Like most kids growing up, David Silva loved dinosaurs and drawing pictures of them. But unlike most kids, he kept at it, developing a passion for art that lead him to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design, initially to major in Sequential Art.
"I actually went to art school to become an illustrator, and that was one of the primary things they taught us . . . how to tell a story with an image," said Silva.
Though he could not have seen it when he started, he was on his way to becoming a dinosaur kit sculptor and that quality of story telling, which is evident in his dinosaur kits, would mark his style.
While he was thinking at the time that he might become a comic book artist, a course in Conceptual Illustration put him on a path that included sculpting. And ultimately, this training lead him to work as a full-time sculptor for McFarlane toys, where he first started thinking about producing dinosaurs.
"Dragons were a significant part of my work while at McFarlane Toys. There was a preference there to refer to human anatomy for the dragons, whereas I was more interested in using dinosaur anatomy," said Silva.
"It made me wonder why we weren't doing dinosaurs."
When the fantasy lines at McFarlane were cancelled, Silva began freelancing with other companies like Hasbro and NECA. But, the idea of creating dinosaur figures had not left him and he began working in his spare time on designing high quality resin dinosaur kits.
His first kit was a 1/16th animal called Dilophosaurus, a creature brought to the public's attention by Jurassic Park. While other Dilophosaurus kits have emerged in the last 20 years, the Horizon JP "Spitter" was the image most people had.
"That was one I really wanted to do more than anything because Jurassic Park had shaped people's perception of Dilophosaurus and I felt like it needed a more accurate, active sculpt," Silva said.
The result was his dynamic, open mouthed 1/15th scale kit, the first in his quickly growing line which can be found at www.creative-beast.com. It retails for $165.
But even while he was sculpting this, he was already thinking about new creations. Please see part 2 for more.