I’m Mike, I make toys and videos, sometimes people buy them. I like the sound of the word “workbench”, hence the name.
I’m a boy next door type who sculpts and paints dolls and shows them to people on the internet! I also got a B.A. degree in English and American Studies and Theater and Media Sciences, if that matters to you. I then worked in entertainment journalism, where I could use that degree. I worked as a Social Media Analyst and Consultant, where I learned a ton about SEO and why about 5% of all your average Facebook fans come from poor and underdeveloped countries.
Ultimately I discovered my true passion in teaching people how to learn efficiently. I mostly teach German, English, Latin, Mathematics and the occasional History and Economics lesson. It’s a fulfilling experience, because nothing is as powerful as having somebody attain new knowledge and skills taught by yours truly.
The most important thing I teach my students is to understand that none of us are stupid or inept, we have only not studied the subject hard enough. Know what you are worth and settle for nothing less!
In all seriousness, after finishing my bachelor’s thesis about metaphors in horror fiction and completing almost all the necessary courses in only two years of studying, I decided to use my remaining time as a student of Theater and Media Sciences as well as English and American studies in various productive ways. I also love writing, be it essays, reviews, capricious articles of all sorts or just plain old stories.
So I started writing and learning about pretty much all the popular culture we consume. My college education helped me get a better understanding of the more critical and analytical side of art and how patterns, structure, tropes and stylistic devices function.
My filmic education began with me as a child drawing crude storyboards and developed into a deep knowledge of not only the history of the medium, but also the practical capabilities. Aperture, lenses, lighting, framing and setting up a shot, as well as the usage of Final Cut Pro, Audacity, Photoshop, Gimp and various other programs represent the tools at my disposal.
With writing being my biggest passion and something I consider second nature to me, I then applied for an internship at one of Germany’s biggest video game magazine publications. For six months I had been given the opportunity to have my articles published online and in print, while simultaneously creating video content inside the offices of pcgames.de, gamesaktuell.de, and all the remaining publications of Computec.
The art of writing for games, balancing the tightrope between player agency and a linear story and the variety of design philosophies, which can all be expressed through gaming are but a few aspects that make this medium so special to me.
The power behind manipulating images to evoke an emotional and intellectual reaction is also why I fell in love with editing and the language of cinema. The usage of alternating montage, match cuts, iconic visuals and a score that culminates in a crescendo aren’t just elements I train and immerse myself in, I go as far as to say it’s instinct.
I have written more stories, essays, chapter long scripts and short pitches than I can keep count, as I believe only with practice can we improve and here you’ll find a small sampling of various written contributions by me. In short, writing is awesome, writing with images is even more fun, and reflecting and talking about these things is pretty much why I’m constantly staying busy.
I also enjoy the audience interaction outside of writing and my travels brought me to various stages and open mic nights, where I was allowed to perform stand-up comedy for people in Germany and the United Kingdom. Being part German also kinda helps when you want to make a British audience laugh, because “so a German guy walks into a comedy club” is pretty much the easiest opening ever. Before you ask, the other part is Romanian and I have a birthmark on my neck that looks like a vampire bit me, which also explains the turtle neck above. At least I think it’s a birthmark.
Even before I truly knew what I was doing, I would recut student films to improve the pace and create a nonverbal narrative. At this point I can easily create and analyze patterns, while properly explaining and articulating why a specific edit in film has a certain effect.
You can always catch me working on some project, be it a digital or physical sculpt, a video essay, a short film, a podcast with friends or I’m just working on something I can probably not talk about.
So if you are looking to hide a body, I’m probably not your guy, but if you want to spend your money on a unique quality customized figure, this is the right spot. I’ve been doing this in my spare time since 2007 and love to offer people tips and advice on how to improve your own skills. Having a well earned degree up on my wall didn’t represent my passion for art, but it reflected my hard work, persistence, and dedication; good grades also didn’t hurt.
I pride myself in being able to substitute most monetary resources through dedicated work ethics, which includes trying to do the best job that you possibly can in the most effective method. After all my final thesis examined The Walking Dead as a postmodern metaphor and my career choice is an intersecting Venn diagram consisting of art, entertainment, pop culture, writing, and all types of ways in which my personal interests can flourish into something that’s interesting, stimulating, or worthwhile. Give me a borrowed camcorder and and weekend afternoon and I’ll produce a fun student film in my free time, add me to your dedicated team and you’ll see that I don’t only work hard, but smart.
Some of my creations even found new purpose as wedding cake toppers for various customers.
