Casting the roast pig at about 1am
I found Hiroe through word of mouth during the fervent days before launching Isness' production. Hiroe had already amassed a plethora of skills from her studies in schools in Japan, Canada and the UK. She hadn't been in the United States for very long and was happy to join my low budget production for the sake of practice and to fatten her resume. I soon realized that I had gotten very lucky and caught this superb, multi- talented individual before she got whisked away to play with the "big boys". Together with Cristina Atkin they set up a little prop workshop in my studio and before I knew it, there were sculptures taking shape, rubber molds being created and fur and feathers flying around. One of the things that struck me during the time Hiroe worked on Isness,was her ability to switch from cute to gory prop making, from glamour makeup to wounded flesh effects, all at the drop of a hat.
During the butchering scene, Hiroe keeping her animals in functioning order during the butchering scene.
Sculpting the body for the gopher which Hunter catches in Volume One. (Cristina Atkin to her right).
Soon after Isness production, Hiroe moved to LA and began to apply her talent in bigger productions. She worked at BIX PIX ENTERTAMENT and ATLANTIC WEST EFFECTS before landing her most recent position as sole puppet and set sculptor on Tumble Leaf, a show for preschool kids, which won many awards, including five Daytime Emmy Awards.
Fast forward a few years: Hiroe on the set of Tumble Leaf
I asked Hiroe a few questions:
S: Did you adopt any new hobbies or activities since you moved to LA?
H: Well, I don’t have any new hobbies but I’m back to traveling more! 2 years ago, 2016, I traveled to 7 countries, and in 2017, went back to Japan twice and to Switzerland in the summer. Now I'm planing to go somewhere else the end of the year. I guess that’s I like to do now.
S: What do you think about working in the LA scene Vs. the New York scene?
H: Living in LA.. I don’t know about that yet, even though I have been living here for almost 5 years. I mean a year after I moved out here, my life just started getting better and better because I got more opportunities and better jobs and money. People started calling me “sculptor” which I didn’t think of myself as. I mean, I knew I like sculpting but I didn’t think that I'd be a sculptor. I thought I have to do everything, whatever is needed to be done but I guess people see me better than I do, which is great! I love being a sculptor and being told I can do a job better than anybody else... It seems that I have a dedication and am detail oriented more than other people. But the other side of my life is kind of boring because the life is just different from living in NY. I have to drive a car to go everywhere, it's harder to make friends, people are different , and they don’t like hipsters! Most of my friends from NY are hipsters, and they think hip hipsters are bad but I don’t think so, I think they are great and are my kind of people. That’s what I miss, and I miss the night life in NY. LA has no night life for me…
KIRIN, Chinese mythic creature “Qilin Dragon" (known as the label of a Japanese beer), is shaped like a deer with a dragon face, cow tail, horse legs, and scalse on the body. This is about a 1’ size sculpture with oil based clay. This was my first maquette from 2013. I had a bit of a hard time sculpting the horse anatomy but I enjoyed it. I will cast and paint it in the future.
Baby Hippos! 4”x 5”. Sculpted with clay, molded and cast in resin. Painted with acrylics. (And I hear that these two cuties happen to be for sale!).
You can find many more fantastic examples of Hiroe's work on her website! hero-hiro-hero.com