Customizer of the Month - February 2011 - Jessica Rotich
Name: Jessica Rotich

CM: Any Personal Info you are willing to share: (Married? Kids? Pets? Occupation? Where from? Other hobbies/Interests etc?).

JR: I met my husband at a university in 1988 in a geography class, of all places (funny because he is from Kenya and I am from the Philippines), and we have three boys. I love to putter in the garden, sculpt, craft, and knit.

CM: How did you get started collecting mego?

JR: The first Mego I purchased when I was in my 30s…(cough cough!!) and that was Zira that I found in a comic book store in Oakland. I had been sent to that location by my employer and out of curiosity I asked the owner if he had anything Planet of the Apes. He said that he was waiting for the right person to purchase her, so he dug her up from her hiding place behind several boxes. She stayed hidden in a box for several more years until I found the Mego Museum.

CM: What are your favorite original Mego figures and lines?

JR: My favorite has to be the Star Trek line with the exception of Uhura.

CM: What are, in your opinion, the biggest "holes" in Mego's original lines? (What figure or figure line is missing that should have been done?).

JR: I have no clue. I am new to the Mego world and I am not really a collector, so I don't keep track of what exists. So my first guess is Star Wars? I'm not a super hero fan either. I'm always the odd chimp out.

CM: What motivated you to start customizing? What was your first custom?

JR: I wanted my Zira to have a more screen accurate outfit. My other motivation was that I wanted to have enough customs to fluff up my own gallery at CustoMego. Zira's outfit was my first Mego custom, and looking back at it now, I would probably change the inner sleeve fabric. It's not bad looking, and she still wears it to this day although I have changed her Mego head to something I feel is more movie accurate.

CM: What have you done/learned that has improved your customizing skills?

JR: I have been trying to improve my sculpting because I can't afford a sculptor or get enough interest (like at least 20 people to pool our resources) to hire a sculptor for the characters I want.

CM: What areas of customizing are your strongest points, or favorite things to do?

JR: I thought that sewing was my strongest point, but I have to be in the mood. So unless there's motivation there (real or imagined), sewing is not rewarding. Then I thought it was painting…but I don't think I like that so much either. I think I prefer to sculpt most of all.

CM: What is your favorite custom you've done and do you think it's your best work? If not, what do you think is your best work?

JR: Is it selfish to think of me as my own favorite custom? All the customs I have done and have in house are constantly evolving and may never be complete. There's always room for improvement, so I don't think I have done my best work yet. I think this crazy photo captures the essence of me: wacky and unusual and unpredictable.

CM: Why do you choose the projects you choose?

JR: I don't like to do the same things over and over again. I just prefer a good challenge, but I don't like to visit the same path twice even though I am a creature of habit. I yam what I yam…an enigma.

CM: What resources make it easier for you as a customizer?

JR: The internet is a super great resource for me. Everything and anything you could possibly think of you can find there. I enjoy looking at other customizers' work. I think I learn best from observation, then application.

CM: What is on your "to do" list in the near future?

JR: I'm not so good remembering names but I hope I make some samurai and western fans happy someday, and hopefully getting really great at sculpting and creating legends of Hollywood.

CM: How do you think customizing affects the mego collecting hobby?

JR: I think without customizing there would have been no re-Megos. I think customizing keeps the Mego spirit alive. Plus it attracts a wider and younger market.

CM: What do your friends/family think of your customizing hobby?

JR: My family thinks it is odd…waste of time…waste of resources…dumb. My cyber friends think it's great. It's because of their encouragement that I am able to chug on.

CM: What are some of your favorite customs that others have done, and why?

JR: C-Monster's sculpts/paints of his Dracula and Frankenstein, Captain_Mego's Joker, Boba Fett and Frankenstein. Last Son of Krypton's Star Wars figures. I like my figures to be screen accurate. I like to look at action photographs, like MegoRonin's Falcon. Sadly, I did not grow up with Megos so there is no nostalgia factor for me. I have only been playing around with Megos for the last two years.

CM: Any tips or words of customizing advice to new customizers?

JR: If it doesn't exist, make it. Sometimes it's easier and faster to make it rather than spend hours looking online for something that may be out of scale. Do not be afraid to think out of the box. Create items that make you happy.

CM: Do you sell custom figures or parts? Why, or why not?

JR: Sometimes. I prefer not to, because I am my own worst critic and I am never satisfied. I just hate broken promises and facing disappointments.

CM: Anything else you'd like to share?

JR: I have been concentrating on sculpting lately. I just want to do better!

CM: Thanks for your participation Jessica!!