Before 48 Hours Festival took place in Las Vegas, NV artist Jason Oberly and Demented Customs were hard at work on a beautiful Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan tribute piece for Avenged Sevenfold. Jason presented the band with the guitar backstage at the festival and has shared his experience working on the guitar, the hard work that went into the process and handing it over to the band.
The work on “The Rev” A7X guitar was an awesome experience to do, I wanted to do something like this for a while but out of respect for A7X there’s a point I felt I had to give them to grieve. Working with Demented Customs we came up with the idea of finally doing this guitar. James from Demented put me in touch with M. Shadows & we agreed to surprise the rest of the band here in Las Vegas at the 48 hour festival on 10-15-11. I always do a rendering of any work I do for my clients, in this case it was being respectful to the Rev’s legacy & to the band so having M. Shadows approve design was key.
Originally I planned on using Synyster’s new guitar for this design but due to unforeseen circumstance I had 4 days to come up with plan B. Once that was done the painting process starts by taking the whole guitar apart prepping for paint. I use good reference photos to see every little detail I can, specially when dealing with faces. I base the guitar in a special skin tone mixture I made, I used all House of Kolor. Paint & clear. I start by using brown to shape not only the Rev’s features but also the front of guitar with the band hugging, I continue to build up colors & textures with the iwata airbrushes I use. For every step I took pics with my cell & sent them right then to M. Shadows so he could see the process. He was amazed that it was all done by hand & got down to every little detail & tattoos, he wanted to tell the rest of the guys so bad but we kept it secret till the show.
While I painted the guitar I had nothing but A7X on my play list blasting in my studio to feed off the emotion & to put everything of myself into this for them. They put on a killer set in Vegas, after the show I went backstage & met the rest of the guys. M Shadows & I talked about us going through the process, they couldn’t believe that I did that guitar by hand and in only a few days ago. They were teasing each other on who was going to keep it at their place. Synyster pored me glass of champagne & we did a few toasts to the Rev. We talk about future things & took few pics. The whole process was great, I cut it short with the guys so they could relax. This guitar was about honoring “The Rev & A7X.”
Oberly Airbrush Studio