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Melissa Ng


February 12, 2016

Felicia Day / 3D printed Dreamer Regalia armor photoshoot + battling impostor syndrome (Part 3 of 3)

February 12, 2016 | By | 17 Comments

QUICK RECAP. What is the 3D printed Dreamer Regalia armor? The Shapeways-sponsored Dreamer Regalia armor (with 3D scanning provided by Cokreeate) was created to inspire people to fight for their creative ambitions and to believe we have what it takes to make something amazing.

It symbolizes the protection for our dreams and is being created in honor of the Dreamer within each of us. The Dreamer that wants to give life to the imagination, make a difference, change things, push boundaries, and not conform to the status quo. Actor and Geek & Sundry founder Felicia Day had all of these qualities and more, which made her the perfect match for the armor.

Before I share my final thoughts on the amazing response we got on the Dreamer Regalia armor photoshoot, I thought I’d put together a little archive of the most vital links covering the Dreamer Regalia journey for anyone who wants the full details:

  1. On lacking “proper artistic credentials” & 3D printing the Dreamer Regalia armor for actor Felicia Day (provides a project overview, armor design timelapses, and evolution of my art)
  2. 228 hours later, the 3D printed Dreamer Regalia Armor for actor Felicia Day is finished! (covers painting, finishing, and finished armor preview)
  3. Shapeways interview series where I share my process in greater detail
  4. Geek & Sundry photoshoot / video + my interview with them (click below to view the photo gallery and video)
Felicia Day Dreamer Regalia gallery

Photography by Eric Anderson. Hair and makeup by Sabrina Cruz Castro


Felicia Day Dreamer Regalia video

My final thoughts on the Dreamer Regalia journey…. Holy shit.

The response to the Dreamer Regalia armor reveal was beyond anything I would have ever imagined. I’m still having a hard time believing the amazing reaction after I’d spent so many days mentally preparing myself for the worst…

In fact, right before the photoshoot reveal on Geek & Sundry, I was staring up at the ceiling thinking to myself, “No one’s gonna like it. Everyone’s gonna hate it. Well…maybe a few people will like it. That would be nice.”

*Looks at the clock and realizes it’s almost time for the reveal.*

“No wait…OMG are you crazy? DAMMIT, THEY NEED TO TAKE IT DOWN. NO ONE SHOULD SEE IT. IT’S GONNA BE AWFUL. NOOOOOO. AAAAH.” My impostor syndrome was strong that night and I very nearly had a breakdown.

And then my social media notifications and email started going haywire. I didn’t look for a good half hour or so because I didn’t want to see how ugly it must have gotten. I thought, “They must be telling me to go to hell and to never make art again. Yeah.”

My breathing was strained with anxiety, my chest felt painfully tight, my face was burning hot, my hands were shaking…and then I finally looked.

Sure, there were expected criticisms here and there. But overall, there was an overwhelming amount of kindness, love, and support for my work…which I have never really experienced before.

“At no point am I ever threatened by people who question who I am, or why I like the things I do, or my legitimacy. Because I know who I am very strongly, and I think that’s what geek culture can reinforce.” —Felicia Day

For the longest time, the “authorities” in my life told me I could never be an artist. That art was a waste of time. That I could never create art that moved others. That I would be a laughing stock. And yet here I was receiving an enormous amount of appreciation for my art for the first time in my life.

I burst into tears. I watched the Geek & Sundry video and heard Felicia’s uplifting words and then I cried some more. I can’t help it that I’m sensitive…

As I write this, there’s a part of me that’s wondering if I’m still dreaming. Everyday, I used to fear that moment someone would call me out and tell me I have no right to be doing any of this. But then I realized…those people don’t matter because they didn’t really give a shit about my kind of art. My art wasn’t for them.

What matters is knowing what art I truly wanted to create and understanding who cared about my kind of creations…and then putting it out there.

