mini-fridge (not on) waiting for me to detail. I get better and better and the more you try new things the bigger your talent pool grows. Next on my list is more fabrications.
How or What Got You Interested in Hot Wheels in the First Place?
Not sure(actually I think it was my uncles, they had redlines I would play with in my grandmas basement). I played with them as a child for as long as I can remember back. I used to bury them in my backyard when I was five, no clue why, but would love to go back to that house and see what they were. I remember rolling them around my house with my brother all the time, oh the joy of tile! My parents feet must have been wrecked many times due to these little cars. In high school, I always had at least one in my backpack. The only time I really stopped collecting was from 2002 to around 2009. The girl I was with at that time didn’t approve, but I more than made up for that absence once we were over haha.
And How Long Before You Turned From Collector to Customiser?
A long time as you can tell from last question, but I really became a collector around 2006 and started to customize in 2014. So even that was awhile before I discovered the joy. I never get frustrated with this hobby. Even if I drop and chip or mess up a paint job, they fact that I can just start over is enjoyable. Maybe that’s why I don’t do many for others, because I work at my own pace and don’t like deadlines. I have the hard way on many aspects of customizing.
Where do you call home?
Florida. At the moment Orlando area. Ive been here since 2006 and in Florida since 1987.
Can You Share a Little More About Yourself?
I grew up in a Military family. Dad was in the Navy and then NOAA a pilot for NOAA (flew into hurricanes. My mother’s job was to try and keep my brother and I under control. WE moved around a lot until about 1994 since then it’s been central Florida. My mother passed away when I was 16 and I pretty much went off the rails then and didn’t get back on track for quite a while. I was what you would call a lifetime student. I went to UF with 12 of my friends, mistake as I did many things, but only about 1% was school. I finally got a degree in 2012, but don’t work under my degree. Instead I work at my school trying to move up that ladder. I live vicariously through my brother and his family, as I have no kids of my own. I love my nephews and niece, but seeing them grow from newborns up is very good birth control. My brothers family is close to me so I am able to spend as much time as I can with them. My father also lives close, but in the summer months, which is 10 out of 12 here I don’t see him that much since my Ur-anus(Saturn) has no A/C and only one window works – I’m not driving 100 miles. So I see him when he comes over here which is at least once a month. I really need to sell off most of my collection so I can get a real car again…I probably have about 6k cars I really don’t want anymore. I need to dig into them one day and start to sell them. I have a very manly dog as well. A Pomeranian. GF who got me out of collecting got me hooked on this breed so something good came out of that relationship at least. She’s not a yapper and living in an apartment she the perfect size. She spends most of them on my feet as I customize. I could go on and on, but that’s enough for now.
What is your favourite casting from Hot Wheels?
Heheh. Without a doubt the Custom ’62 Chevy. I have over 100 customs of that casting alone done by me and other fellow customizers. I also have every casting made by Hot Wheels. I don’t collect varies and errors really so I don’t count those. I fell in love with it once I started customizing. They were just so versatile and pretty when done right.
What sort of customs do you like doing the most?
Other than my 62s, I would say JDMs. That case is almost full. My European case is next and my American case is third (not including the case I devoted to 62s). I love weathering models, but I don’t do enough. Since my first one which is muddy to me now I have come a long way. I love adding the powders and textures. Tampos still scare me as I still can’t figure out how to cut them out properly. I love details as well and try to keep my customs as you might find on a showroom floor.
Do you have a Favorite Custom? Why?
Favorite by me…hmm. It changes often, but as of right now it’s the recent Fairlady 2000 I did. I love the color (addicted to House of Kolor paint for base coats now and 90% of my details are done with Tamiya) and the black Datsun racing stripes I added, but Im sure it will change within a month. As far as others go I love them all otherwise I wouldn’t have paid/traded for them. I have over 100 customs from fellow customizers as well. Im a custom hoarder.
Where and How can people see more of your work?
Best place to see my work is Instagram — @witheredcustomz. I also have a Facebook page with the same name, but I mainly use IG to communicate as the community is much more reliable it seems and not so full of drama. If you ever have any questions feel free to DM me on Instagram. It’s been a joy to do this and I have to thank Alex for giving me the opportunity to share a little bit about myself and my hobby. I could write a book it seems and I still have so much to learn as there are so many amazing customizers out there.
And now sit back and enjoy this veritable display of customizing goodness – in a photographic display that would make it worthy of any art gallery. Much respect Sean, it has been a pleasure and an honour having you here today.
Customs by Witheredcustomz
Remember to follow Sean @witheredcustomz on Instagram to see more crazy awesome builds like these!