I’m not one for watches. I can even tell time just by how bright or dark it is outside, however I love video game accessories and I’ve always been a fan of watches with a leather cuff. Those who have played or know of Naughty Dog‘s Uncharted series might be aware that the game’s star, Nathan Drake sports such an accessory.
I’m not sure when or where I heard about Vigilante Leather, a shop on Etsy, but I knew of it and that the shop’s owner, David, creates replicas of the cuff watch as seen in Uncharted 2 and in Uncharted 3. After being a lurker for far too long, I decided to purchase one of his watches, which has led me to here, an article piece showcasing David and his work so that others are aware as well.
The watches are custom sized and look outstanding, a must have for any Uncharted fan or anyone in the market for a watch. David currently has three styles that are in limited supply, so those interested should take action straight away. For the ladies, there’s the Ladies Fortune Hunter Leather Cuff Watch, and two styles for the men based off of Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3. To sweeten the deal, Vigilante Leather is running a contest through his Facebook Page. For those who help in getting Vigilante Leather more followers, are given a chance at his Uncharted collection, which is massive! Also, the next fifteen buyers will be entered for a chance to win one of his new Uncharted designs, which will make their debut on September 12th, 2012.
ULTIMATE UNCHARTED SWAG GIVEAWAY!! Check out some of the great prizes I’ll be giving away to those who help SPREAD the WORD about VIGILANTE LEATHER!!! Each time I get a new follower I will welcome and ask them how they heard about my shop! If your name comes up the most then you will have your pick at one of these great UNCHARTED Items!! I will announce my WINNERS after the 100th and 200th FOLLOWER! ALRIGHT MY VIGILANTES READY.. SET.. GO!!!!!
I had the chance to toss a few questions to David and Vigilante Leather to get more of an insight on the man behind the leather and the artistic magic.
1. How did you get into crafting leather?
Working with leather has been a great experience and something I have really become attached to these past couple of months. I’ve always found myself fascinated with art and how things are made or work. I started off learning how to draw when I was two and I have never stopped. The great thing about art is that there’s always something new to be learned. How I actually got into the process of working with leather came from me being my curious self again and wanting to learn everything. I was actually playing through the Uncharted series when I noticed that for each game the protagonist changed his appearance with either a new clothing style, holster and even his belt buckle, which I really give props to Naughty Dog‘s designers for keeping it fresh. The one item that stuck out the most for me in the game was Drake’s leather wrist cuff. I’ve noticed similar designs over the years but nothing that really peaked my interest. This accessory was also one that changed between each game going from a simple leather cuff to adding a new style with the addition of a watch face. I was without a doubt the first in line when I heard how Naughty Dog was releasing a collectors addition for the third game and what was included in it. I admit, my inner geek did come out when I saw the ring and buckle for the first time and how much detail they put in each item. What I noticed though was as much as I loved the collectors edition and everything included there was still something missing. That one item that would complete the look to really make you feel like Nathan Drake. It is safe to say that the empty feeling I felt was enough for me to get started and I dove right into learning everything there was about leather crafting. I’ve been literally attached to my shop/office doing research and testing designs out. I am very proud of how my work has turned out and what my fans as well as the Uncharted fans have to say about it. I really do feel like I have accomplished so much in such little time! and I can’t wait to see where this new found art takes me.
2. Why Uncharted? Are you a fan of the series?
I have always and will continue to be a huge fan of everything Naughty Dog. I’ve been a fan since the beginning with Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, and yes my favorite the Uncharted Series and will continue to be one next year with The Last of Us, which is already looking to be a game that will dominate the globe. Everything Naughty Dog does defines what it means to make a game come to life and they know exactly what it takes to make something that everyone will love and remember over the years. It’s the huge impact they have made on gamers that lets us know why they are and will continue to be the best. Uncharted for me was like being born again with games. It has made me feel like it was truly the first game I’ve ever played that I can really connect so well with the story and it’s characters. I read an interview a while back and Nolan North(MY IDOL), who voices Nathan Drake in the series, explained it perfectly the kind of hero his character is. “He’s not had the easiest life… what makes him so likeable is that he’s this guy who’s always just tried his best. And I think that’s something everyone can relate to. We’re all just trying our best here… sometimes we fail, and sometimes we succeed. He’s a vulnerable person, just like we are.” That right there is just one of the reasons Uncharted is my favorite series. From the incredible voice acting, the astounding animation, all the hard work that goes into making a successful series and the respect and gratitude I have to all the people responsible. So to answer your question yes I am a fan of the Uncharted series and forever will be.
3. Any advice for those wanting to start up their own small business?
First off, don’t let your fear control your life or your decisions. Instead, replace that fear with passion and excitement because you are ready to start something new with your life and you can’t wait to share it with everyone around you. Don’t let anything overwhelm you because remember you’re the boss and you can take your own time to understand how things work and how you’re going to run your business. Also, just like in school, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you need help don’t forget you have unlimited resources to help you along your way whether it’s the Internet or your local shop in town because everyone had to start somewhere. Lastly, remember to have some fun with making your business, such as creating your name, website, or logo because this is going to represent you and what you love to do. Finally, have fun with your work and try not to let stress or anything else get in your way and remember that it is alright to take a break once and a while.
4. What got you into video games? Any favorite moments, favorite games/series?
Video games have always been a great memory for me from first starting with Super Mario Bros to the games I’m currently playing like Uncharted. I was around three years old when my cousin Christina first let me and my brother play her Super Mario Bros 3 for the NES. It really had an impact on me since it was the one thing me and my brother really connected with, which we still have so many great memories of playing. Since then, I pretty much upgraded with every new system that came out and the one that has kicked all others aside was the Sony Playstation! That system really got me into the world of gaming and I’ve been a Playstation fan ever since. As for series, again, Uncharted takes the crown but any others that I am also really into would have to be the Darksiders series by Vigil Games, which to be honest I started playing after I found out there was a video game studio with my last name in it! It made me proud! The game itself is phenomenal with such an amazing story, artwork and addicting game play. I cannot wait to see what Death brings to the table in Darksiders II. Another series would have to be the Assassin’s Creed series by Ubisoft. Again, amazing storyline and gameplay and the way it makes you wanting more. I’ve played them all and can’t wait for Assassin’s Creed III to finally get here so I can try out that tomahawk (which I’m considering making)! Lastly, the one I haven’t even played yet would have to be Naughty Dog‘s big release, next years The Last of Us which is looking absolutely incredible from what I’ve seen and heard. I will with out a doubt be first in line when that game comes out. I’m currently working for a video game store part time and it is the game I am pushing more then anything as well as Darksiders II, so if you walk into my store be prepared for an ear full about The Last of Usand Death!
5. Is there anything else you would like to share/add?
What I want to accomplish most with Vigilante Leather is to not only show people what I’m capable of but to leave them with the feeling that they’re also capable of doing anything. We are the only ones holding ourselves back from succeeding. What I have, and what we all can learn from, is to just try our best with everything we do and never give up on what we want.
Thanks go out to David and Vigilante Leather for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions. Make sure you take a look at his work and his Facebook page. His product is worth it and beautifully made for you.