[EDIT 2] Answered all the questions from today's session (and even some more)! Thanks everyone! I'll probably check again tomorrow, but just in case things get crazy, I want to thank you all for your excellent questions, and can't wait to see the masks and monsters you make in the future. :D

[EDIT] Wow, thanks for the questions today, a lot tougher than I thought, but I really appreciate it! I'm calling it a day for now. I'll try to answer the remaining questions, and may be back tomorrow, watch this space!

Come join me on Instagram (MissMonsterMel) and Facebook (MissMonsterArt) for updates on my work.

<3


Hi reddit!

My name is Melita Curphy, also known as Miss Monster. I've been making all manner of monster masks, traditional art and toys for about 14 years. I have worked with the likes of Guillermo Del Toro, Sideshow collectibles and on such productions as A Scanner Darkly.

I'm currently at DesignerCon in Pasadena, answering the questions from anyone that comes by, so I thought I would open it up to Reddit as well! I'll start at or shortly after 3pm PDT.

Ask Me Anything about my work or the industry!

Proof: https://www.instagram.com/p/BbXw7kgl_I6/

Masks I have recently made - * https://www.instagram.com/p/BbSL8kJlkjd * https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba7UfchhIlk * https://www.instagram.com/p/BaavoTqAKxC

A costume / mask combo: * https://www.instagram.com/p/BZzYkwcAsD2

Toys I designed - * https://www.instagram.com/p/BbIafnHlowf * https://www.instagram.com/p/BaXRTKwgXGU

Wanna see me paint (timelapse)? * https://www.instagram.com/p/BbVvLHdlUK3 * https://www.instagram.com/p/BbVj0YllsM6

Comments: 194 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

jaysapathy218 karma

Didn't we see you on Face/Off? And if you're in the monster mask industry.. When did you work with Distortions Unlimited last?

MissMonsterMel223 karma

Hi jaysapathy! I have a bunch of friends that have been on Face-Off, but I haven't been on it personally. I haven't worked in the halloween/haunt industry, I tend to work more on bespoke masks of my own design, and occasionally work for hollywood special effect shops.

jaysapathy44 karma

Jordu, then. You worked with Jordu, because I've seen you somewhere!

MissMonsterMel77 karma

I haven't worked with Jordu, but I have been around for a long time! I'm totally curious now as to where you might have seen me or my work! :D

bellekid180 karma

Favorite and least favorite materials to work with?

MissMonsterMel230 karma

Chavant suuuuuucks! I'll never work with that clay again, mainly because it's sticky and unforgiving. I know a lot of people that love it, but not me. Haha, when I think about it, it annoys me so much I come up with childish insults directed at it, like 'it smells' and 'its poopy!' so I guess that says it all.

In the same vein, Monster Clay is by far my favourite material to work with. It's smooth, workable, and an absolute pleasure to sculpt with. I spend so much of my time sculpting, its clays that have the biggest impact on me.

thenewgizagiza78 karma

Greetings Mel!

Firstly, thanks for doing what you do. I’ve been following your work for years and it inspires me greatly – even had the chance to meet you (and table assist! Good times) way back in the day when you attended AC in Pittsburgh. You’re awesome!

Sometimes you write a little bit of lore for your creations. How do you go about doing so? Do you have long, intertwined story lines that you develop slowly, or do you come up with them off the top of your head? Or something else? In addition, do they help guide your creative process at all?

Thank you! Good vibes,

Natalie

MissMonsterMel58 karma

Hi Natalie!

Wow, great question! I had to think a bit about this, and I would say I mostly let the ideas flow out of me, with no real connection to previous work. Sometimes, when I'm making something, and I step away from the finished piece for a while, I see some similarities, or a link to a previous piece that I then like to explore. For example, I consider my Cragnogs, Floculent Craws and Chubnogs as all part of the same universe. Similarly with my bigger masks, the Robodog and the Anubot have the same post apocalyptic vibe, so they now belong to the same universe.

I feel like it's more important to just create and not constrain an idea, and perhaps later consider their place in the universes you create.

Really good question, thanks!

YoGoGhost63 karma

Have you ever made anything resembling "The Haunted Mask" from the Goosebumps series?

MissMonsterMel48 karma

I had to look that up, but I can definitely say I haven't made anything like that. Looks really interesting, though!

YoGoGhost29 karma

The green skin and glowing eyes definitely creeped me out as a child, for sure. Creeps me out now if I'm being honest.

MissMonsterMel55 karma

That's a really big compliment to the original designer! That's the kind of visceral reaction any artist would love to achieve, and that it still affects you is amazing.

Dansam_54646 karma

Greetings!

My question is... How did you end up working on "Monster making"?

MissMonsterMel79 karma

That's quite the question! To answer that, I guess I would have to go way back to my childhood, where I grew up on a steady diet of cartoons like Thundercats (Ho!) and Silver Hawks. Then as I grew up, I started to get more and more influenced by Japanese anime, and movies like Zeiram and the stunning work of Keita Amemiya.

