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after many years of hiatus on this project. we finally decide to continue this project. apologize for that. many people asking can we wear them for skateboard activity ? if you ask now. the answer is YES. there will be lots of details changed from the helmet, but the overall look will be still bonehead helmet as you know many years before.
much more room to breath, not only for cosplay usage, even for long runs of paintballing/airsoft battle usage. the material will be much thicker, custom led lights, custom ops-core mounts for multiple purpose, urban warfare themed. there will be 4 color variant for the 1st batch of this helmet. comes with wooden laser cut graphics for the packaging plus 1 limited edition tshirt and originality certificate signed by me.
for now, we only accept 10(ten) buyer, so hit me up on email/facebook/dA notes/ if you're interested and i will list them 1st. payment session open at 22 august via 5060.bigcartel.com. the project is already running, preview works will be posted in 2 weeks. the price is $480USD (shipping cost is not included). after the prototype is posted, you can choose your own color mix.
if you want to see the actuall helmet before purchasing them, meet us at stgcc 5060 artist alley, booth number coming soon!
Had a lots of fun at POPCON asia 2K13 few days ago with my buddy at stellar labs. talking and messing around with pronto pixels, clogtwo, kai lim, stanley lau, angry woebots, Tony Ariawan and much more!! (will post their original vector drawings on my ipad later >.<)
much respect goes to my Uncle for being an amazing host for the whole day!!!
see you guys soon at STGCC artist alley! have a nice day!
Wow, a lot of news for you guys all in one week! Yesterday I informed you all that apps for the iphone/ipad/ipod/android will be coming soon, and also asked for help on a new poster. Today it's about pre-orders for posters and the anthology!
Anthology I mentioned this before, but all of us Fresh Epics artists got together and made a comic along a theme. So all of us, Humon, Stupid Fox, Romantically Apocalyptic, Acero Tiburon, and Boggart are all in the same book!
You can find more information here in my store syacartoonist.com/shop/antholo… where you can also view sample pages. The book is going for $16.25 and should be ready around the beginning of May (I don't have an exact date yet, sorry).
We'll have the anthology for sale at the MCM Expo as well, so if you wanted to get one in person instead of ordering online, you'll be able to (and also will be able to get it signed by all of us!).
The poster is going for $15.50 and is sent in tubes. Like the anthology, I'll be selling these posters at the MCM Expo, but unlike the anthology there will be more posters! I've been working on a "England Rules" poster recently tompreston.deviantart.com/art/… and once that's completed it'll be up for pre-order too. So check back on that and I'll be sure to tell you guys when it's finished!
Epilogue I'm really excited about all this. I wasn't expecting so much stuff to be released in such a short time. Posters, Anthologies, Apps, and Fanart! Woo! As usual I'll keep you informed about any developments on these fronts.
Edit: added a part about fabric selection before 'where do I start'!
Ever since I posted Wolf Link and Midna I've been getting an influx of messages asking me to teach, reveal my secrets, take people under my wing, and so on. The sad thing is I can't spend all that much time one on one with everybody asking me to teach them. So I've decided to put together this massive block of text, relating some of my personal experience in plush making and listing off all my resources at the bottom. This will cover the very basics of plush and pattern making so if you are completely new to plush making this is for you, if you're not and you're just looking for resources skip to the bottom. I hope this will be helpful to someone!
First off, the reality. The big secret. The key to becoming a good plush artist is... Practice. I can already feel the glares and exasperation but hear me out first. One thing I've noticed with a lot of the messages I got were that a lot of people were scared of screwing up. Like, deadly scared. To the point that they would not even try anything. But here's one secret: You need to practice to get better. No one wakes up one day and sudently is a master painter, crafter, writer, whatever. You can't become better at something if you don't do it. That's not how progress works. Odds are that your first plush won't be the best looking. But you made something, and you'll learn from that something. My first plush was a Haro from the Gundam series. I free-handed some lines with fabric paint and they turned out wobbly and I didn't like it. But I learned that I should use guides to keep my lines straight. That's progress. It might seem minimal, but it's all those little things pulled together that makes you a better artist. Personal experience is your best teacher, because if you screw up something then you learn what works and what doesn't and why. You don't end up doing things just because that's how you were told to do it. You don't just use guides because someone told you to do so, you use guides because you know your lines will be crooked if you don't.