Heck, I know my art isn’t for everyone and I don’t want it to be for everyone. Because if I tried to create for everyone, then my work would touch no one. My work is meant to appeal to some people and that’s more than enough. And I’m thankful I’m finally understanding who those people are.

So, know who it is you want to create for. But above all, know what it is you dream and geek out and obsess about creating. Chances are someone out there cares about it just as much as you.

<3 Melissa



  1. Nea Wiseman

    Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s so amazing. The imposter might lurk forever in all of us, maybe, in a way it wears a mask too, gives us the nudge to keep going.

  2. Felt I should pop in and say WOW Melissa!!! You have such a powerful gift… your work is incredible!! I have been following you since your beginnings, admiring your intricate designs well before you gave 3-D printing a go, and I must admit I am beyond impressed (even a little envious). Your ability to keep pushing your boundaries, evolve your artistic endeavors, and not give in to self doubts is extremely admirable. Congrats on your accomplishments to date! I can’t wait to see the many more to come 😀

    • An early reader! Yay!! I thought I lost everyone once I started shifting my focus. So thankful you’ve stuck around!

      You can bet I have something even cooler in the works ;D Can’t wait to share it!!

      <3 Melissa

  3. Melissa,

    I faced a similar situation when I made this:

    All those feelings which you wrote about sure do sound familiar, but I am so happy for you that you went ahead and followed your muse and made your art!

    The Twitter-storm feeling is a strange one, for sure! It will probably calm a bit, as did mine, but, months later, I still get notifications, almost daily, that someone liked her post with my afghan in it and it never (never, ever) fails to bring a smile to my face. So, you have that to look forward to – and I hope that you enjoy every moment of appreciation from the fans. You did a great job! Congrats!

    • Thanks Andy! I saw that! I loved it!! Do you still make quilts?

      Yeah, I did not expect the social media storm. I was really surprised (and also pretty stressed) but I was genuinely touched by the kind responses.


  4. Junne

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this. And i not only mean your art, but also your experience.
    I’ve been always so afraid of being an artist because people everywhere would tell me art is not a good idea for a job. It went so far that I ended up just stopping.
    I kept my old paintings hidden because I thought people would think they are ugly and whenever I showed them to anybody, I would get anxious.

    Im so very glad you managed to stand true to yourself, to ‘follow your muse’ and show us all these beautiful pieces (and then again, I not only mean Dreamer Regalia Armor).

    I hope you have always someone by your side to remind you how great your art is, to support you and to tell you not to be afraid of showing it to the world (be that family, friends or fans… we will be there, you are awesome)

    I just wanted to tell you that you inspired me to keep making art and stop hiding it… so, yeah. Thank you very much, Melissa. You truly have a gif.

    • So happy you’re inspired to make your art again. Would love to see it!

      And it’s amazing (and sad) how many people end up having such similar negative encounters when it comes to sharing their art. Just goes to show how deep the stigma is still embedded in our way of thinking. But we’re fighting it together!

      After all, artwork is still work! And it doesn’t deserve any less respect.

      <3 Melissa

  5. Ahh the critical inner voice. I know it very, very well. So much so I tend to think of Imagine Dragons “Demons” as a sort of reluctant theme song. I commend your willingness to admit your own struggles, and help others by doing so.

    That aside, this genre intrigues me. So many possibilities. Wonderful work to be sure. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

    • Thanks, J.C.! The next one will be another big one for sure 😀

  6. Heitor

    Speechless. Its beauty is beyond words. Keep rocking!

    ps.: loved how this armor feels pratical, feminine and doesn’t have the common flaws of fantasy armor for women (no armor tits!)

  7. Thank you for your art and your courage. I feel so inspired and thankful.

    I recorded an album last year and am overcoming my struggle with identity. Reading about you makes me feel that there is a huge YES inside me for my music! I feel joy and so much love for your creative expression in our world. One day when I go in tour I hope you will make my costumes!


  8. Traci T.

    What 3D software does the designer use? Thanks.

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