Behind the Scenes: "Waiting for My J Man" Harley Quinn Statue

Brock Otterbacher, Creative Director, Toys & Collectibles

When I first saw Matt Taylor's Harley Quinn poster, I was in love. The combination of a 50s/60s lifestyle illustration and a Vargas pin-up checked a lot of marks in my "I love this" book. Add the extra layer of Harley's obsession for the Joker manifesting as something like teenage fandom, and for me, you have a perfect storm of a poster. 

And a statue, I thought to myself. So I asked Matt, he agreed, and we set off to work.

First step was Matt doing a turnaround of Harley, so we could get an idea of what the pose would look like form different angles:

Next, I took the concept to Phil Ramirez of Ramirez Studios, who loved the overall concept, and started sculpting almost immediately. Here are a few images of the digital sculpt, about 90% done. Note that while there is a rug base in these images, it's a place holder, as he would eventually sculpt it traditionally to get a more organic look to the shag carpet.

In the above images, you can see that Harley has a more comic book look to her. Here's the final sculpt where she appears a bit more realistic:

Another thing we did was to script in strategic lines here and there, so that the contrasting colors in the poster could be painted in a controlled way in production. You can see a few in her record player:

Once the sculpt was approved, the digital files were sent to Jason Wires, the best in the business when it comes to digital printing. Then it was off to be molded and cast. Here are a few images of the resin castings. I always enjoy looking at casting of statues; it gives me an opportunity to appreciate all the details of the sculpture up close before everything is painted.

Mara Ancheta and Andrea Coleman, paint magicians, dove into the challenge of matching Harley's paint scheme to the poster. What would traditionally be white for her makeup or black for parts of her costume, became cream and a very deep violet, respectively. You can see some of the selected colors in the background of this image:

And here are some more in-progress images:

And the final piece:

This was an incredibly fun and challenging project to work on, made even better by the enthusiasm of everyone involved.

Good ideas and art are inspired by other good ideas and art, so I'll end with a statement on the piece from the guy whose art started it all, Matt Taylor:

"Being able to look at a sculpture of one of my drawings is a weird but brilliant experience. When I did the original print (which is still one of the most straight up fun projects I’ve worked on with Mondo), I wanted it to be playful with a pin-up vibe, but not be too gratuitously 'sexy’, and the team managed to capture that spirit perfectly. I am massively grateful to Mondo for proposing this project and I can’t wait to cook up another sculpture with them."

Click here to pre-order the "Waiting for My J Man" Harley Quinn Statue.