And because I feel this needs to really be emphasised, again, you're gonna screw up. I've been making plushies for a long time now, but the people who watched my Wolf Link stream last week saw me screw up the head 4 times before I got it right. It's normal, it happens, sure it can be upsetting sometimes but you can't just hang up your sewing machine every time something doesn't work. You've just learned that something doesn't work, and sometimes that can be just as important as the finished plush.
Next: Even if all you have is a needle and thread with some fabric, you can still make plushies. You don't need a $1000+ embroidery machine to make plushies. It can be nice, but it's not obligatory. A lot of artists have steered towards these machines in the past year, myself included, but some of the greatest plushies I've ever seen were made ages before these came along! There are many ways to add details to your plush. Let's take the eyes for example. They can be applique, top stitched, painted (I used to do this a lot, I'd cut out the eye shape in some good quality felt, not the 25 cents variety, and paint on that not directly on the fleece/minky then I'd applique them to the plush), satin stitched, safety eyes, etc. There are a lot of alternatives, and it's up to you to find the one that works the best for you.
Fabric choices If you're completely new to plush making you might want to hold out on buying expensive and hard to get minky. I would recommend fleece as a starter fabric choice. It has a stretch similar to minky(it's a little stretchier actually), it doesn't fray, it doesn't make a mess like minky does, it's cheaper(about $6-$10 a meter) and it's available virtually everywhere. I used to get a lot of my fleece in pre-cut lengths at Wal Mart. However, I know that another very appealing option is felt. It's dirt cheap(most of the time under 25 cents for an 8.5"x11" sheet), comes in a rainbow of colors, has a little stretch, and also doesn't make a huge mess like minky. I've seen some great things made with felt, but from my experience with it felt deteriorates at an impressive rate, even if the plush is never played with. So I do not recommend felt if you want to make huggable plushies. If you want to make display pieces that are treated like statues, then it would be an acceptable choice. Otherwise I wouldn't even recommend if for pattern testing, since it's not as stretchy as fleece and minky. If you really want to use minky, I recommend testing out your patterns in fleece or other similar fabrics before cutting into expensive minky. I test my patterns in microchenille. It's a minky variant that can be used in a final plush as well, but I get it for half the price of minky when it's on sale at my local fabric store.
Where do I start? Since making basic shapes only is boring, start with simple characters that use those shapes. I find that learning how to make a sphere is particularely important because a lot of more complex shapes can be derived from a sphere. In training Digimons, Kirby, some Pokemons, etc. Anything that is mainly a sphere. And simple. I know everyone wants to make epic complex plushies but believe me start with something simple and work you way up to the complex plushies. There are two general ways to make a sphere: using two dumbell shaped pieces or 4 football shapes. I use the footballs, because I never understood the dumbells but use whatever works for you! When drafting a pattern you have to remember that what you're drawing on a flat surface will become a 3D object so it will not look exactly like your pattern piece. You have to keep the stretch of your fabric in mind, and remember that everything will get rounded with stuffing. So for a sphere, you want your pieces to look something like this i14.photobucket.com/albums/a30… . So how do you know if your sphere is going to turn out the right size? Measure it at the midpoint(the red line) then multiply that by 4. The result will be the circumpherence of your sphere. Also remember that you will need seam allowance. It's up to you wether you add it around your pattern as you're cutting it or if you add it to the pattern itself. If you add it to the fabric as you're cutting, you'll want to trace your pattern onto the pieces so you can follow the right lines. Personally, I add it to my pattern because it's an old habit, and probably a bad one too. I add a presser foot's width all the way around my patterns so the line I have to follow is the edge of my fabric.Again, whatever works for you. The simplest way to sew a sphere together would be like this i14.photobucket.com/albums/a30… . Once you can make sphere characters you can start moving on to characters with sphere heads and simple bodies or extra accessories. And then just keep trying out new things. Before you know it you'll be an acomplished plush artist
edit: a little more about drafting spheres, as well explained by xSystem in the comments: To make a sphere your pattern will need to be half as wide as the length, so if your pattern is 5" wide it needs to be 10" long. The points should also be 90 degree angles so they meet nice and square.
