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Meet Frederick Fraleigh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Frederick Fraleigh.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Frederick. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I knew that I wanted to be an artist from a very young age, having spent most of my free time drawing, painting and making things with my hands. I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I attended Pius XI high school because I was drawn to its strong art program. There, I began to develop a foundation skill set that would prepare me for my future as a fine artist. I 1992 I attended the Rhode Island School of Design. I learned so much from my professors and my peers and graduated in 1996 with a BFA in sculpture.

Since my first year in Providence, though, I worked with the Big Nazo Puppet Lab. They are an international performance group of visual artists, puppet performers and masked musicians. This made a huge impact on my creative direction. Since 1998 I have been working in the Hollywood film and special-effects industry as a fabricator and specialty costumer.  Some films for which I am credited include The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance, Avengers Infinity War, Captain America Civil War, X-Men Apocalypse, Cabin in the Woods, Men in Black two and three, Hellboy one and two, Lady in the Water, Evolution, and Bicentennial Man.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road, for me, has been pretty smooth overall. For anyone entering into a new field, though, there is the challenge of establishing one’s self.  I believe that it is important to have a strong work ethic and to be humble.   The industry in which I work can sometimes be quite unpredictable.  I have learned not to take anything for granted.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a freelance artist, moving from one job to another.  The duration of these various projects may range from just a few days to multiple years.   I entered into the film and the special-effects industry as a fabricator. I build with a variety of materials to create a desired form.   My favorite medium is foam, with its many different properties.  It can be, both, carved down or built upon.

I also construct forms by the process of patterning.  Patterned pieces of a material can come together to make 3-dimensional, hollow objects.  These objects may be joined together in any number of ways to create very complex, ornate structures.  This knowledge, combined with a growing vocabulary of building techniques and materials, has  helped me to become more adept in specialty costuming.  The process of bringing a conceptual design, whether it be a 2-D rendering or a 3-D maquet, to fruition may sometimes have some very grey areas. I love to provide answers by fabricating something that puts everyone on the same page.  Once a design for a creature or costume has been attained by any given studio, I may be employed by them to help execute that design and bring it into the real world.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
One thing that I like most about this city is the weather. This is also where my profession is based and I have enjoyed so many years working with my friends.  I will remain here for many years to come.  I can do without the traffic though.

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