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July 19, 2011
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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:
 
:icondragonheart231:
dragonheart231 Featured By Owner 16 hours ago  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
you are very talented
Reply
:iconaddisonminnie:
addisonminnie Featured By Owner 1 day ago
where do you get your 20 sided die?
Reply
:iconriikarii:
RiiKarii Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I saw this video on pinterest on quenching your clay after you have baked it, and that will make it stronger. I personally haven't tried this yet, but I was wondering if you had heard of this or even do it yourself? I can link you to the video if you are interested. 
Reply
:iconhippie30199:
Hippie30199 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Student
What do you bake your critters on?
Reply
:icondragona-star08:
These dragons are so awesome.
Reply
:iconflythefish:
FlyTheFish Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
For your D20's have you ever used a clear-ish one? Do they bubble on the inside? 
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
I have never had that issue, but I do try to not bake them if I don't have to
Reply
:iconflythefish:
FlyTheFish Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Alright, thank you!
Reply
:icondearlahthedirewolf:
dearlahthedirewolf Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I saw your tutorial on youtube, and I only have one question about how you make your dragons:

1.) Will the foil inside the clay become a problem when you heat it?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Nope :D
Reply
:iconimpavidrose:
ImpavidRose Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014  Student
2 years ago I made a dragon from a comic  my brother in law has been working on for the past 5 years or so, The sculpty I used melted right off the wire frame of the wings. I was so sad!!  I feel as though I followed all the directions, but maybe my oven isn't calibrated properly... Has this ever happened to you?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
No, thats really weird actually. Never heard of it happening. Sorry I can't be much more help ):

-Becca
Reply
:iconrunrunjohnnygogo:
RunRunJohnnyGoGo Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
This so helpful
Reply
:iconstripedflareon:
StripedFlareon Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Student General Artist
Sorry to bother, but I had a question.

So, I realized that some of my sculpted dragons might look like your older work. I am making them as gifts, but wanted to try selling them at some point.

Is that alright? (Some are in my gallery)
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I would prefer if you started making your own style but if it's just for yourself and you're not selling its fine (:
Reply
:iconstripedflareon:
StripedFlareon Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Student General Artist
I didn't even notice they looked similar until I saw your older stuff today, but I think mine do still look different. Do you think they look different? Or are they way too similar?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I mean they look similar but like I said just keep pushing for your own style. There are many many ways to make dragons :D
Reply
:iconstripedflareon:
StripedFlareon Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Student General Artist
Ok, I'm working on it. I was just really hoping that they weren't so similar that I couldn't give them to friends or sell them sometike. I'll develope them more before I get to that point. (I want to sell them to buy more sculpey haha)

Thanks! (I hope I don't sound like somebody trying to steal)
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
No you're fine (:

It takes time and patience but keep at it!
Reply
:iconjetgirl87:
JetGirl87 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Awesome read!
i just wanted to add on that last point that I've been following your work for a long time. It always annoys me (from a fan and from one artist to another) to see all the copy cats out there. I love your work!
Reply
:iconskyflare10:
skyflare10 Featured By Owner Edited Nov 5, 2014
What advice would you have for an artist who's only clay is paper clay and some really weird clay that won't mold at all
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Just keep trying or try out a different clay
Reply
:iconskyflare10:
skyflare10 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014
Should you come up with a theme or just do it freestyle
Reply
:iconshotlo:
ShoTlo Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
I give you 100% props!!  Every since i can remember ive been in love with dragons and gargoyles mainly and i finally found this!!!  I want your entire collection!  where can I look and see your prices and or if local stores or keywords for ebay!  Also do you have wallpapers? Sorry if youve answered these questions before but i highly admire your work and i can see the time put in.... please if so you can forward any links or fan pages to my email at onadiplala03@gmail.com.... until then i will continue browsing your site.. Thankyou oh so much!!!!
Reply
:iconsoundofthecrocodile:
soundofthecrocodile Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
so you bake the body first and the hair you at later on the dragon right? but how do you bake the hair?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I bake the hair on the dragon
Reply
:iconsoundofthecrocodile:
soundofthecrocodile Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014
Ok thanks ( sorry for the late reply)
Reply
:icondarkmar0:
DarkMar0 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a couple of questions to this FAQ: you say you do not do commissions, yet I see a majority of your works done as gifts for people. So does that mean you do requests? That's the only way I'm seeing how you are able to make these gifts that you say are for these people with these deviations.
If one were to make a request for a gift: how would one contact you and ask you?
I know you probably get this a lot but I did not see this in your FAQ
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Gifts are usually for my family. Sorry ):
Reply
:iconpoisonsakura:
poisonsakura Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014
Do the legs on your ponies have foil in them too?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Nope :)
Reply
:iconpoisonsakura:
poisonsakura Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014
Do they have anything in them?
Reply
:icongary3-6-9:
Gary3-6-9 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014  Student General Artist
You don't know how much you've helped me! Thank you so much for bring a kind an open person, and sharing your experience with us, peasants..XD
Reply
:iconlulabys-melody:
Lulabys-Melody Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
MY question wasn't answered here, so, I shall ask. Do you sketch and plan out each and every sculpture or do you just get the idea and run with it, relying on your practice to get it right every time?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Sometiems I have sketches sometimes I dont (:
Reply
:icondragonitavioleta:
DragonitaVioleta Featured By Owner Edited Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! This really helped a lot. Love 
Reply
:iconsyx7h:
Syx7h Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I know this is a very common question, but do you ever think/want to stop making dragons? If so, is there any other hobbies you have considered dedicating time to?

Thanks.
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Probably not 
Reply
:iconjiniffsmorph:
jiniffsmorph Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
Any tips you can give me on making things symmetrical?
Reply
:iconsculpypups:
SculpyPups Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
Hi Becca, I absolutely adore your art and you have been a great inspiration, thank you! I wanted to ask you how do you determine shipping cost in your etsy store? I have heard that etsy doesn't have a shipping calculator so how do you price shipping for buyers from all around the world? Do you pay the difference yourself or you charge everyone equally and then refund them if you charged too much?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I have been doing this for so long I actually know roughly the price it should cost. When prices go up I take that into account and adjust my pricing accordingly 
Reply
:iconglowingart11:
Glowingart11 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I was wondering how do you do the dragon manes? i enjoy making dragons to and would like to learn how.
Reply
:iconpitbullmomma:
PitbullMomma Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the tips!
Reply
:iconspringgalaxy:
SpringGalaxy Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
THANK U!!!!! You great and powerful person of the clay master!
Reply
:iconcrafty-magic:
Crafty-Magic Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Great FAQ!!!
Reply
:iconterradragonace:
TerraDragonAce Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I also use Premo Sculpey for my sculptures and charms. May I ask, how do you keep your sculptures from being burnt in the oven? (I use a counter-top oven).Also, sometimes my clay slightly bends after successfully baking. Is there anyway to prevent that, or is it normal?
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I usually bake them 30-40 minutes but it just really depends on how thick the clay is. Yes thats normal if you dont want that to happen prop it up with something
Reply
:iconzenet2527:
Zenet2527 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 10, 2014  Student General Artist
Why don't you use Super Sculpey on top of the inner structure/limbs, then cover it with the Premo Sculpey? Could that possibly make them more resistant?

I'm curious...

(Also, I faved EVERYTHING in your gallery...)
Reply
:icondragonsandbeasties:
DragonsAndBeasties Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I just prefer using a foil armature 
Reply
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