making an art doll

𝐎𝐝𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐎𝐛𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧: 𝐀 𝐂𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐀𝐡𝐚𝐛 𝐏𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐭 | 𝐌𝐨𝐛𝐲 𝐃𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐀𝐫𝐭 𝐃𝐨𝐥𝐥

I’ve had a fair number of sketches similar to the image I created for my Captain Ahab piece, “Ode to Obsession”, for years. I’ve been intending to make a Captain Ahab portrait and actually read Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” for years. Recently I’ve finally read the book and crafted a Moby Dick inspired art doll, but it’s telling that I was able to make an image that gets the theme of Moby Dick and Ahab’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! That’s the power of Melville’s Captain Ahab: he is THE archetype of when passion and drive crosses-over into self-destructive obsession and ruin. He’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. I’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 it’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 don’t only have an effect on our own life, we impact the live’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 Ahab’s crew. The ups and downs of a creative life can be harrowing and it’s often trying to even know if you’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 certain’s as scary as all of this has been, is, and will be, looking back and regretting not even attempting the pursuit would’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- that’s such an opportunity that all of us creators shouldn’t take for granted. This opportunity simply wasn’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 “good enough”. Now if you figure-out how to market your work and amass only a few thousand dedicated fans that you work’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 it’s worth risking the venture!

Prints of “Ode to Obsession” 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 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!

Making Slimy Slug Art Dolls with Resin Slime 🐌

Today we'll be embellishing wooden display bases as we make slimy slug art dolls with resin slime! I'd previously sculpted these polymer clay slug art dolls with super sculpey over aluminum foil armatures, made these handsome display bases, and only recently had the idea of "slug trail" trailing behind them as if the slugs (slowly) made their way up on to the base.

 

WATCH MAKING SLIMY SLUG ART DOLLS WITH RESIN SLIME 🐌

 

I'd already given the slugs a thin coating of two part epoxy resin to give the sculpey art dolls a wet sheen look and I used the material again to make the slimy path for the little critters. Since I've had these particular opened bottles of epoxy resin for a few years, this was a great way to use the older materials rather than wasting them. 

 

SlugsArtDolls1.jpg

Slimy Slug Sculptures

These slug sculptures can slime their way to your home & heart.

 

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 to get the latest studio goings-on! Thanks so much for joining me on this journey and until next time: Make. Believe!

The Devil May Cry with this Devil Art Doll Repair 👹

This devil art doll's name is Diavolo Malvolo and he fits that old wedding tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something new as the blue devil himself is an older work, the illustration's new, I borrowed some dry-rotted wood to make the "cliff" he's standing on, and well, the blue part's pretty obvious, isn't it? In this latest video, I take the devil art doll that's been sitting on my shelf and reveal his dark, disturbing secret... no, it's not that he's a devil- that much's obvious! The secret is this: he has crevice along his horn and ear- he's damaged goods. Over the course of the video I try to repair him, but do I succeed? Watch and find-out good viewer!

 

WATCH DEVIL ART DOLL REPAIR 👹

 

As you might have seen if you made it to the end of the video (I say in an accusatory voice), I made an dimensional illustration with this handsome devil art doll. If you'd like one to hang on your wall, you can order a print from my Etsy store.

 

You can bring this handsome devil home from  my store .

You can bring this handsome devil home from my store.

Just in case you're still in suspense- I was able to repair Diavolo after all through the use of plumber's epoxy and epoxy resin as well as a fresh coat of paint. Huzzah! I hope you enjoyed your chance encounter with the devil! 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!

Making Fabric Art Doll Hair?

In my latest video, I show you a method for making art doll hair with fabric. You can use most lightweight fabrics, but if you want to convey a realist hair look with your art doll, it's best to use a fabric with a sheen, a silk blend or sateen would do nicely. And bonus points if you keep on the look-out for cheap remnants or sales on natural or unnatural, if you're feeling adventurous, hair colors.

 

Watch Part 6 in the St. George & the Dragon Piece | FABRIC ART DOLL HAIR ⚔🐉:

 

Once you have the fabric you're going to work with, it's just a matter of playing around with arranging folds and creases on the head to give a look that emulates hair, putting a strong adhesive on the head (I tend to use a two part epoxy resin and some Fabri-Tac where needed), and then just sewing up the various seams that were created.

 

If you want to make the imaginary a reality, be sure to subscriber on YouTube!

If you want 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). At present, I am launching new videos Saturdays at 2pm EST and I will keep this information up-to-date on my YouTube channel's banner and "about" section here:  https://www.youtube.com/thedreamsyndicatearts.