So if you want to ask me a question, hire me, or just tell me to go out and get a real job, you can do so on twitter – just remember to tell all your friends and family about me, so they know who kidnapped you and sold your body to the mob.
I used to work for this bearded guy up in Finland in his toy factory. I dug the elves, but I never liked the cold.
So I decided to bounce, but luckily I was able to apply all those toy sculpting skills to start up my own business, so that’s kinda cool.
Palatable, Shibboleth, Voluptuous, Veracious, Voracious, Facetious, Vicious & Ferocious and the Portmanteau version Verocious, which isn’t really a real word (yet), are my favorite words and you’ll get 10 points for your Hogwarts house for noticing that only two of them have all five vowels. Accoutrements and thingamajig are also lovely, I dunno, I studied linguistics, some of it stuck. If you know me longer than a day I’ll start rambling on about how you can also spell “fish” “ghoti“.
For real now, language is magic, casting a spell is the act of spelling, the usage of words to create an emotional and intellectual reaction is what I live for and I am so happy that Alan Moore taught me that when I was young.
Shooting for the stars and reaching the sky is one of the most realistic mottos I ever came across. Coming to think of it, “Love is a variety of emotions, a state of being which can’t be measured and the only sacrifice we have to make in order to love, is being honest.” is also a great statement. To me, being honest means three things, I can’t be in denial about feeling badly (don’t use bad, use badly, I’ll buy you a drink of your choice, if you figure out which Shane Black movie I’m referring to here), but I also can’t be in denial about feeling great. I can’t expect rewards for good deeds, otherwise I’m just the guy hanging out with people in hopes that they will like me. Finally, it’s all about being who you want to be, because being yourself really is just the easy part.
I pretty much speed ran through college, (four semesters to cram in as much as possible, worked full-time for Computec during the fifth semester, handed in my final thesis shortly afterwards) and spend the remaining time improving my skills, be it writing, painting, sculpting or whatever else comes my way. After attaining my B.A. I also went for an M.A. in Theater and Media Sciences, which wasn’t really something I enjoyed. I am now an M.A. student of Art History, which I find a lot more intriguing. Did you know Caravaggio was pretty much the Tupac Shakur of painters? I can also recommend this video essay on the unexpected math behind Van Gogh, quite fascinating.
The most important lesson I learned in working with other people, is that you can’t let your ego stand in your way, otherwise you will just end up sabotaging yourself. I have now described myself in the best way possible, which is something we probably should do on our portfolio, and I understand if it makes me seem arrogant or unwarrantedly hyperconfident in my own abilities.
I guess you’d really have to meet me or invite me to that job interview to find out, or I suppose we could just go out for a nice romantic walk down the beach, where we take selfies in front of the sunset. That’s not sarcasm, I love romantic beaches, Chasing Amy is my favourite Kevin Smith film and I’ve seen Before Sunrise and Sunset about fifty times, but I didn’t like Before Midnight all that much. That was sarcasm. I saw it in an open field surrounded by green trees.
I mean, even if I don’t get the job, wouldn’t that be a great story to tell? „So how was that applicant?“ „Terrible, didn’t hire him, but we had a great time at the beach and I bought him ice cream, I can’t hire a man that doesn’t like strawberry ice cream.“ Truth be told, lemon is my favourite. I also like pineapple on my pizza sometimes, I know my place in hell is reserved already, don’t pineapple shame me, Deadpool was right.
Of course I get anxiety when I think about my workload, of course I panic before I have to go on stage, even if it’s just ten strangers in a comedy club and one of them is my co-worker or boss, but in the end I just want to entertain people and make cool stuff for them and that’s why I believe having confidence and pretending to have confidence really is the same thing.
P.S.: Feel free to mention in the comments down below, that my usage of punctuation is atrocious and that I probably shouldn’t switch between American and British English all the time.
9 thoughts on “Who is Mike and why the Workbench?”
how did you made your action figures’?
Take a random figure parts, sculpt them together with Tamiya Epoxy Putty, then paint them with Citadel colors.
I also recommend these tutorials http://www.figurerealm.com/viewcustomtutorial.php
can you do private jobs for custom action figures?
that would be sick dude you should email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss what I would like!!
I was wondering if we could discuss you making me a custom! I have a great idea in mind and I would like to know how you price it and all of that!
Sure we can easily do that, I suggest you drop me a message over on my etsy store that way you can also expect the quickest reply.
word! whats the exact address?
well just click on the link MY ETSY STORE! on top of my page, it’s marked with a big button pretty sure you can’t miss it 🙂