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Pete Underhill takes on a new role

This explains why Pete Underhill might have been a little quiet in recent times. 

Currently documenting his progress in a series of bulletins to members of the Bad Taste Bears Club, Pete Underhill has taken on the task of sculptor despite having never commercially sculpted a Bad Taste Bear!

The only time he has made anything resembling a Bad Taste Bear was when he needed to design a BTB incense burner and required reference to draw from all sides. He used traditional sculpting wax that has been used for all BTB figurines to date and squished something together. The project came to nothing, but that was the closest he got to building his own bear, and to be honest, it was pretty rough.

After several meetings with primary licensee, Nemesis Now, Pete decided that the most effective way to get his ideas into three dimensions was to tackle the sculpting role personally. He'll not be doing things the traditional way, however, with wax and little pointy tools. He's using the professional digital sculpting package, ZBrush, immersing himself in the software to bring to life new and exciting pieces.

Pete says:

“Having seen what my acquaintances and the rest of the world can create with ZBrush, if I can’t sculpt a chubby little bear, then my name isn’t Pete Underhill!”

His first trial attempt was to develop a chair from one of his recent sketches. It was valuable experience, but in the end, he decided to 'grasp the nettle' and get on with an actual figurine.

He goes on to say:

“If I were to say one thing that ZBrush is fantastic for is creating monsters, big grotesque monsters. If there’s one thing that a chubby little teddy bear isn’t, it’s a big grotesque monster.

It was so tempting to go off and make monsters, but I started this journey for a reason, and resisted the sweet temptation. 

The initial groundwork with any new software is getting to grips with the UI. Coming from a Mac environment dominated by Adobe et al, the ZBrush interface felt as if it was the antithesis of logical and friendly, like it was an aptitude test in itself and anyone who sticks with it earns the right to make great sculptures. Dammit! I had to make bears with this thing!”

Pete is committed to producing the very best work he can and is genuinely excited by this heightened involvement with the brand.

He initially kept this exciting news to himself until he was confident he could make a good job of making his designs leap into the real world.

“I'd probably spent a week or so getting to grips with the software more than making stupendously fast progress, but it was crucial educational time, and I was becoming more familiar and confident at every step. 
If I encountered a hurdle, if I couldn't find my way through it by watching any of the online tutorials, I'd trawl YouTube for advice. Often taking the guidance of kids a fraction of my age on the simplest procedure when it scrambled my brain. 

I can't go any further without acknowledging the invaluable input from Billy Lowrey and Wayne Taylor who offer advice, guidance and encouragement.

The important thing was, I was learning and making something and it felt good, very good.”

To be the first to see the results of Pete's labours, sign up to the free-to-join Bad Taste Bears Club here: