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How did you get started? 
I've always sculpted as a hobby and am completely self taught. In April of 2010 I decided I wanted to finally try my hand at selling my work. I started posting things on etsy and DA and veeery slowly people started noticing. My first couple of years relied heavily on commission work. 

How are you so popular? I just started making sculptures too but nobody notices or buys them?
It took well over two years before I was actually getting fulltime work with decent pay. It took a TON of hard work. I sold my work for far less than I should have, because I needed customers. I also did a few shows, to get some exposure by handing out business cards. I made things as often as I could, posted often, and made sure it was very clear I was open for commissions. I posted links on everything. You have to make it easy for people to find the info they need! I posted mainly on etsy and DA, then made a fanpage on facebook very late in the game. Probably should have made that a lot earlier. Fanpages are great, because EVERYone is on facebook. You should also try other social media outlets like twitter, instagram, tumblr, and forums that are relevant to what you make. The more you post, the more people will see and remember you. Above all, be PATIENT and be original. Nobody gets popular overnight. It does take a lot of effort on your part. You have to be your own advertiser. Don't just expect people to find you if you don't try your best to get things in front of them. And if you are just rehashing something that is already out there, it needs to have your own unique flair to it, or people will just look elsewhere for more seasoned makers of the same thing. Put as much of yourself into your work as you can, and it will shine through and make your work really stand out!

I need exposure, will you please share my work on your page?
I get this request a lot, and it makes me kind of crazy. I don't like being begged for shares. I very rarely share other artists's work. If I personally find it and think it is awesome, I will share it on my own. If you want me to check out your work, give a little feedback, that is fine. It might take a while to get to, but PLEASE do not ask me to share your page.

I want to ship my sculptures but I'm afraid they will break. How do you pack yours?
I use cotton balls or tissue paper first to get into all the little nooks and crannies and support particularly breakable bits like wings and horns. Then I wrap it in bubble wrap and put that in a tiny gift box. Then I put that tiny box in a bigger box with at least an inch clearance around the little box, and pack that with newspaper. This lets the little box "float" and be cushioned by the newspaper. I have very rarely had anything break this way. And when they have, it was because I OVERpacked them. Don't use too much cotton or tissue as it can put too much pressure on some spots and actually snap them off! 

What are your sculptures made of?
It's called Premo Sculpey. It is just my preferred brand of Sculpey. It is an oven bake, polymer clay. You can bake your pieces right in your home oven, so you really don't need any big expensive equipment! You can pick up Sculpey at most arts and craft stores. I get mine at Michaels and Joanns. I don't buy online so unfortunately I can't recommend any sites.

Why Premo Sculpey? Isn't it more expensive than normal Sculpey III?
It does cost more, but I usually stock up when there are sales. It is much stronger than regular Sculpey, and has a firmer consistency. Normal Sculpey tends to be too soft most of the time and really likes to hold fingerprints.

What about Super Sculpey?
I use that too on occasion. It is the strongest Sculpey, but only comes in that ugly beige color. I prefer to work with colored clays whenever possible. I only use Super Sculpey when I really need the extra strength on a delicate sculpture.

Ok, so why colored clay? Why not use the strongest clay and just paint it?
I used to do just that! But I found that painting can be extremely time-consuming, leave brush lines, and is never quite as vibrant as the colored clays.

Do you ever use paint then? What kind?
I do paint details on. Tiny details that would be just insane to try to do with clay I prefer to paint on. For instance, my ponies hooves and cutie marks are all painted. I use your basic craft acrylic paints. Ceramacoat and Americana are my preferred brands.

Where do you get your gems and beads?
I get most everything at my local beadshop, and some things at Michaels. The crystals are Swarovski and can be baked right into the clay.

Do you bake everything into the clay directly? Like the D20 dice?
I prefer to use things I can bake right in. So no acrylic gems or beads, they get pretty melty. You want to use glass beads, and swarovski crystals. The D20s don't melt in the oven because the temperature is low enough. They do get a tiny bit matte looking though, so I will usually put some glaze on them after.

How do you blend the parts together so well on your sculptures, like the neck to the head?
My sculptures usually start as a head and neck/body in one piece. Then I attach the limbs to the body, and blend them gently with my fingers. I have never liked connecting a head separately. It's lame and I like my way better!

