Artistic Inspiration

"๐‘๐„๐€๐‚๐‡๐ˆ๐๐†" | ๐๐จ๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐…๐š๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฌ๐ฒ ๐€๐ซ๐ญ ๐ƒ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ˆ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง

goblin art doll

Iโ€™m not sure what my latest polymer clay fantasy art doll Drust isโ€ฆ I think of him as some sort of goblin I suppose. If you asked Drust, I donโ€™t know what he would tell you he is either. I imagine him to be adventurous and likely mischievous at times. One day in his boredom, a wayfly happened by and Drust couldnโ€™t help but chase it!

In the scene captured in โ€œReachingโ€, I imagine that Drust has scaled a column of face vaults, statues with secrets of the ages locked away within, and finds his wayfly quarry just out of his grasp! Will he catch it or will it slip through his spindly little fingers?

A wayfly is a winged-key found in the wilds of the Dream Syndicate. Found individually, in pairs, or flying in flocks, wayflies often are found near ancient ruins or in catacombs. Capturing a wayfly takes guile, but the real clever feat is to determine which lock a given wayfly calls home.

A wayfly is a winged-key found in the wilds of the Dream Syndicate. Found individually, in pairs, or flying in flocks, wayflies often are found near ancient ruins or in catacombs. Capturing a wayfly takes guile, but the real clever feat is to determine which lock a given wayfly calls home.



Watch the process of how the poseable goblin art doll Drust was crafted

poseable goblyn artdoll

Prints of โ€œReachingโ€ are available through my store here:

Limited Edition of 25 Print: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/thedreamsyndstore/reaching18x24print

Open Edition: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/thedreamsyndstore/reaching11x14print


Watch Details Being Added to the Face Vaults Polymer Clay Sculptures


Check-out a Winged Key Fantasy Stop-Motion Animation

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!

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!

Having a Growth Mindset as an Artist

For some reason we give ourselves the permission to try new things and grow in our capabilities in them as a child that we don't as we grow older, even if we're trying to acquire a wholly new skill set. It's madness to think that simply by virtue of your age you're entitled to some virtuoso talent at a novel, new experience. There are two mindsets, one that's fixed and believes that your abilities are innate and then there's a growth mindset. I'm convinced that having a growth mindset for artists is the only way to be. Times and artistic tastes are going to change. Your work and how to best distribute it are going to change. To reject these truisms is to be at war with reality.

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I certainly believe that people have predispositions to being skilled at a given task, what we would call talent, but it's routinely born-out in athletics and the arts, that those that are naturally gifted and strive to be the top of their craft frequently are. Innate talent can only take you so far and such individuals are likely to plateau without the disciplined work that's prerequisite to become a true master of one's craft.

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If there's skill that you think would enrich your life for being adept at it, I'd urge you to take that child-like approach of the enjoyment of the activity regardless of the outcome and to work through it to the best of your present skills. Think back to most things you may have tried in your childhood and you'll likely have produced nowhere remotely near professional results, whether that was drawing, coloring, or whatever creative expression you attempted early on, but you likely enjoyed making the art making process and maybe you were lucky enough to have some kind adults lie and praise what you were making. When attempting new art forms as an adult, after a multitude of tries, fifty, one-hundred, then you would have some grounds to honestly determine the effectiveness of your efforts because while your critical eye may be honed as an adult, your muscle memory for a new task is often just developing.

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For all the myriad of ways you can spend your time developing new capabilities, there comes a time when you need to narrow-in and focus on an array of abilities that are the most worthwhile and fulfilling to you. You could learn how to code and make custom websites, but if just creating a website through a templated site such as this Squarespace blog you're currently reading accomplishes the vast majority of what you want it to do, then the choice is fairly obvious. While you can likely learn how to do a great many things, at some point you're going to have to pick and lane, a focus, and prioritize what capacities help reach your goals from that perspective. The number of distractions that you can find are infinite and many creatives find some amount of constraints to be liberating in their ability to focus on the important tasks at hand as opposed to the infinite canvas stretched-out in all directions.

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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/. Thanks so much for joining me on this journey and until next time: Make. Believe!

Fan Art Illegal?! Things to Consider When You Make Fan Art

There's a range of opinions on whether artists should create fan art and the ethics of doing so. One might make fan art as a genuine expression of their fandom, as an opportunity to gain exposure for their art, to make money, or some mixture of all three motivations. I'm not looking to judge someone's choice in creating fan art, but from a strictly creative business stand-point, if you're making the majority of your sell-able artwork around intellectual properties that you don't own, this seems like tenuous footing for an artist to be in. Selling fan art's illegal and this isn't just some opinion I happen to hold, this is straight from the mouth of contract and intellectual property attorney acquaintance, Seth Polansky.

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Watch Fan Art Illegal?! | Things to Consider When You Make Fan Art

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Luckily few intellectual property holders crack-down on fan artists selling their work, but that's precisely the issue: if you make your living selling fan art based merchandise- you're relying on "luck" for your continued livelihood. I lurk an artist alley Facebook page and I've seen the occasional so-and-so animation studio's issuing take-down notices. And a take-down notice or a cease and desist form is a kind way for the copyright holders to go about it- who knows if we'll see an effort to slap-down this form of infringement in the same way that the music industry came down on some of those pirating music in the early to mid 2000's to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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EXCERPT ON FAN ART USAGE PER COPYRIGHT ATTORNEY SETH POLANSKY ON ONE FANTASTIC WEEK

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With the risks that are stake, I simply couldn't see putting all of my eggs in the fan art basket. I may occasionally do a fan art piece if the mood strikes me, but I definitely intend to make that the exception rather than the rule. What's your opinion on fan art? Do these considerations make you any less likely to make it?
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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/. Thanks so much for joining me on this journey and until next time: Make. Believe!