And finally here you go, my master list of resources; materials -Minky shopping list by PlanetPlushfav.me/d4xb16v (my personal favorites are fabricdepot and theminkyboutique) -CR's crafts: for suede, doll joints, some fur, and a whole lot of other things www.crscraft.com/Lobby.asp -Glass eyes online: plastic eyes, safety eyes and noses, doll joints glasseyesonline.com/ -Mendel's: Fur (though I've never ordered from them they have quite a selection and I've head good things about them from others) www.mendels.com/creativity2.sh…
I commission art a lot. I've commissioned from many different artists all over the world. And after several years here are a few on my own personal thoughts on commissions
1. List you prices. - Whether its flat rates or by the hour, artists that commissions should list their rates. Most the time the old saying "If you have to ask, it probably costs to much." really comes into play here. I'm so much more likely to commission someone where I can gauge my budget. I myself am a single income family of five. That means I have a budget. A budget means I shop around. So that means when I am comparing artists if I know what I can spend with one and not the other, I'm more likely to go with the one I know I can budget.
2. List your customers. - It is so much easier for a person to know where they stand when you have them listed.
2½. Update your customers. - Most artists have an idea how long something is going to take. Now it's understandable that the idea isn't always accurate, as so many things can get in the way of the creative process. Real Life is a true bitch if there ever was one. If you update your clientele it's more professional and you won't have to worry about surprise psycho clients wanting to know where their art is.
3. Gauge your prices realistically. - Every artist gets better with every drawing. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But look around at what your peers are charging. Try to be realistic. I've heard many arguments from artist and commissioners alike on this one. the only true I've found in the argument is this "NOBODY WANTS TO GET SCREWED" The truth is many artists started on websites like this who took the time to build their clientele and skills and charge the prices they do because of supply and demand. If you are an artist just starting out don't think you'll get top dollar from the get go unless you have something miraculous.
-Skill vs. Time vs. Payment. There is no minimum wage for artists. You are an independent contractor, not an employee. You are your own boss. You get to make your own rules, stay up late, and eat all the ice cream you want. So every time I hear the Minimum Wage argument I chuckle.
- Don't know what to charge? Ask. Look around you on Deviant Art, Fur Affinity, or any of the other sites. Ask other artists how much they charge and why. How they got to their current prices and where they began at. This is a pretty friendly community. Most like to help. If somebody doesn't want to help you, wave goodbye, back away slowly, and ask somebody else.
4. Payment. - There are a lot of ways to pay. Here again I've heard argument for both sides. Everyone has been ripped off. EVERYONE! Is it your fault? Probably not, but nobody wants to get burned. Taking the pay in the beginning of the project can screw the commissioner. Taking payment after can screw the artist. Taking multiple payments for a project could easily screw both. However in my experience I've found the most fair is this;
Stage 1: Sketch Phase - artist creates a basic sketch based on the commission's requirements Stage 2: Pay 50% Stage 3: Finish Project - Artist completes the project sending a smaller low res file letting the commissioner know the work is finished. Stage 4: Pay the other 50% Stage 5: Completion - Send Original/HighRez file/Balloons/Flowers/ What have you and move on to the next project.
- Now there may be a lot of argument on this particular point. But look at it this way... Do you pay a mechanic before or after they fix your car? Do you pay the kid down the street before or after they mow your lawn? Does a gallery pay you before or after they sell your art piece?
5. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses. - This applies to both artists and commissioners. If you want someone to draw a giant robot mecha, you don't commission your favorite artist that draws the big boobies cat girls. And vice versa, if you don't think you can draw what the commissioner wants, don't take the job. It will cause you nothing but stress and heartache. Look at what an artist draws and make sure the artist understands what you want. Clarify what you want drawn and clarify what you can draw. If it doesn't work out there will be other commissions.
6. That was never a condition of our agreement, nor was giving Han to this bounty hunter! - Do not change the deal upon completion. If the agreed upon deal was for say $100, but you think your time was worth more you don't take it out on the person who commissioned you. Learn from the experience. I'm not saying that your time and skill isn't worth more, but you agreed upon a price. You keep the deal. Taking it out on a commissioner who may not be able to pay a higher price will only end up with hurt feelings (at a minimum) on both sides. Re-evaluate your prices. Even talk to the original commissioner about what he thinks the work is worth. You will be very surprised.
7. I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice. (AKA The 'Don't be a Douche-Bag' rule) - This is another rule for both artist and commissioner. There is never a reason to be rude. You can be angry, fed up, anxious, and any other number of assorted flavors. Don't be rude. Commissioners, you went to the artist. You wanted their skills on your idea. That takes effort and time. Artists, your commissioners help pay your bills, spread word of your work and get you out there. That means business. Don't think on either side of this equation you can't suffer. Artist will group together in a heartbeat. So will commissioners. So be polite, if you can't be polite at least be business like. Make no mistake Commissions are Business.
