The recent pieces I’ve been working on have me feeling pretty darn good. The style of these 4 are somewhat similar to one another which could be a step in the right direction for me. It seems artists tend to do art in series’ and have a specific style through which they develop their concepts into art. For the past few years I’ve felt less like an artist and more like an inventor, creating art from experiments with techniques and new mediums for seemingly unrelated projects. If you’ve read any of my past posts, you’ll find I rarely make the same thing twice. Also in common with inventors is the fact that my projects sometimes don’t work out, which makes it even sweeter when they do.
Over a year ago I made a number of Steampunk insects from gears, wire, watch parts and other found objects. “Steampunk” had been sort of a guilty pleasure for me: I rarely mention it aloud since I get a little embarrassed at having to explain what it means. Recently, having finally got my art out on display at Unity 88, people gravitated toward the steampunk bugs more than anything. It turns out that (just over the past couple years) many more people know what Steampunk is and even like it! I learned more terms similar to the Steampunk genre, like: Dieselpunk, Teslapunk, and Cyberpunk; sounds edgy! With this newly discovered interest, I made more bugs and did some research too. I googled and googled: steampunk bugs, steampunk insects, mechanical spider, etc and found some REALLY amazing stuff! So amazing… I had to ask an artist friend if she had ever looked at someone’s art and thought, “Wow, that’s just like what I’m trying to do, except theirs is so much better.” She assured me the feeling is normal… right? But even with her reassurance I just felt like I had to try something different,and make something other than what had popped up in my google searches.
Of course my first thought was clay, but I hated the idea of sculpting the sharp corners and symmetry of machines. One of the problems with sculpting corners is the accidental bumps while sculpting other sharp corners. The solution is to bake the Sculpey after each small section you’ve perfected. As long as you don’t exceed 275°F (130°C) you can bake Sculpey as many times as you want. Before paint, each of these pieces had been baked for about 8min over 12 times. I was so excited to get some paint onto these sculpts, and think the antique faux-finish really makes a huge impact: it adds all the character and hides all the mistakes. There are some more ideas floating around my brain for different critters in this same robo-style. I think that’s something I’ve been needing to do: find some style.
Check out the work-in-progress photo’s for these insects (and hermit crab) below:
I’ve been wanting to make a steampunk bee for a while now, but when I’d go through my collection of clock parts and random stuff, nothing called out, “look at me, I’m a bee!” There was nothing to lose starting this style with a bee.
It seems that the Praying Mantis is a very popular insect (as far as bugs go). They look so alien, and their unique ability to swivel their head from side to side makes them seem sort of human-like.
After having an idea to make a bug with a hood that opens, revealing its engine, I decided a beetle would be fun to make. This piece started with the hood, the rest of the bug was built around it.
Hermit Crab 1.0
The idea for this piece came from the shell my son and I found at the park. It was a surprisingly big shell that was just begging for a tenant. To stick with the bug theme, I had originally planned on making robo-snail but…snails… yuck!