In this Part 2 of my “Hey, I’ve been gone a long time, but here’s an update on my artwork” series, I’ll be sharing the sculpture projects I’ve completed in the last couple years. When the pandemic hit in 2020, and I was stuck in my apartment with a 5 and 7 year old for a few months, I needed something to focus on to keep my sanity (and, yeah, sure, working on projects with the kids was a nice bonding bonus too). So, I picked up some Sculpey clay (I’d worked with it a bit a decade before), and started knocking out some sculptures. Now, for the sake of order and convenience, I keep my sculpture work on another website and another Instagram account, but I wanted to highlight that work here, since over the last few years it’s taken up a big chunk of my creative output’s time.
White Rabbit: I’m not sure why I picked him to start my sculpture journey (actually, it probably got in my head after watching this), but I jumped into it full force, relearned how to work with polymer clay, and ended up really happy with the end product, especially the texture of the hair. If I was to do this again today, I’d push the paint job further and put more effort into the pocket watch. But all-in-all, not bad for a first real attempt.
Reggie: I had gotten my kids zombie sculpture kits from Ace of Clay, so I wanted to do my spin on the project as well, which would give me the opportunity to do more challenging details and effects. I think he’s suitably gross and creepy in a fun way, but the varnish I used is a little too glossy on the skin and clothing (I changed to using a different matte varnish after this), and the head shape isn’t quite right. I still really like him, and would like to make ghost maid companion for a future Halloween.
Blitzby the Snowman: I made this post-apocalyptic snowman as part of an online Christmas sculpting challenge. By this point I’d locked in which varnishes I liked to use, was more comfortable mixing and matching textures, and started adding elements to the character bases.
Trixie Treats Herself: This is my first sculpture where the inspiration was one of my finished paintings. I had a blast creating something more cartoony, and it was a lot of fun making the chocolates. The one big mistake I made, however, was trying to save time by spray painting the red of her candy box body. I ended up completely painting over it anyway (because it was to firetruck red), and it created this weird tacky texture and finish. Just gonna stick to paint brushes from here on, until I have some time to teach myself airbrushing.
Moonrise: I then shifted gears from characters to make a diorama. I used this project to experiment with including pre-made minatures and foliage, terrain, and larger scale resin pouring. My daughter is the only person who remembers that this isn’t technically finished (based on my original sketches), and won’t let me forget that I have to get around to incluing the little black bear fishing off the side of the moon and the paper lanters floating down the river.
Frosty Shot: Just a snowman melting into a cocktail. I love the details on this guy. I’d like this to be an annual series, but I don’t think I’m going to have time to get a new one done in the next few weeks before Christmas 2022 (I’ve got a couple other projects in progress that have to get finished first!).
Speaking of the Christmas, I’ve also made a handful of ornaments for friends, including one that was my first every sculpture commision!
The one annual series that I do have going is my Hearts. Every February, I create a sculpted valentine to commemorate someting I loved in the previous year. You can see them here.
Spongebob: I made this most recent piece for my step-dad as a combo housewarming-retiring-turning 70 gift, and this is the one where it all came together for me. Mixing textures and finishes, a mixed media base, and nailing all the details I wanted to highlight.
Spongebob also served as a turning point in my online career. As of today, between Instagram and TikTok, the painting process video has 58,400 plays, which is an insanely high reach for me, when I’m usually lucky if 200 people see my work. Mixed into the comments (mostly positive!) were quite a few asking me to actually create more stuff, which is really exciting and motivating. But at the same time, with that visibility comes accountability, and I know that every creation from this point on has to be at least as good as this one. And that’s a challenge that I can’t wait to tackle!