So, as promised I wanted to explain the second part of my internship. While developing my portfolio I also needed a source of income. I know many of my colleagues have Etsy shops where they sell cool handmade stuff, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I should make. I looked into creating hand-painted light-switch plates, but realized that there was only about 10 dollars in profit to be made from each light-switch plate. I have a love of horses and used to have dozens of plastic horse toys when I was a kid, so last year while surfing the internet I stumbled upon a hobby that was right up my alley; model horses. These aren’t your 4 year old’s toys, many of these models are worth thousands of dollars and are considered pieces of art. Giant conventions are held where people compete their models in a variety if categories, such as workmanship (how well painted and accurate they are) and performance (put them in a set up such as show jumping and try to be as accurate to life as possible). I had wonderful luck to be contacted last spring by a local sculptor in the hobby, Lisa Sharpe, who helped me learn how to prepare the model horses, made of resin, for painting. So, as part of my internship I started painting these models for sale.
Above: This is the first model I completed and put up for sale. He’s only about 4 inches tall and fits in your palm.
As you can see this hobby is all about creativity and involves many different artistic skills. I learned how to airbrush so that I could base-coat my models smoothly with acrylics. I learned about preparing resin surfaces to take paint. I learned a lot about different methods of applying oils so that they are smooth and lint-free, as well as what sealants to use. I learned how to photograph the models as accurately as possible (although I definitely need to improve). And finally, I used my knowledge of graphic design for the type, and hand painted the background with watercolours.
Being primarily a digital artist, I find this hobby also helps to fulfill my desire to create a physical thing. There is something so satisfying about having a physical object that you have created, that’s not just displayed on a monitor.