Sunday, May 15, 2011

When the (sculpting) innocence ends...

Sculpting has been a part of my life since I was 7 years old. I have always been "creative". You might know me best for my sculpting but in fact I am also into photography, into scrapbooking, into drawing and very into organizing parties and Cooking/BAKING!!! (don't want to toot my own horn but I have several deserts I am famous for in my social circle).

Anyway, at first, you start off with stars in your eyes that WOW you can create THAT... if you manage to sell your work WOW again, people want to spend money on it! And it goes on and on and on like that...
Now you are a successful, professional artist, congratulations... and that's just about when the innocence for me ended.
I have started becoming VERY critical about my work. I have always been a perfectionist at heart (even though sometimes time restraints won't let me get a sculpt to where I think is best - for instance when you have been working on a sculpt for a few months and it starts drying out), so this newfound self-critisism is not helping.

I did all the preparations including having special molds done for my first self-produced vinyl kit, only to chicken out at the last moment thinking it is not a good enough sculpt afterall...
So I started over, going a completely different direction (chunky newborn as opposed to scrawny preemie)... and I am still going...and going. I had a set of limbs I had made for another head earlier in the year but since they turned out a little small, for that head, I put them aside... they seem to fit this head quite nicely though so I might be using...might being the operative word here.

I see the sculpt and sometimes I feel very good about it, sometimes I don't like it and I keep thinking of so many other artists out there, younger than me (and a lot less anal about it than me lol) getting kits out like it is nothing... and I am STILL looking for the "perfect" one. Is there such a thing? Have I become too old (or too wise???) to just close my eyes and "jump" and enjoy the ride? Why am I looking for assurances so badly? Is it because I put food on the table doing this? Why am I measuring and re-measuring, changing and re-changing my sculpt?? Have I lost my "wind" or my inspiration??

Why do I need a computer to tell me that yes my sculpt is more or less symmetrical and also, yes I do need to move that ear and the fontanel a little bit... why do I *need* it so badly?
Is it because making a vinyl kit is so expensive?? Or it is because I am suddenly chickening-out??
Or is it maybe because I want to provide YOU, the customer, with something extraordinary??

Maybe I need to remind me of what I tell my students... sculpting comes from the heart, not from technology... So I will make me some coffee, put on my favorite music and sit down quietly and fall in love all over again with that little baby waiting on my work desk... and I will whisper sweet words into her/his still unfinished ears like I do with all my babies, and dream about the baby s/he will be once put together, and not think of how much money s/he will cost me or wonder if I can pay the therapies I am several months behind at, with the money I might make from the kit in the long-run.

To be continued...


Emma said...

Hi Tina. What a great insight. I think perfectionism and self critisism comes with the territory but don't be too hard on yourself - that baby looks like a winner. Forget the pressure and enjoy it. You will succeed with it. Xxx Emma Cousins from Doll Artistry Magazine.

Morena Ciambra Dreamartdolls said...

Your babies are WONDERFUL! I don't think that God goes through all of the measuring. When you feel the baby's soul, that is when you know that he/she has arrived.
Best wishes, lots of hugs,

chef_ladybarrington said...

Gee, I hope this doesn't post twice, because everything I just typed went away.

Anyway....someone once told me "don't worry about falling on your face, at least you're moving forward."

You are amazing, you're work evolves all the time. Shall I send you pics of your sculpts from 2005? If I could, I'd buy every baby you put out there. I'm on #4. I have so many offers for Tess Annabelle, but I refuse to sell her. She's so special to me.

I think you are just pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, pushing to do better, and that's ok. But don't define yourself by it. Just let it happen. Because, if you haven't're pretty darn good at it.

Oh, and human beings, we are not symetrical - that's what makes us all so unique. ;)

Hugs sweetheart!
Samantha B.

Tina Kewy said...

Thanks ladies for your kind words!!

For those new to sculpting let me add something. I do agree that nobody is symmetrical BUT in sculpting especially when you are reproducing a sculpt, you must got a little above the normal. Let me explain: not all sculpts translate well into vinyl. Pure Silicone and especially resin, pretty much remain true to the original as the shrinkage rate is negligible. BUT vinyl, especially the super soft kind, shrinks A LOT. About 20% of the detail is lost and I have seen deformation of the sculpt happen.

This is a reason I sculpted this baby larger than a typical newborn (unless your typical is a 10lbs baby! lol), and tried to get him/her as close to symmetry as I could.
It is also the reason I am chosing a harder vinyl because I care more about the form and detail than I care about softness. Not to worry, I am not talking about rock hard or Lee Middleton hard (I am only chosing them because they are very popular and I guess everyone has one right? plus I LOVE their quality!)... but hard(er) than your super soft, squishy, I put-my-finger-on-it-and-it-deforms soft.

At least in my book realism doesn't only come from the shape but is also based on detail (and good reborning skills obviously). If you do not give a reborner a good tablet to work on, no matter how good she is, it won't look real... Of course all this is just my 2 cents, I might be miles from the mark lol :) SO will get off my soap box now and show what I have made so far...a head, arm and body plate... and I will cross my fingers, take a deep breath and try to find some time to do the rest!

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