How do you keep finger prints from showing on your work?
This simply comes down to practice, knowing how and where to hold the sculpture, as well as clay consistency. If the clay is too soft you will be fighting fingerprints the entire time, and have a terrible sculpting experience. Most Premo has excellent consistency, which is why I recommend it to people with fingerprint troubles. Super Sculpey is even better, but it only comes in beige so you have to paint it.

How do you keep white clay so clean?
Throughout your sculpting, wash your hands a LOT. Seriously, every 5-10 minutes is best. Then when you are completely finished sculpting, you can apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to problem areas. It helps pick up lint and can even help smooth out fingerprints. Use a q-tip to apply it, but work very quickly. Too much and the alcohol will actually start to eat the clay! It also makes the clay completely unworkable, which is why you only do this after you are completely finished sculpting. I ruined several sculptures with this method until I got the hang of it, so try it on some simple sculpts until you get a feel for how the alcohol works.
I've also heard some people use simple scotch tape to pick up lint! I've yet to try it myself but it's worth a shot if you don't have rubbing alcohol on hand.

Do you ever use gloves?
I've tried a few times, but really they drive me crazy, so no.

What tools do you use?
Mostly my fingers actually. They are my best tools! Otherwise, an exacto knife, something to roll out sheets of clay, and a couple random tools I've picked up over the years. I've used the ends of paintbrushes, butter knives, pins, sewing needles, toothpicks… really you just need to try a few different tools to find what works for you!  

Do your sculptures have an inner structure? An armature?
Yes. Most do have a foil armature. Mine are small enough that the foil is sufficient support. I do use wire on some parts, but in general, plain old aluminum foil works great!

Your dragons are so shiny…what glaze do you use?
It's Varathanes water-based polyurethane. You can find it at any home depot. It's normally used for wood floors I believe, but it is fantastic for polymer clay.

Will you make me a Toothless???
No. I get asked this A LOT. I'm flattered everyone finds him so adorable, but he was just made as a gift. I do not plan to make anymore. Ever. 

I hear you don't make anything copyrighted anymore. Why?
Well, because I respect the word "copyrighted". I certainly don't appreciate people copying me, so what gives me the right to copy others? Just because a character is crazy popular doesn't mean you should profit off of it. It wasn't your idea.  Many think that because big companies generally just let it slide, and we are just "small potatos" to them it is ok. But I don't believe it is. I used to make "fanart" for profit and always ALWAYS felt wrong about it, so I stopped. I am so much happier now and proud of making my own designs.  

How does one go about commissioning you?
Sorry, but I no longer take commissions. There were simply too many requests to sift through, and it really stressed me out. I am much happier working on my own ideas and selling those. I am always open to suggestions though, so if you have an awesome idea and share it, it might get made eventually! 

Wanna do a trade? 
Sorry, but I'm not doing trades right now.

So then do you have a pricing guide for when you do sell stuff?
I sure do! dragonsandbeasties.deviantart.… Mind you this is a very rough pricing guide. It really depends on the complexity of the sculpture. 

Why are some so expensive when they're such small sculptures???
Just because they're small doesn't mean they were easy to make. In fact working small is quite challenging! I base my pricing on complexity, time spent, and consumer demand. I've spent my whole life perfecting my craft, and this is now my full time job. I make every single one of these sculptures by hand, with a lot of time spent on making them as clean and smooth as possible, so you also pay for that professional handmade quality. 

Will you make some tutorials please???
I did make a video tutorial of one of my dragons: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vCiPn… Please realize this is for teaching basics, not so you can copy my work and sell it!

Can you at least tell me how you make the curly pony hair?
There really isn't much of a trick to it... I roll out tiny strips, grab either end and twist gently. Then stick them on one by one. My first ponies didn't have perfect hair. It really just comes with practice!

But how do you make the hair stick?  Glue? Mine always fall off!
Unless your clay is too hard, the clay should stick to itself just fine. I never use glue.

Now I want to make dragons too! Will you be mad if I do though?
I do not own the idea of dragons. Feel free to make all the dragons you like, but PLEASE do so in your own style. There are so many D&B copycats, why not do something that stands out as your own? There are MANY ways to make dragons! 

