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

I launched this baby bird of an arts endeavor in late 2017, from scrolling through my blog history, it looks like the end of October of that year to be precise. Since then The Dream Syndicate Arts has cleared some milestones and slowly, but steadily grown! And thanks very much to those who have come along the journey with me! I guess before we reflect on the recent past, we can talk about the beginnings of all of this.

When I was in college at the University of Arts here in Philadelphia, PA, I found that my more successful work were pieces that had a more handmade quality to them. I still experimented with more conventional work, but the thing I seemed to be best at involved making mixed media art. And it makes sense, when I was in high school, I enjoyed evenings and afternoons sculpting with Super Sculpey with a friend around a dining room table.

By 2005 I began sculpting polymer clay figures and trying to photograph them (poorly) in little dioramas. It was an uphill struggle- I had to learn and refine my craft of how my figures and constructed sets were made, I had to learn how to sew, and since illustration necessitates having a final image that can be reproduced, I needed to get a handle on photography, something that I had had very little prior experience with. After some struggles, doubts, and near melt-downs, I incrementally got better at all of the above. The work often takes considerable time to make and photography’s still challenging, but I generally progress and that’s the best any of us can hope for in any endeavor.

I continued to make this work for years, exhibiting under the pseudonym “illworx” in galleries across the U.S., but in the spring of 2014 was lured away to make videos on YouTube centered around Dungeons & Dragons when I co-founded Nerdarchy with my eldest brother Dave. I grew, learned so much, and become a part of a wonderful community during my 3.5 years with Nerdarchy, but being a part of a prolific YouTube channel while working a full-time job left zero time for my own art making. And while I love role-playing games, it’s never been my primary passion- I’d missed gaming sessions or even years of being a part of the hobby to more solidly focus on art. So there came a fork in the road where I decided if I’m going to spend my evenings and weekends working on a passion project, art had to be at the center of it and so I took that fork. In the fall of 2017 launched the Dream Syndicate Arts.

The Milestones The Dream Syndicate Arts Has Reached

So much has happened in 2018! In a little over a year 2k people decided they want to see what I’m up to on Instagram and my images Liked over 6k times, a little under 400 subscribe to me on YouTube, and a little over 100 folks Like the Facebook page. Heck, I even had someone kinda cosplay as one of my sculptures! All-in-all, I’m just thrilled with so many people wanting to keep-up with the art I’m making!


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

Thanks for joining me so far and here’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!