It’s a really great time to be a comic fan and collector, isn’t it? San Diego Comic-Con is only a week away. Comic shops, bookstores and libraries are celebrating “Batman Day” next week. Mondo just announced some awesome limited edition Batman vinyl, and of course the debut of the eagerly anticipated Gotham, The Flash and Constantine are just around the corner.

What does any of this have to do with our newest DC Collectibles Artist Spotlight? Well, other than the fact that we feel it’s just as awesome as all of the above…not all that much. We just wanted to make sure the spotlight shows up in web searches so we thought we’d mention a few of the things people will be googling this summer. We mentioned Batman already, right? Batman, Batman, Batman, Superman, Batman…

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get to the interview shall we? This week, we speak with Irene Matar, the brilliant sculptor of our eagerly awaited Batman: The Animated Series action figures. Irene is an amazing talent and a joy to work with, and considering how popular this line is proving to be, we suspect you’ll be seeing her work in comic and specialty stores—and hopefully in your own collections—for some time to come.

What’s your full name?
Irene Matar

Where were you born?
El Paso, Tx

Current city?
Los Angeles

Where did you go to school? What’s your education background?
I attended school in Arizona. I also studied animation both in school and online.

What are you currently working on?
The Batman: The Animated Series figures.

Do you have a pre-sculpt ritual?
Lots of Internet image searching of the next sculpt... like for hours. I always want to be an expert before I start. 

Digital or traditional?

Have you had any mentors in your career?
Yes, lots of great teachers along the way in school. I also emailed pretty much every sculptor out there when I was first getting started: the Shifletts, Kent Melton, Tony Cipriano. 

Why do you sculpt as opposed to creating 2D?
I can hold it in my hands and it’s way more awesome.

A piece that you’ve worked on that you wish you could go back and redo?
All of them

What kind of DC Collectibles product would you like to work on?
Love the Batman: The Animated Series stuff!

What was your first toy?
Barbies! I had so many! The first one had ugly hair because I cut and dyed the hair with a highlighter.

Do you have a favorite DC Comics artist?
Well, probably not exclusively DC, but I love Humberto Ramos and of course, the awesome Sean Galloway.

Favorite color?
Right now… grey.

Favorite comfort food?
Bacon, Pho, fried chicken, a good burger, dim sum, pizza, sushi, under cooked steak, cupcakes, regular cakes, yum.

Favorite video game?
Castlevania Symphony of the Night. Good times.

Favorite movie?

Three favorite cities?
Portland, Los Angeles, Vancouver. Anywhere I can satisfy my diverse food cravings.

Most played song on your iPod?
Backstreet Boys: Everybody.

Last thing you ate was?

Introvert or extrovert?
I’m an introvert until I explode into extrovert who over shares.

Name something you’re really bad at.
Upper-body strength.

How many books do you own?
Way too many.

Where is the farthest from home that you’ve gone?

What skill do you wish you had?
That one thing that some guys can do, like jump over stuff with one hand and swing over like it’s effortless and just looks really cool. That.

Do you sing in the shower?
No. People can hear me from the shower. However, in the car with the windows up, yes!

How many pillows do you sleep with?

Are you a safe driver?
No, I live in LA. That's impossible here. 

What’s bothering you right now?
It's too hot.

What’s something about you that would surprise people?
I thought George Clooney did a fantastic job as Batman.

What are your words of advice for aspiring sculptors/creative designers?
Meet everyone and make friends in your field!

Are you big into social media? If so, where can we find you?
Not super into it, I have a neglected blog, and when I have spare time, I'm on Facebook.