Wednesday, April 18, 2018

STORYCODE SG _____ Meet young sculptor-preneur Cheryl Lai, she makes clay characters that are ready for their own adventures

NOTE: You can join the StoryCode SG meetup group here.

The StoryCode community is about discovering and sharing new forms of storytelling, especially those combining old and new technologies in novel and fascinating ways.

Often, we write our stories, using words to create a reading experience. Like this 100 WRITERS support group for fiction creators.

But we could also sketch or doodle our stories, and share these as digital comic strips, as we've done in these Captain Cardboard workshops that we've organised.

Or this Quick Kiddy Comic creative exercise we developed with SCBWI Singapore.

We've had Lego storytelling workshops too.

And VR sessions for storytellers.

Also, storytelling tabletop games.

These days, even stuffed toy bears can tell stories on social media. Meet BlooBurr.

For creators, the challenge is to engage an audience, let people participate in your storyworld, and maybe even buy a part of it, if it really connects with them.

A few weeks back, I created a doodle of myself, as an intergalactic fiction explorer, returning from a world of stories, excited to share my super-deminsional cosmic imagination with young readers.

And then I met clay artist Cheryl Lai. Inspired by BlooBurr, a crazy idea hit me. Could she turn the doodle into a clay figurine of me? Well, she did. And this is what the whole process looks like, step by step.

I’ve since been using this little figure on Instagram, setting up dramatic 3D scenes with my published books. 

As for Cheryl, she keeps busy selling her clay characters on her Etsy store, and working up an audience on Instagram.

Here’s a quick interview with her, below, so you can learn more about this art of creating clay characters. Do feel free to contact her, her details are at the end of the interview.

Have fun, and imagine happy stories. Lots and lots of them. And put these out into the world.

Whatever you can imagine, you can create.

– D


Tell us about yourself and your Etsy store.
I am a freelance illustrator, and an alumni who just graduated from SOTA last year. A few years ago, I found out about clay and sculpting, where I started to make little creations to sell locally through Instagram. This year, I wanted to take it to a more international scale, and that was how PigeoncraftsStudio -- my Etsy store -- started.

How did you pick up the skills to create clay figures?
Everything I now know is all self taught and learnt, through observation, practice and watching tutorials online. I first started out in 2014, and gained a following on Instagram, where I sold custom clay figurines and jewellery for customers. This helped to expose me to a variety of techniques, forms and styles of sculpting.

How would you describe your style? 
I would say that my style is more cartoony and cute, but also clean and simple. Apart from custom orders, the works I make are usually inspired by anime films from Studio Ghibli, children's' cartoon like Pokemon, and Japanese mascots such as Hello Kitty. I like using a variety of mediums in my creations other than clay, such as paint, resin, and glitter, in order to get the best end results.

What are some interesting clay figures you have made?
This is the most recent large-scale piece I made, with eight characters from Studio Ghibli's anime films, and a simple setting. This is a more unique piece, as I usually make smaller characters as charms:

Similarly, this is a piece (below) inspired by Sumikko Gurashi, which is a set of fictional characters produced by the Japanese company San-X. It was the very first piece I put up for auction, and each component is removable to resemble a dollhouse play set experience.

These are two of the few interactive creations I have made, where the swing works, and the bread is removable from the toaster. I will be exploring more into such creations in the future, and hope to make more creations that can be both decorative and fun.






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You can make your own quick comic!
For all ages.

Attend the Asian Festival of Children's Content 2018
6 - 8 September 2018