Hey everyone! I’m Anthony from Ace of Clay on YouTube again and today I’m going to be discussing various aspects of the creative process and what gets me inspired to sculpt. I am a self-taught sculptor and I love pretty much anything and everything horror, sci-fi, and fantasy related. I have been a creative since the day I was born and my brain never stops thinking of new characters and ideas. The main way I love to express my creativity is through sculpture and sharing that work with my followers regularly.
My sculptures mainly consist of figurines and humanoid characters. I love sculpting people and faces and creating unique personalities and appearances. I consider my style to be unique and eccentric. While I don’t want to sculpt myself into a corner, I do like to maintain a consistent look across all of my characters and sculpts, but at the same time I don’t like to limit myself to one look and feel on every piece.
I draw inspiration daily from seeing the work of others. Not copying their work, but there’s something about seeing another artist crank out the artwork that makes me want to pick up my sculpting tools and create something myself.
When I begin a sculpture, if it isn’t fan art, I don’t start with a sketch. I don’t like to be tied down to a pre-determined design before I start sculpting. I want my hands to discover this character as they go. I will, of course, settle on a theme or character, for example a creepy clown, or my version of a mythical creature of some sort, but from there I let my hands do their thing and in the end, the sculpture is somewhat of a surprise and I love that.
With all of the characters I create, I want you to be able to tell their story just by looking at them even if I don’t have it written down. I want you to see everything that they’re all about from their name, their personality, where they came from, how they sound, even smell, act, and so on and so fourth. This is my goal with every original piece.
Sometimes If I find myself struggling to think of a sculpture, I find this is the perfect time for a challenge. I love to use online character generators to come up with random traits and features I have to turn into a cohesive sculpture. I even have a big spinning wheel where I write down different features and then spin the wheel to decide which ones I have to use. This helps get me out of creative block and in the end I’m left with something that I never would have thought to make.
When I first began sculpting seriously six years ago when I started my Ace of Clay business, my main goal was to create art that people would buy. Nowadays, I create to inspire others and teach them how to sculpt. This is what keeps me going—knowing that people are looking forward to my content and genuinely learning from it.
Some of my favorite tips and tricks include using masking tape to secure aluminum foil to my armature wire; using bamboo skewers for leg and neck armature; using Super Sculpey Ultralight to bulk out my sculpture (what a hidden gem!); using colored clay like Sculpey Premo and Sculpey III to color areas where I can’t fit my paint brush; brushing on clay softener before I bake my sculpture to help remove fingerprints and smooth the surface; using corn starch to smooth large areas if I’m not using clay softener; pre-baking finished areas of my sculptures to save my progress and avoid smashing them as I move onto other areas, and incorporating non-clay items like glass flat-back cabochons and resin to create eyes and other details.
All in all, I have gathered most, if not all of these tips and tricks from my own experience with polymer clay over the past decade. When you pick up a box of clay and start your journey with Sculpey, you too will find what does and doesn’t work for you. Everything is personal preference and there is no right answer for many things aside from baking your sculpture at the right temperature and properly bulking it out.
Whether you just started sculpting today or you’ve been sculpting for 10 years, share your work with us using the hashtag #HowDoYouSculpey! You made it, now let’s see it!