8. You didn't ask for that. You have no personal politics. You're just trying to scrape out a living. - Everyone needs money, but if you can't do it or it doesn't seem right... Don't Take the Commission.
9. Freedom isn't Free. - Commissioners listen very closely. NEVER EVER EXPECT SHIT FOR FREE! There are a ton of artists that take free requests for various reasons. But they owe you nothing. Nothing I tell you. They are taking the time to practice their art and skill on ideas that aren't their own to improve themselves. Now I LOVE Fan Art. Everyone does. We all want to think our ideas are the next great thing. Believe me I know this. I wish every story I wrote would inspire artists near and far to draw those stories to life. But guess what artists have their own ideas as well. I hate... no I loathe when I see someone begging for free shit. If you want something you have pretty much two choices. A) Commission the work or B) Inspire the work. Don't be afraid to tell an artist your idea. But DO NOT GET UPSET when they tell you no.
10. Kiribans. Putting the carried away in every Ban. - Artists listen very closely. ALWAYS EXPECT AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE TO CATCH YOUR KIRIBAN! We all know how the page view system works. It is HIGHLY probable that two people will turn in the winning number. If you don't want a big mess or fight over who won be specific in your journals how you want to see it; the first comment, the first comment in this journal, the first note you receive, the first comment in this journal of the note under the blue moon, etc. Or you can always plan for two winners to alleviate any pain. Kiribans are wonderful things. Gives everyone something to shoot for. But unless a few selective measures and realizations are put into place can become a big pain in the ass for the artist.
- Artists please don't forget about the people you owe Kiribans to. We all understand that paid work takes a precedent and that we are waiting in a line just like all your customers. But the lucky recipient(s) also want their picture as well. It's not only bad practice, but also impolite, to brush off anyone you owe art to without an explanation.
- For those of you Kiriban hunters out there, be gracious. We all can't win. If you didn't win this time, congratulate the winner on their luck. It could have just as easily been you. Maybe next time and good luck!
11. Pay it Forward. - This is another both ways kind of thing. Commissioners if you have found a great artist that you think does terrific work for a great price, well then spread the word! Let all your friends know. Artists that take commissions usually love the advertisement. Some can use it desperately. Artists, if you have gotten a lot of commissions because of one person commissioned you a lot, or brought in a lot of business for you. Do something nice for them. I believe in Karma ladies & gentlemen.... you should to.
12. Paypal Charges. - I hate when an artist wants to charge me for Paypal fees. I make all my payment as gifts, so I pay a Paypal fee to send my money to you. So when you want to charge me +$2, +$5, +$ One Billion Dollars on top of the agreed payment, I feel a little screwed. Adjust your prices before hand. You really need to cover your Paypal charges then list it. Don't Charge me $10 for a sketch and $2 for Paypal, Just charge me $12 for the sketch. Trust me on this. Or simply tell your commissioners to send the payment as a gift so the cover the charge. Cause what I pay for a charge is pennies comparatively to what you want to charge me to do it.
- And if you think customers don't know how Paypal charges work all you have to do is go to calculators like this one ppcalc.com/
13. I Ride the Special Bus. - Special deals are great. They can drum up business for an artist and they allow commissioners to get something that might be normally out of their price range. I personally think it's a good way for artists to gauge and check their prices every now and then as well. If your art isn't selling for price Z but it's going like hotcakes at price X, you might want you think Y. Y= a new regular price between X & Z. Fun with Math! But in my experience Artists should limit the number of available slots with special prices. If they don't they can easily get swamped doing tons of art which can easily cause burnout, and/or not be worth the art supplies used.
14. And the winner is... - Contests can be a commissioners best friend if done correctly. But I've found there are two major parts in a contest; Theme and Prizes.
- I'm going to start with theme because it's the easier of the two. It's important to have something people want to draw in the first place. If they aren't interested in what yo want to see they aren't going to enter. Now if say the contest is to see Character X in some form or fashion participants may still enter because it is only one character after all. More than that, better make it something interesting. You are trying to convince artists at the chance of a payday. But it's no just about money for the artist. You also have to consider their time (its valuable) and their interest (which you need to catch). A decent theme can easily make or break your contest no matter the prize.
