๐Ž๐๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ž๐›๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง: ๐€ ๐‚๐š๐ฉ๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐€๐ก๐š๐› ๐๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ข๐ญ | ๐Œ๐จ๐›๐ฒ ๐ƒ๐ข๐œ๐ค ๐€๐ซ๐ญ ๐ƒ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ

Iโ€™ve had a fair number of sketches similar to the image I created for my Captain Ahab piece, โ€œOde to Obsessionโ€, for years. Iโ€™ve been intending to make a Captain Ahab portrait and actually read Herman Melvilleโ€™s โ€œMoby Dickโ€ for years. Recently Iโ€™ve finally read the book and crafted a Moby Dick inspired art doll, but itโ€™s telling that I was able to make an image that gets the theme of Moby Dick and Ahabโ€™s disastrous pursuit of the white whale across without ever having read the book- most of us know this story without having ever read it! Thatโ€™s the power of Melvilleโ€™s Captain Ahab: he is THE archetype of when passion and drive crosses-over into self-destructive obsession and ruin. Heโ€™s transcended the pages of the novel and become the cliche, the shorthand of the thing he represents.


Watch the Captain Ahab Art Doll Being Crafted



Designing a Moby Dick Art Doll

When creating the Moby Dick art doll, Melville describes Capt. Ahab, aside from his iconic whalebone peg leg, as having a scorched face, grey hair, and a scar that runs the length of his face and body, which I wanted to capture in my interpretation. Iโ€™ve seen other interpretations of Ahab that make him look hardy and vigorous, but when I imagine him, I always see him as this hard-angled, hollowed-out sinewy character. I really liked this idea of Ahab solemnly looking out and being tangled-up in his harpoon line and though itโ€™s kind of subtle, he has a noose cast about his neck, foretelling the doom that he seeks and the prophesy of hempen rope being his end.

Captain Ahab art doll sketch


St. Ahab: Patron Saint of Creatives

I find myself thinking of Ahab as a patron saint of creatives or anyone that has a passion, a drive for what they do but the path is unclear and even perilous. Many artists find themselves making emotional, relationship, and financial sacrifices to chase that white whale of earning a livelihood doing the things that they love. And since we donโ€™t only have an effect on our own life, we impact the liveโ€™s of those around us, the pull of our creative pursuits could also take a toll on our loved-ones as surely as it did Ahabโ€™s crew. The ups and downs of a creative life can be harrowing and itโ€™s often trying to even know if youโ€™re heading toward your white whale or if the risks and the inner turmoil will pan-out and be worth it in the end. The only thing you know for certainโ€™s as scary as all of this has been, is, and will be, looking back and regretting not even attempting the pursuit wouldโ€™ve been infinitely worse.



I do want to pull this back from the bleakness a bit and say that we right now live in the best times to try to be a creative! The fact that you can attempt to put your art in front of thousands of people across social media and various websites, the only thing it costs you is time, and find-out if anyone cares- thatโ€™s such an opportunity that all of us creators shouldnโ€™t take for granted. This opportunity simply wasnโ€™t there for creators that were trying to put themselves on their career path and previously only a few people at publishing companies were the ones to decide whether your art was โ€œgood enoughโ€. Now if you figure-out how to market your work and amass only a few thousand dedicated fans that you workโ€™s for them, you can have a sustainable career and life, just getting there is full of headwinds and crashing waves. And for that I think itโ€™s worth risking the venture!

Prints of โ€œOde to Obsessionโ€ are available through my store here:

  • Limited Edition: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/thedreamsyndstore/ode-to-obsession-captain-ahab-portrait

  • Open Edition: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/thedreamsyndstore/ode-to-obsession-captain-ahab-portrait-cwas5

Here is the finished Capt. Ahab illustration! If you would like a print, it is available as a  Limited Edition  and for a limited time, as an  Open Edition Print .

Here is the finished Capt. Ahab illustration! If you would like a print, it is available as a Limited Edition and for a limited time, as an Open Edition Print.


Thanks for joining me so far and hereโ€™s to the adventures we have in future! To be the first to know when I launch new polymer clay art videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon. Catch all of my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/thedreamsyndicatearts. You can also find many of the supplies I use in crafting here: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/supplies-gear/. And sign-up for my newsletter (in the sidebar) to get the latest studio goings-on! Thanks so much for joining me on this journey and until next time: Make. Believe!

2018 and Beyond!!! A Year in the Life of The Dream Syndicate Arts

2018 and Beyond!!! A Year in the Life of The Dream Syndicate Arts

As I look ahead to this year before me, it begs the question, โ€œwhatโ€™s next?โ€ Iโ€™ve a few pieces that have been lurking in my sketchbook for months, if not years, I want to involve this new audience thatโ€™s formed around my art and Iโ€™m going to occasionally ask their input on what to make next, and Iโ€™ve an idea for a longer form book project thatโ€™s probably going to take a couple of years to make the coolest thing Iโ€™m able to make at this time.

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๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐๐จ๐ฌ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ฎ ๐•๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐€๐ซ๐ญ ๐ƒ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ

I recently wrapped-up making a Nosferatu vampire art doll inspired by the character from the classic film of the same name. I used reference images from the film and also found some inspiration as I did research about the original film, there was one line that stuck with me that described Nosferatu as vermin-like as opposed to the more debonair portrayals of vampire that weโ€™ve had in later media.




One point where my version of Nosferatu diverges from the film version is that the costumers had given him these long, thick eyebrows, which I found to be kind of silly looking, so I eliminated them from the design. Many modern interpretations of Nosferatu omit them, so I canโ€™t be the only one that feels this way.

This is the final illustration that was created with the vampire art doll. If you would like a print, you can get one  here .

This is the final illustration that was created with the vampire art doll. If you would like a print, you can get one here.


It was also fascinating to read that Nosferatu was actually an illegitimate Count Dracula. As many people are aware, Bram Stoker wrote โ€œDraculaโ€ and when he passed his widow, Florence Balcombe, had authority over his works and didnโ€™t authorize a film adaptation of the novel. This didnโ€™t prevent the creators of Nosferatu from going so far as to advertise Nosferatu as adapted from Stokerโ€™s Dracula!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this lurking terror come together! To be the first to know when I launch new polymer clay art videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon (but because YouTube's wonky, you can also join the newsletter). Catch all of my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/thedreamsyndicatearts. You can also find many of the supplies I use in crafting here: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/supplies-gear/. Until next time, make believe!



๐’๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ƒ๐ˆ๐˜ ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐‚๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ | ๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐๐จ๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐๐ข๐ซ๐

๐’๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ƒ๐ˆ๐˜ ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐‚๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ | ๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐๐จ๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐๐ข๐ซ๐

In the final installment for making the Jack Oโ€™-Lantern illustration, Iโ€™ve a tutorial for making a DIY clay crow. Heโ€™s really simply made with just forming a clay shape over some aluminum foil, using some armature wire, acrylic paint, and feathers (Iโ€™m quite pleased with my use of feathers on this!). You could use this simple technique in making a polymer clay bird of whatever type you like, just modify the shapes slightly and paint colors and patterns that match your favorite bird.

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