Ever since I started painting drums, I've wanted to do something less mundane and more fantastic. Well, today, with a little help from my MP3 player (now loaded with 13 CDs total - I think I may be at the half-full mark) and a few hours without relatives bugging me, I actually managed to do it. I based him off a golden eagle image, with slightly tweaked colors and, of course, the gryphon ears. I also have metallic gold highlights, and I used metallic gold in mixing a few of the paints (which probably won't show in the end result, but I know it was there, at least.) He needs finishing - the feathers and the hanger and the tag - but other than that he's pretty much done. (See the back here.) Maybe two hours of actual painting, a little more for color picking and mixing and fixing, and he's done. Which proves, once again, that the only thing holding me back from cranking out hand-painted drum ornaments by the boxload is me.
Truth be told, I've been trying to come up with something else to paint. Not that I don't like the drums, of course, but I feel I ought to expand my inventory and my horizons. I've considered a "medicine shield" idea, but that's basically a canvas round stretched in a hoop, not substantially different than a drum. Possibly I could make them faster and cheaper, and I may not rip the heck out of my fingers like I do when I'm cinching up on the drumheads. I might make one or two up to see what the cost in time and materials would run, and if I could come up with a "gimmick" or look that sets them apart more significantly from the drums. The other day, I looked at the premade boxes at Michael's, but try as I might I don't think I could get them to look like anything other than premade boxes from Michael's; probably ought to try doing up a couple just to play with, though. A corner of my mind feels that, like the drums, I should be making what I'm painting on, while another corner says that I only have 24 hours in a day, and if I can find a cost-effective premade item to accessorize and sell, I ought to shut up and do it.
I'm also considering how I could create fake claws or teeth, maybe some arrowheads or charms, to vary my accessorizing more; if all I can manage, given my work situation, is drums and maybe shields, I really ought to start doing more with them, and frankly feathers can be a pain in the tail when it comes to gluing the suckers. Nothing grabs stray glue strands faster than feather fluff... Polymers would probably be the way to go there, but I might have cost issues, plus I'd have to use Mom's toaster oven because I don't want to cook clay in the kitchen oven and I have nowhere by my workbench for a toaster oven of my own.
This, of course, leads back to my persistent desire to create more 3D items, for sale or even personal use. I still keep tabs on the dragon ooaks on eBay to see what sells and what flops. (I've also determined that, if I could come up with a good, easily-repeatable basic gryphon design to make, I might well have a captive audience, as it seems almost nobody is catering to the gryph ooak crowd there even as movies like the Narnia series and The Spiderwick Chronicles make them more and more popular.) Since I have limited workbench space, though, I've had to put those plans on the back burner. There's a chance I may be able to take over a shed this summer, but it's a longshot, as it involves everyone in the house cooperating to get rid of junk, and I can count the number of times that's happened in the past on one hand and still have fingers left over.
Mingled in with this is the strong desire to get more Skyhaven templates ready. For a very long time, I've been contemplating doing template/painting crossover projects, using my Skyhaven designs to create Something in the Real World for sale. The advantage, of course, is that I know I own all rights to my own images, and they're already on my computer for resizing and whatnot. The disadvantage is figuring out just what to use them on... well, that and the fact that I do a lot of cleanup between inking and posting on those templates, and I don't know how well they'd survive if returned to the real world even in reduced format. And, of course, after a while the template that was wonderful when I drew it starts to look shabby and in need up upgrading, and if it's out there in the Real World I can't exactly hunt down the buyers and steal stuff back to redo. Not practically, at any rate. But still, as I work on Skyhaven templates for updates, applications in Real World projects like my drums are lingering in my mind, and vice versa.
So, whether it's the springlike turn in the weather lately, the butterflies I saw the other day (yes, in February), the lunar eclipse last week, the fact that I'm down to two drums in the store (having sold five out of seven I've made specifically for sale), or my own muses shaking off their collective layers of dust and complacency, I'm definitely feeling the urge to Create and Grow and Do More. Hopefully, I'll gain enough momentum to keep the creative ball rolling through the year.