Baby Fantasy Creature Enamel Pins – Kickstarter!

I’m running my first ever Kickstarter! I wanted to be sure to announce it here on the blog today, because it’s the last day that the Early Bird discount tiers will be available.

The Kickstarter is for a set of hard enamel pins featuring baby fantasy creatures. The dragon is the first pin and will be made if the Kickstarter funds, and the unicorn and griffon are stretch goals, along with a set of vinyl stickers featuring the same artwork.

Take a look, and please feel free to share with anyone you think would be interested! Help me make these little cuties a reality. 😀

Free coloring pages

With so many people stuck at home, I thought this would be fun. I had some coloring pages I never quite finished a while back, and I thought they’d be nice for people to download and print or digitally color in. I also included a few excerpts from my Shella the Dragon coloring book (the full coloring book is available over on Etsy if you prefer!)

So, without further ado, here’s a set of free coloring pages for you to enjoy! I’ll be adding more, so check back soon or follow us on  Facebook or Twitter for updates.

And if you color any of these, please show me! I’d love to see and share them!

The State of Things, and a Couple Announcements

Little bit of a longer post today. Like so many, we’re keeping a close eye on what’s going on with COVID-19, and the recent (and not so recent) changes to our primary selling platform, Etsy.

To start off with, I just want to say a huge thank you to the people who have been making purchases with us, most especially over the last several days, when things for an artistic business (and one with a heavy reliance on costumers and fursuiters attending conventions) has been getting more and more uncertain! Every sale has been a sigh of relief, a breath of hope.

Something I haven’t spoken about up to now is that Etsy sales have been on a slow but steady decline since around the end of 2018. We’ve been working hard to find additional niches for our work to fill, additional revenue streams, but success has been rather limited. Still, things have been… if not great, we’ve been hanging in there. I’m sure many of you have heard about the more recent changes with how Etsy is handling advertising for its sellers – if you’re interested, I’ve got a lot to say on the subject and would happily cover it in a separate blog post! My thoughts are not as negative as you might imagine, though the fact that it is compulsory for some of us is… distasteful, to say the least. I worry more about the phenomenally bad PR generated by the WAY Etsy is making these changes, that it could potentially chase people away from the platform that, for better or worse, we rely on.

And then, the changes happening in all of our lives due to COVID-19. Anxiety is high everywhere, and cancellations, closures, potential and actual quarantines all over the world, self-isolation and social distancing all make this feel like a scary time – even if most of it is more in the realm of precaution than reaction. (I’d much rather see an overabundance of caution that leads to less problems later!) Robbie and I are approaching it both with caution and preparedness – trying not to let anxiety rule, but turn to the facts and the science. Am I worried? Of course, I know many people in at-risk groups – but the whole point of the extra precautions being taken now is what will help keep our medical facilities from being overwhelmed so the people who need help the most can get it. Hopefully the panic-buying will calm down over the next few weeks, as people realize that there’s no threat to supply lines, water, or electricity. (Toilet paper WILL become available again. We’re going to be okay.)

For us, our day-to-day routine really hasn’t changed much. Red Nebula Studios has been our home business since 2009, and our sole source of income since late 2015. As such, almost all of our work is done at home. We’re already pretty socially isolated, so that part really hasn’t changed! But so many factors hitting our business and our personal lives from so many angles is worrisome, not gonna lie.

My reaction to all of this is what you’ve seen lately – when times get tough, I double down. Get back in the workroom. Some of it’s distraction, some of it is just the pure joy of creating new things. I’m so glad for those of you who follow us on this crazy journey. A world without art… without being able to make art – that’s the thing that scares me more than any amount of economic upheaval.

I’ve been working on a couple things that I wanted to announce today to help us weather the uncertainty.

For one thing, we’ve opened up the Etsy shop for some international orders again. In addition to the U.S. and Canada, we’ll now ship to most of Europe, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. I’m happy to consider additional countries on a case-by-case basis.

The other is our Patreon. This is a way through which I’ll be sharing EVERYTHING we’re working on – art and sculptures, mask design, costuming, game development, tips and tricks, learning new things, reviews, playing indie games, Robbie’s adventures learning to code, random blog posts – the works. Everything we do, put together in a once-a-month newsletter (with plans to move to a bi-weekly newsletter if there’s enough interest) – and a few exclusive behind-the-scenes treats now and then too. The first newsletter will be in a couple days! There are other perks as well: Credits on our videos, shop discounts, free digital goodies, handwritten postcards (that I’ll probably also draw on!), and more. If you’d like to support us this way and get some fun treats in return, please consider joining our Patreon.

Once again, thank you so, so much to those who’ve made purchases, both recently and over the years, those who’ve shared our work and our story to the world, and those who’ve followed along for the ride! All of your support is and will forever be so very appreciated.

A Pair of Painted Bird Masks

Painted Griffon and Eagle Skull Masks

Here are a new pair of finished masks, hand-painted and ready to wear! One is an iridescent griffon, with shifting shades of teal and purple in its feathers, and a vivid orange beak. The other is an eagle skull, painted to resemble realistic, yellowing bone.

As I only have one of each of these masks available, they are only purchasable through our Etsy shop:

Both blanks I used to create these masks are available here!

Sculpting the Dragon Mask (from 2016)

I sculpted this dragon mask in early 2016 and set up a camera to record while I was working. I recently subscribed to Adobe CC and began learning Premiere so I could stitch together all the videos and speed them up!

The mask sculpture is done in Monster Clay and was completed over the course of 10 days. The total recording time was about 8 and a half hours.

I do apologize for the video quality and the black bars on the sides; my camera at the time only supported 4:3 resolution. I hope to have a better setup next time I try something like this!

Music: Over Time by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Dragon mask blanks are available in the shop.

And Another New Mask!

I just recently finished my new griffon mask. Because the molds I make are soft, the original sculpture is often left intact. Normally, once I’ve done a test cast and verified that the mold is good, the sculpture gets destroyed and the clay recycled to use again! But I’ve been wanting to do a raptor skull, and there’s the shape just waiting for me.

As you can see in the photo comparing the two masks, I didn’t want the new mask to be too similar to the griffon I just finished, so the changes were fairly extensive. Even the shape of the beak ended up rather different, thinner and with a more pronounced hook at the end.

Blanks of both new masks are now available in the shop!

Demolding the New Griffon Mask

Well, that’s new. I made a video! And I’m actually in it! …sort of.

I decided to record the demolding process for my new mask, a lovely, feathery griffon! There’s a lot of detail in this sculpture. I do love feathers!

Mask blanks are now available in the shop.

I Am A Dragon Decal and Pin

I Am A Dragon Vinyl Decal and Button

So… Phoenix, AZ temperatures have once again done their yearly soar into temperatures you can’t really describe to someone unless they’ve been here. Seems like a good time to be a dragon, really. (Or just hide inside and enjoy the fact that air conditioners exist.)

I’ve had the “I Am A Dragon” pinback button design for a while now. I figured it would look excellent as a vinyl decal, so I converted it into a design that could be cut easily on my machine.

Proclaim it to the world – I AM a dragon!