One thing I love just as much as comic conventions is video games and everything that comes a long with them. Video game merchandise is more readily available then it was when I was growing up but the type of merchandise typically is in the form of shirts, posters, figures, and back packs. Unique video game merchandise and swag is still requires some deep searching but one person locally is offering just that. Let me introduce you to Victoria and her shop, SaturnHex!
Legion of Sand: You’ve got a variety of video game related items, what was the first video game that hooked you?
Victoria: The first game I ever remember playing was Sonic on Sega Genesis, but I count two games as “hooking me” and the first was Pokemon Blue version. The second was Halo. It was the first game I ever bought with my own money and it was one of the only games out for the original Xbox that I got for Christmas. 11 year old me had no idea how that decision would shape me.
LoS: How long have you been creating items similar to what you offer and what got you into it?
V: Officially, I’ve been making products for about 2 years now, but it all started with gift making. Coasters, LED lamps, and other one-offs for family and friends. But another driving force was that I love gaming merch but many companies only make Popular Character or Generic Logo T-shirts and while that’s great, I still crave all the little nuances of these great universes and stories. (Also, T-shirts in Adult Small are always so large on me so even if I wanted to wear things like that, I couldn’t!) I’ve always been drawn to fandom things that were subtle or functional in more than just decorative capacities and possess a desire to create good quality items that people feel good about spending their money on. Also it’s a lot of “Hey this thing doesn’t exist yet, let’s make it!’
LoS: What kind of equipment and hardware do you use to make some of your items?
V: I use quite a bit! I’m fortunate that I worked at a maker space and trained on equipment, particularly laser cutters, industrial sewing machines and quilters, 3D printers, vinyl cutters and screen printing, CNC waterjet, powder coating, and a full woodshop and metal shop. The other half of SaturnHex, Julian, is also a creative and has the same experience as well. We’re slowly trying to collect our own bits of equipment so we can have my own settings and not rely so heavily on that community space. It’s always been a goal of ours to push machines and creative processes to make something better than what we made last time. So pretty often, the things that I make have several steps or use multiple pieces of equipment. But that information shouldn’t dissuade an artist from creating! The best things are made when someone pushes the limits of what they have even if it’s just a pencil or an old sewing machine in the attic.
LoS: How long of a process is from brainstorming the idea to the finished product?
V: A process can vary, and no two products have the same one. Sometimes it’s an idea in a sketchbook and I rework several times over the course of weeks or months. Sometimes it’s an idea and I mention it to Julian and he adds his own thoughts and we both shape it together over a cup of coffee and tea.
I’m more 2-dimensional when it comes to art, and with his experience machining and furniture building, he closes the gap to add more perspective and ultimately a more solid product.
In general, we can usually get a prototype made in a day or two from design to physical and tweak it from there. Maybe another day or two to finalize it, consider how we are able to ship it, package it and then it’s production mode, which involves getting materials and getting work.
I’ll be honest though; we have some products that are 3/4 of the way done and have stayed that way for a couple of months. We’ve been working on Zelda Shiek Tablet writing pads/calendars and we’re not completely pleased with the level of quality yet so it stays on the backburner until we are completely proud of how it’s put together.
LoS: Do you have an artistic moment you’re really proud of?
V: Right now, we just sent off our first enamel pin design for production and that’s so exciting! It’s gonna be part of a larger project and we’ve spent the last two days making packaging prototypes and working on screen printing steps.
LoS: What are you currently playing and/or watching?
V: Oh Geez, I’m always constantly playing 2-3+ games at a time, but Final Fantasy XV is the game in my PS4 right now, Pokemon Sun is in my 3DS, and I’ve been replaying Resident Evil 4 on my PC recently. I reached the scary part with the Regenerators and I’ve always hated it so my progress is slow going.
As for shows, my media consumption is pretty high. I put on tv shows, documentaries and movies when I’m working so it’s constantly changing. Might do another run of Stranger Things to prepare for Season 2 this month though!
LoS:What conventions can people find you at in the coming months?
V: SaturnHex will be busy all of November! We’ll be at Tucson ComicCon the first weekend, FanFest the second weekend, and if you’ll be in Los Angeles Nov 18, we’ll be at Patches and Pins Expo!