Interviews

The Man Behind Incredible LifeLike Tupac Shakur Sculpture

When it comes to continuing a legacy of an icon through art, the slightest details matter. It’s the sheer amount of detail that caught our attention of a very lifelike sculpture of Hip Hop icon Tupac Shakur.


We speak with the creator of this awe-inspiring Tupac bust.

Southern California sculptor, Joe from Godaiking Studios, talks to us about his craft, how Tupac inspired him and also tells us how he created one of the most talked-about pieces of ‘Pac art.

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O4L Online: Firstly, let me start by saying the sculpture looks so realistic. So much so it’s actually like looking at the real Tupac! We can tell that you’ve put some serious amount of research going off the sheer detail included on the head and face of Tupac. Can you tell us the process that you went through to create such an awe-inspiring sculpture?

Thank you very much for your kind words. The main thing I did was study a lot of Tupac pictures and applied what I saw to clay. It hasn’t been easy and still some areas I can work on to make more accurate.

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The sculpture includes Tupac’s iconic tattoos

O4L Online: Throughout the creation of the Tupac bust, did you encounter any obstacles or issues that you had to overcome to achieve the finished product?

The biggest obstacle is keeping up with demand on my other projects I offer (Michael Jackson, Terminators, Bruce Lee). Not only do I sculpt these, but I do all the paint, hair work and eye installation on them. Not an easy process.

O4L Online: We can imagine! You matched every little detail on the 15″ tall Tupac bust. From his skin tone, tattoos and even used real hair for eyebrows, eyelashes and goatee! Did you realize at the time you was creating it that it would become as popular as it’s become?

Kind of. Honestly, I was really intimidated into starting the project up as I didn’t think I could do it. However, after my brother, Eric, died in 2016, it helped motivate me into creating it as he was the one that wanted to see me make a Tupac bust. This project is made in tribute not only to Tupac but my little brother Eric.

O4L Online: What a lovely gesture, we’re sure Eric would love it. Understanding that the process is time-consuming and intense, do you plan to create more Tupac sculptures with different expressions?

Actually, I do. I want to experiment with a wider eyed look. And possibly a smiling one, but that will prove to be really challenging. Smiling expressions are really hard to pull off convincing enough.

O4L Online: We’ll hopefully look forward to seeing this in the future! Tupac is an icon, his music standing the test of time, with his lyrics still relevant to this day. In your opinion, what do you think Tupac would be doing now if he was still alive?

Well, I think he would have been more into movies and acting by this point. Maybe politics even? Who knows though, Tupac was very talented.

O4L Online: As we speak, you have the Tupac sculpture for sale online. In the listing, you say that if you want to know what it’s like to meet this man, this is the closest you will get, we certainly agree! Have you been inspired, influenced or driven by Tupac?

I absolutely have been. Tupac actually died on my birthday, 13, September. His music has been in my head since 1991 when 2Pacalypse came out.

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Tupac sculpture complete with Death Row chain from King Ice

O4L Online: You certainly deserve all the credit and applause. Thank you for talking to O4L Online Network, we wish you all the best for the future

Thank you very much!

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