the dream syndicate art dolls

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!

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, “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.

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Getting Ready to Show at My First Art Booth! | Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philadelphia, PA

This Saturday I'm taking a leap that I've put off for some time in years past- I'm getting ready to show at my first art booth at the Art Star Craft Bazaar here in sunny, hot, humid Philadelphia! Art Star has been running successful arts and crafts shows for several years in the area and I feel like I'm in pretty good hands. This is a pop-up show, which means it's only one day for a few hours. The first date for it is Saturday, 7/28/18 from 12-5pm.

 

There's a few reasons I've put off boothing at art fairs, but I think one major one was not feeling like I'd ever had a large enough body of solid artworks to show. I don't feel like you can do this sort of a show without 10-12 images you feel strongly about. There's also a fair amount of start-up costs to running a booth- there's the cost of inventory (and the packaging of said inventory) and the display and booth decor items aren't particularly cheap if you don't happen to have what you need on-hand and want to have a certain level of professionalism to your presentation.

 

WATCH MY THOUGHTS ON GETTING READY TO SHOW AT MY FIRST ART BOOTH | ART STAR CRAFT BAZAAR IN PHILADELPHIA

 

 

Speaking of professional presentation, there's a few people I'd like to thank for inspiring me with best practices, either from watching their content or sending them the occasional frantic Facebook message. I've been following the independent genre artist podcast One Fantastic Week's YouTube content for a couple of years and I think there's few better resources for entrepreneurial artists and they've a great community of like-minded people. I also owe Pete Mohrbacher a beer for recommending El-Co Color Labs- they've produced some really fantastic prints of my art. Crystal Sully, creator of "Untamed Beastiary", was also super helpful in helping me track down a couple of vendors for booth supplies. Rather than have you track Crystal down, I'll list the vendors I've used for booth display.

 

Craft Show Vendors

  • Printing: http://www.elcocolor.net/

  • Banner: https://www.nextdaydisplay.com/product/fabric-wrinkle-free/

  • Print Bags, Cardboard Backing, & Shopping Bags: https://www.clearbags.com/

 

I'm doing four of these shows and I'll let you know how they ultimately went- fingers-crossed that it was worth it! 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!

Greetings & Welcome to the Dream Syndicate Art Dolls

How rude of me- I've yet to properly introduce my YouTube channel. In this video, I do just that by giving folks a taste of what they can expect from The Dream Syndicate Art Dolls with this channel trailer.

 

WATCH WELCOME TO THE DREAM SYNDICATE ART DOLLS

 

Throughout my videos, I share the process I use in crafting fantasy art dolls, showing you how I sculpt, paint, build, and paint them. I also show how some of the props are made for a photo shoot and a glimpse of what the photography sets look like for my dimensional art doll illustrations. When I'm not creating videos about making art dolls, I make videos about the arts, whether it's culture or thoughts about what it's like to be a professional artist today.

 

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!