  • Mood: Lazy
Add a Comment:
 
:icondemensionwalker:
DemensionWalker Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
how do you get your dragons in positions like perched or sitting upright? I'm new to this but I'm at to figure out what you're doing when it bakes.
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:iconlegacyofanartist:
LegacyofanArtist Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016   Traditional Artist
I would actually recommend using plastic grocery bags to pack your sculptures. It's cheaper, and easier on the sculpture itself. (also a good way to recycle)    
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:iconelmaru:
Elmaru Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2016
I would want to use one of your photos as avatar - can I?
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:iconfaq10:
FAQ10 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2015  New Deviant
can youmake a tutorial on how you make your different head and head shapes and designs  PLz
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:iconkeykaye:
keykaye Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
sorry if this is asking to much about techniques or anything.. but i make my own dragons and such, and i was wondering how you were able to pose yours on their back without the spikes getting squished under them, like with your baby eastern dragons. Only reason I'm asking is because i was thinking of doing a sculpture of two baby dragons playing with each other and one on their back..
Reply
:iconyouspeaklife:
YouSpeakLife Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Excuse me, sorry if it's a bother, I just have to ask a few questions.

What are the little balls the dragons hold made out of? Would regular kid marbles work?

I can't find many different colors of the swarovski crystals. I looked for them on Amazon.com, but I don't see all the colors. Is there a website you buy them on?

Um, I'm a little nervous about wires. What kind of wires do you use?

I'm sorry if these questions have already been asked and if I'm taking up too much time...Sweating a little...
Also I LOVE your work!:D (Big Grin) La la la la I am a dummy! Meow :3  Would it be okay if I sort of made things in your style as long if I kept them instead of giving them to family? Thank you so much in advance!!!Llama Emoji-23 (Shyness) [V1] 
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Hi there:)

If its glass yes.

I usually get them at my local craft store or on their website

I just use some different gauge wires depending on what the sculpture needs :)
Reply
:iconyouspeaklife:
YouSpeakLife Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Ah, thank you so much for responding!!!:D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin)  Are there eyes made of glass as well? Sorry I feel like I am talking to a celebrity.Sweating a little... Thank you for the tips! I will try to make awesome sculptures when I get the clay!!!I am a dummy! La la la la :happybounce: 
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
No worries !

Sometimes yes, I use small glass beads for eyes. And others its clay that I then paint :)

I hope this helps!

-Becca
Reply
:iconyouspeaklife:
YouSpeakLife Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
It does very much! Thank you! And I have made a few figures if you would like to see them I could post.
Reply
:iconmecino:
Mecino Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2015
How durable are your sculptures? I love making creatures and jewelry but I never feel like I can sell my stuff because they are so fragile.

I found stuff like the hair and wings would just brake off if someone were to pick it up.
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
I mean if you drop them I can't say they would stay completely in tact but pretty durable.

-Becca
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:iconmecino:
Mecino Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015
Ok, thank you for the reply.
Reply
:iconelphaba-kim-cullen:
Elphaba-Kim-Cullen Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2015
Fascinating! Thank you for sharing!
I am amazed at all of your unique designs and attention to detail! About how long does it take you to make a piece?
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:iconsunsunlit:
SunSunlit Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015
Hope you don't mind me asking ^^ But where did you get this bottle thingy from: Poison Dragon by DragonsAndBeasties  c: ?
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:iconshewolfskye:
shewolfskye Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Reply
:iconsunsunlit:
SunSunlit Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015
thy :3
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:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
my local craft store (:
Reply
:iconsunsunlit:
SunSunlit Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015
oh where can I find that o: ?
Reply
:iconzombwaifu:
Zombwaifu Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2015  Hobbyist
I have a bunch of bottles like these that I got from my local Michael's store. ^^
Reply
:iconsunsunlit:
SunSunlit Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015
o: What is it?
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:iconzombwaifu:
Zombwaifu Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015  Hobbyist
I'm not sure I understand your question...? ^^"
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:iconsunsunlit:
SunSunlit Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015
Oh sorry ;u; I just don't understand what's "local Michael's store" c:
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:iconzombwaifu:
Zombwaifu Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015  Hobbyist
Did you reread the question? I just realized how old your original comment was, sorry about that. XD
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconaddisonminnie:
Just saying i love your work and If i had the money id buy them all 

:happybounce: 
Reply
:iconblazeypepper2:
Blazeypepper2 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I usually use Sculpy lll but I ordered some Premo online and its too soft and really hard to work with!! Do you have any tips for this!?
Reply
:icondragonrider2259:
DragonRider2259 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015
What is your opinion on sculpey souffle?  Do you ever use it for your dragons? Is it strong enough?
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:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
it's a little too soft for me :)
Reply
:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015   Artisan Crafter
One question I don't see there:
What kind of markers (I guess) do You use to sign Your works? 
Because I read many articles on the internet but they still left me clueless -.-' 
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
I actually stamp my initials into my sculptures :)
Reply
:iconxxneondragonsxx:
XxNeonDragonsxX Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2015   Artisan Crafter
What manner of stage do you set up for photographing your work? Like, how many lights? What kind of lighting? And do you put any kind of light filter, like a white piece of paper in front of the lights?  
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
I use natural light no filters just adjusting colors on photoshop after