- Now show me the money. Another quite HUGE thing to consider is what is the prize and/or prizes. If a prize isn't worth much to a participant then again they won't enter. This doesn't necessarily mean financial reward though. Although consider this. If you prizes isn't worth much more than their commission price, why would an artist enter for a chance to get what they could normally get paid for anyway. Which again leads me back to theme. (see how I did that?) Now as someone who has run multiple contests I also know the more prizes, the more entries you will receive. Why? Because then people have a better chance at winning something. They may not go home with the grand prize, but they didn't go home empty handed.
- Planning on running a contest? Then listen closely... DO NOT USE A POLL TO PICK THE WINNER!!! Polls are great for a lot of things, but contest isn't ever on that list. Polls are to easily thrown off by the popularity or friends circle of each artist who enter your contest. Come up with some other way of judging. Even if it's just you picking the winner. That is one million times more fair than a poll. If you simply say "I like Deviant J's entry the best" It's your contest. You don't even have to explain yourself (although I point out rule 7 here!) because it's your contest and can easily be up to you taste alone. In the contests I've personally run I let the artist chose amongst each other, but that's me. And by all means if you are going to run a contest, give the winners their prizes.
15. Points - I hate the point system on Deviant Art, but I do have the sense of what it is there for. As an adult I have a bank account and a credit card which means I have easy access to pay by the web sites like Paypal and such. Not everyone on Deviant Art has all that. Points are an easy mean of system credit to get things within Deviant Art. Therefore points do have value on Deviant Art.... En Mass. But for many artists starting on here they can be a means of getting a subscription or other things, which is why many new artists here take art commissions through points. But don't be crazy, it is very easy to see the monetary value of the points you have with a little math. (Yes I know most of you arty types cringe at that word, Math.) Don't insult and artist by offering points that would be well lower than their normal commission value. It's not to say they won't accept them, but would you offer $5 for a $50 commission?
- Now I really don't get the people who offer Dev Watches, Favorites, and Comments on your work for Points. Got to be one of the worst forms of Panhandling on Deviant Art. I love every time one of my pieces gets Fav's or an even more illusive comment, but I'm not paying you for it. That's Prostitution! I've earned every Fav, Watch, and Comment I've received. If you participate in one of these schemes, Shame On You!
15. We don't need no stinkin' Llamas... - Here is the rule; Give a Llama, Get a Llama. Moving on...
16. The best bang for the buck. - Now many people, including myself, are always on the lookout for best deal for our money. You may have a budget, you may be broke, you may only have points... What ever the case may be you still want the best looking picture for the money you have to spend. Well there is a simple trick I was recently introduced to. By using the journal search portal you can look up all sorts of deals on Commissions. For Example: browse.deviantart.com/journals…
- Understand you can refine your search by adding a few select words like; deal, special, sale, points, etc. You wouldn't believe the amount of people out there trying to get their commissions sold. Use this helpful tool in your search for a Commission today.
17. In case of emergency bring cash... er, break glass. - Very often around Deviant Art you will see someone requiring financial aid. It's a rough world out there folks and the term Starving Artist isn't just a cliche. However you really have to ask yourself Who and/or What you feel you want to support. Here are some criteria I usually follow, mind you these are things I look for, you really need to set your own limitations.
- Will work for food. If the artist is willing to take emergency commissions I am more likely to help out. Someone willing to work there way out of there situation I am much more willing to support.
- What is the cause? If someone has medical concerns that's usually a big thing for me. One time emergencies I'm also more willing to respond to. Repeat offenders however I'm less likely to help. If this is the 7th month in a row you can't seem to make your rent you are doing something wrong. I'm not going to enable the same repetitive behavior which is already failing a person. That's not an emergency in my book, that's poor life choices.
- Promotion! We can't always financially help those we want to, but that doesn't mean you still can't help them. Put out the word, if you actually care about the cause then help get their cause out there. Start a journal, draw a picture, scream it from the roof tops. -----------------
That's it for now. I'm sure I have more, but my train of thought got seriously disrupted a little bit ago. But what do you want from me, I'm in a frakkin' war zone. So as I think of them I'll update. I'm glad people seem to appreciate this topic. And I love your shared comments. Especially as I'm sure there are things I haven't covered yet which you might remind me of. And thank you to the people who have 'd this journal. Never had a journal fav'd before. Must be yet another change to Deviant Art.