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My Creative Process

If you would like an elegant mask or jewelry piece to wear, visit my shop.

This is NOT a how-to series. This is an observation of my creative process to give people a better idea of how my pieces are made.

I decided to use content from the Dreamer Regalia armor I created for actor Felicia Day to give an idea of what my creative / design process is like.

Dreamer Regalia Felicia Day

Dreamer Regalia Armor & Felicia Day

 

Research, weighing risks, and inspiration gathering

How long I take to do my research depends on how much I may already know on the subject, the scale of the design, and the overall complexity of the project.

The larger or more difficult designs (i.e. moving parts, interlocking designs, designs that require LED installation, irregular shapes, floating/overlapping patterns, etc.) will usually require more careful thought and consideration while designing.

Sketching the concept

Like doing my research, how long I take to do my sketches will also depend on how much I may already know on the subject, the scale of the design, and the overall complexity of the project.

Generally, the larger the concept, the more time will be required for sketching.

Dreamer Regalia sketch

3D scanning or taking measurements

If the client wants a design that is custom fitted to their face or body, it would be ideal if the client already has their own clean 3D scan. If you do a quick Google search, there are now many available 3D scanning services. However, there is the other option of using the good ol’ tape measure and calipers. I would provide guidance on the necessary measurements I’d need for a design.

Since the Dreamer Regalia project needed to be custom fitted, LA-based 3D scanning company Cokreeate provided the 3D scan of actor Felicia Day.

Felicia Day 3D scan by Cokreeate

Screenshot of actor Felicia Day 3D scan by Cokreeate

 

Modeling the base shape and design

Drawing the pattern in ink pen

The patterns on my masks and other designs are all hand drawn and later 3D modeled.

3D modeling the pattern design and making the 3D model print ready

Watch videos 3-6 in the playlist below. Depending on the size, complexity, and detail, overall sketching, pattern drawing, and 3D modeling the design can take anywhere between 30-150+ hours of labor.

Interactive preview of the model before 3D printing

The client can virtually explore the final 3D model before proceeding with 3D printing. It can take 1-3 weeks for an item to 3D print.

3D printing the design

My Dreamer Masks are 3D printed via the selective laser sintering (SLS) process, which involves a laser fusing together powder. The jewelry creation process is slightly different. It is first 3D printed in wax, next a liquid plaster mold is poured around it, then it is cast in the desired metal, and finally it is polished.

Dreamer Masks (or other wearable non-metal designs) are typically 3D printed in a flexible nylon plastic or a very flexible elasto plastic. Please note that my earlier mask designs printed in nylon plastic do not have the flexibility of leather or cloth and may feel stiff on the face or body. While the material is fairly sturdy and can often withstand a minor fall, it should not be deliberately tossed, pulled or thrown.

However, my newer mask designs printed in elasto plastic can withstand quite a beating and are extremely flexible as you can see in the Instagram clip below. Even so, the masks designs should not be deliberately thrown…because that’s not nice 🙁


Dreamer Regalia 3D print

Sanding, sealing, painting, finishing, etc.

Depending on the size, complexity, and detail of the design, this can take anywhere between 10-80+ hours of labor (not including curing time).

Metal designs are polished and don’t require painting and finishing. However, non-metal products do require painting and finishing. Materials include filler, sealer, acrylic paint, and protective acrylic finisher.

Other additional items like LEDs or resin cast gems are sometimes included depending on the design.

The finished design

I hope this offers more inspiration and insight behind what goes into 3D modeling and 3D printing art. If you’d like to see more photos and videos of how the Dreamer Regalia was made, you can check out these three posts:

  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 Dreamer Regalia armor for Felicia Day is finished! (covers painting, finishing, and finished armor preview)
  3. Felicia Day / Dreamer Regalia photoshoot + battling impostor syndrome
Dreamer Regalia armor Dreamer Regalia armor
Dreamer Regalia armor Dreamer Regalia armor
Dreamer Regalia armor Dreamer Regalia armor
Dreamer Regalia armor Dreamer Regalia armor

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