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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:
 
: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?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Artisan Crafter
it's a little too soft for me :)
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:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist 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
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:iconxxneondragonsxx:
XxNeonDragonsxX Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2015   Artisan Crafter
Ah ok, thank you.:)
Reply
: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  New Deviant 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. ^^;;
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: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
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  Hobbyist 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 Artisan Crafter
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 Artisan Crafter
Thanks:)
Reply
:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner May 27, 2015  Hobbyist 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  Hobbyist 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  Hobbyist 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
:iconnereaya:
Nereaya Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Hobbyist
I hope this as well. :)
Reply
:iconkittylove456:
kittylove456 Featured By Owner May 26, 2015  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Does Premo Sculpey dry if it is not in a closed container? I'm planning on getting some cuz i'm into clay sculpting but I need to find out what clay is best for me.
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
it wont dry but it can harden and become almost impossible to work with. It will also collect all the dust! So you'll want to be careful about that :)

-Becca
Reply
:iconragedhappiness:
RagedHappiness Featured By Owner May 13, 2015
how to make the colors blend together perfectly
ragedhappiness.deviantart.com/…
like this little guys body
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
It's called a skinners blend :) There are a bunch of videos on youtube of it
Reply
:iconragedhappiness:
RagedHappiness Featured By Owner May 14, 2015
Ok c:
Reply
:iconlauradrakkyn:
Lauradrakkyn Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I apologize if this has already been answered, but how do you make the wings? Should I just watch a dragon tutorial?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
I stick a small wire into the bottom of them to help support them then kinda go from there. Looking up tutorials always helps :D
Reply
:iconlauradrakkyn:
Lauradrakkyn Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks. I make my own clay dragons, and the wings kept falling off whenever I tried to attach them. It got really annoying...... Wouldn't the wires melt? (I make the dragons in my basement with whatever I have on hand, so.....)
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:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
No they wont melt :)

-Becca
Reply
:iconlauradrakkyn:
Lauradrakkyn Featured By Owner May 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's good. While melted metal might make a cool design, I don't really wanna find out firsthand.....
Reply
:iconthemoosewhisperer:
themoosewhisperer Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Student General Artist
what kind of glosses do you use on your work? the stuff I used got sticky and wrinkled ruining a bunch of stuff :/
Reply
:iconbahamutdeusmodus:
BahamutDeusModus Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2015  Professional General Artist
Hope you don't mind me answering this question instead :giggle: If you use polymer clay and you're done baking/painting your sculpture, make sure to use a water-based gloss/matte for the finish coat. A spray is ideal, that way you don't have to brush it on. I use the Krylon brand for a matte finish, and then I have a can of gloss finish that I brush on parts I want to be glossy (like the eyes and horns). Hope that helps! :)
Reply
:iconthemoosewhisperer:
themoosewhisperer Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Student General Artist
thanks so much ^^ hopefully I can find something :3
Reply
:iconbahamutdeusmodus:
BahamutDeusModus Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Professional General Artist
You're welcome! :la:
Reply
:iconnovawarrior:
novawarrior Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015  Hobbyist
Am I allowed to use a small toaster oven to bake creations? I'm assuming that once I bake clay in it, I won't be able to bake any food. Is this assumption correct? And do you think using a small, inexpensive counter-top one is a good alternative? 
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
My assistant uses one and its been fine. Her family still uses it to cook and everything :) It's just bad if you burn the clay

-Becca
Reply
:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I guess I will just repeat "lonewolf's" question, but when I made a foil-insides I had similar problem - foil was for body+head+small part of tail. I made a clay-skin for the foil... And somewhere it just looked like it had "wrinkles". Truly I didn't hurry. I tried to smooth it slowly. Never worked again. It looked like the clay was moving on the foil inside somehow. Least thay was the feeling. 

So my question is: IF I don't use foil inside, will the sculptures be way more breakable? Small ones - like up to 2-3 inches. Just starting to play-with-clay so asking :) 

Also tried this sticking hair method - used a needle, then pushed it a bit with finger. Worked fine and nothing fall off hehe. Here is the effect: bursztynowylis.deviantart.com/…
Just the connection between white tail tip and gray tail part is kinda of lame... But well. You are the mistress here ^^
Reply
:iconcalicogriffin:
CalicoGriffin Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I found out. Tho my clay is rather very poor quality. Black one acts like mixed with glue or something. But thats just for practise. Didn't want to copy your idea for dragons so I went with griffins. Only 4 made yet and mayybe they will be perfect like yours one day. Only thing I`m borrowing from you is hair/fur idea :-) thank you for inspiration!
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:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
They should be fine, try using a small wire too! :)

-Becca
Reply
:iconteh-stonefire-dragon:
Teh-Stonefire-dragon Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I paint all of my sculptures, but I never have a problem with brush strokes showing. Or at least, none that I notice...(poor lighting in my house. Need to buy a stupid lamp) I think my smoothness problems come from the clay not being entirely smooth. :/ Maybe it's the brand of paint I use?
Reply
:iconmothstripethe1st:
MothstripeThe1st Featured By Owner Edited Apr 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When you add those Swarovski crystals, do you cut them in half? Is so, how?
Also I have another question. (sorry to take your time) When you make those super detailed dragons like the Mohawk one, do you do it in steps? Like you add a few pieces then bake, add a few more and then bake again. Would this hurt the clay?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
No the swarovski crystals aren't cut, I just get them in different sizes and such :)

Yes I do! Usually its body, then some hair, then maybe more hair it just really depends on what the dragon needs etx

-Becca
Reply
:iconmothstripethe1st:
MothstripeThe1st Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have another question. (I'm planning my next dragon)
When you add the little horns and whatnot, do you smooth it into the dragon? Like when I try to smooth the little horn into mine the colors don't look so great. I like how the colors on your dragons just start and stop. 
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
I usually just stick them on :)

-Becca
Reply
:iconprincesslunadragon:
Princesslunadragon Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2015  Student Digital Artist
would the dragon tutorial work for ponies too
Reply
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