-Becca
Reply
:iconxxneondragonsxx:
XxNeonDragonsxX Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2015   Artisan Crafter
Ah ok, thank you.:)
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:iconsapphirefoxyay97:
sapphirefoxyay97 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2015
wait your self taught bejesus you are amazing!!! 0.0
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:iconkokorochili:
KokoroChili Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This FAQ is amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I'm still working on the 'finger print dilemma' myself...but hopefully I'll get there! I also <3 using premo sculpey. Also yeah I agree using gloves can be a pain the butt. I've tried many times and it never keeps the prints off like I'd hoped.
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:iconsquishemsilly:
SquishemSilly Featured By Owner Edited Jun 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful faq! Watched your tutorial, very very nice and informative. I noticed you were wearing a Blizzard shirt too, right on! ^.^ I love and admire your work, I've only been working with clay for about a month and definitely will keep at it! I have a birthday coming up in August.. I'm curious, what kind of camera are you using to take your pictures? Right now using my cell phone doesn't seem to be working out so I may pick up a better camera. ^^;;
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
A canon power shot SX120 :)

-Becca
Reply
:iconsquishemsilly:
SquishemSilly Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome! Thank you for responding! :D
Reply
:iconkatfluff275:
Katfluff275 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2015
How do u make the ears on the dragons and ponies? Also how so you make the ponies legs when the pony is laying down on its side?
Reply
:iconclipcakes:
clipcakes Featured By Owner Edited Jun 11, 2015  Student General Artist
If the sculptures insides have tin foil in them, when you put them in the oven will they explode?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Nope :)
Reply
:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015   Artisan Crafter
Here is a suggestion ^^ Since your works are so awesome, and you already have YouTube account... maybe consider presenting few of them in awesome way too ? :D Just the best of THE BEST ones! I just tried doing that like this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqe5R_… went not that bad really :o of course with your marvelous Dragons and Beasties would be better! :squee:
Reply
:iconblazeypepper2:
Blazeypepper2 Featured By Owner May 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
What do you use for your background when your taking photos?
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:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Usually it's scrapbook paper :)

-Becca
Reply
:iconblazeypepper2:
Blazeypepper2 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks:)
Reply
:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner May 27, 2015   Artisan Crafter
Here is a question about baking:

Sculptures are made of small elements (like horns, fur) and big ones (body), where the clay is thicker. If I bake all together - like sculpting then baking everything when it's done, e.g. 30min, 130 degrees like Premo says, won't the small elements get burnt? 

And another small question: Usually they say on the instructions: For every X milimeters of clay ADD: X minutes of baking time... Should I really care about this with such small sculptures? (around 2-3 inch, with foil insides).
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
I sometimes bake in steps but so far I haven't had problems with this except when my oven broke.  I usually will bake something longer if theres more clay but usually about 10 minutes longer

-Becca
Reply
:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015   Artisan Crafter
Thank you! First steps with Premo sculpey done! And I didn't burn it ^^ Also 1st steps with glazing.. really like the effect. Only idea I borrowed from You is the mane from *spikes*. But at all I saw others using that as well, so hope you won't be mad Tard OMG Emote 
since.. well.. they are not dragons anyway.. 
Reply
:iconnereaya:
Nereaya Featured By Owner Edited Jun 1, 2015  Hobbyist
Hmm, I made a little pig sculpture for my friend (who adores pigs :)) and the body was quite rough, but the tail and especially the ears were very thin (thinner than the ears of her dragons for reference). I baked it as the instructions said and it turned out great, the colour was consistent, the ears and the tail didn't get burned at all, so it should be fine. I did use another brand of clay though, but the baking time and temperature were the same.
I'm not an expert, but 2, 3 inch sculptures in my experience don't really need extra baking time.

I hope you don't mind me answering the questions. I looked at your page, really pretty sculptures! :)
Reply
:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015   Artisan Crafter
Sure I don't ^^ thank you very much! I just tried it too - It really doesn't matter at such small things... Thankies! Hope the answer will be handy to other's who wondered the same :D
Reply
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