As I moved into the workforce, I got a BFa in animation and illustration, and that's how I ended up on A Scanner Darkly. I quickly realised that animation wasn't for me (after all those years of study, eh!? :/), and bounced around for a few years, teaching illustration, waitressing, and even did some design work at motorola. During all that, I still worked part-time on making the monsters influenced by my early years. Eventually, I took the leap of trying to go it on my own. Took a long time to get established, but I guess I tried to stay true to all my early influences, and i couldn't be happier making monsters today.

TLDR: Started as an illustrator, meandered around for a while (but still made monsters), and eventually decided to go it on my own.

V8Arwing9322 karma

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to do this AMA!

I'd like to firstly say that you have inspired many people to take up mask-making/costuming, including myself! (Though I still just have concepts!)

Now, on to my question for you; what is your favorite kind of monster, and have you made a mask of one yet?

MissMonsterMel36 karma

I'm loving the AMA experience so far, thanks for the question!

I'd have to say my favourite monster is the Werewolf, and now that I think about it, I've never made any mask like one! gears start turning in head

Closest I got was a werewolf bust, but you couldn't wear that.

My friend recently told me of a Scottish werewolf legend called "Wulver", and it's adorable. I think if I were to make a werewolf mask, it would be an adorable one like that.

Jethr0Paladin2 karma

Did you happen to mold the werewolf bust?

MissMonsterMel1 karma

Sadly, no, I didn't!

behvin17 karma

First off, I'm so excited you're doing this!! I've been admiring your work for quite some time now. I think one of the first things I saw was the monster suit you built and a werewolf bust on instructables.

I have a two part question for you. First, would you ever come up to Seattle for ECCC? And second, what was your biggest push to go from hobby art and monster making, to being a career artist?

Thanks so much for doing this AMA! I hope to add more of your art to my collection in the near future.

MissMonsterMel20 karma

Thanks for your support, behvin, I really appreciate it. <3

I can't say I've considered travelling as far as Seattle for a con. I have to say that cons take up a lot of resources (and time away from crafting), and other than networking and meeting other makers, it's a bit too much of a drain all things considered. If you are ever in LA for Designercon, or Monsterpalooza, I'll probably be there, so be sure to drop by!

As for my big push, sometimes life deals you a hand that turns the world upside down enough for you to have few other options but to either double down on misery, or go it on your own. Thankfully, getting fired from my job in motorola gave me that exact choice and I haven't looked back since.

Brence1315 karma

What has been your favorite project, personal or professional, that you've completed?

MissMonsterMel25 karma

Oh wow, I can't say I've thought about that recently, great question!

I think it would have to be the Seraphim helmet, which was a deeply personal project for me, as I felt like I had spent a long time making things that people wanted to see from me. That one I kinda let loose, and I couldn't be happier with it. Since then, it has been turned into a series of 1/6th scale toys by Glitch Network and included in a comic series, published by image/topcow. So definitely, my Seraphim.

Here's a pic of it:

http://www.missmonster.com/projects/biomech-seraphim-helmet/

xerotheantihero12 karma

Hi! Huge fan of your work! I bought your beholder design as a shirt and as a sticker! Just wanted to ask if there is a desire to do a story of you own? Like a comic book or a movie with your props? Thank you!

MissMonsterMel12 karma

I would love to!

I think if I were to have a dream project using my designs, it would be a post-apocalyptic movie using my Robodog and Anubot universe. You can see little tastes of the lore on my toy pages, like this one:

http://www.missmonster.com/projects/wedgemore-the-robodogman-16-custom-toy/

I adore them so much, I take them out to the desert every year, for a Mad Max style festival called Wasteland Weekend, so I guess we just need to film out there! :p

As for comics, I adore them, but sadly they don't adore me. Just doesn't seem like I can make a lot of money from comics.

aquartistjames11 karma

Long-time fan, I've actually bought several blanks this year to keep me busy over the holidays, and I'm learning to use a rasp because you're right, it's way nicer to work with than a rotary tool.

I guess I've got two questions: one, what's your sculpting process like? I'm always blown away by the intricate detailing, especially the details that don't "pop" until you start painting.

Two, I know you generally run blanks in small batches and then retire the design. Do you keep your molds, like a kind of archive? I'm not sure I'd be willing to dispose of a design I put that kind of time into.

Thanks! I'm glad I stumbled across this today.

MissMonsterMel12 karma

Hi, aquartistjames, I really appreciate your comments, and that you've bought a bunch of blanks from me. People like you keep me going, so thanks!

On your first question, that's really tough, because most of the time I just 'feel' my way through a piece. That being said, you'll be pleased to know that I plan on moving into creative streaming, on a service like Twitch, where you should be able to follow along with me, ask questions (or if you watch later, just enjoy the whole process). Keep an eye on my pages for more info on that, very soon!

To basically answer your question, I generally start with an idea budding in my head, like the "Fatalis" helm coming out at the end of the month, was basically a desire to revisit the Sabertooth mask I did a long time ago. I block out with clay very fast, usually putting on more than necessary, and then carve planes out of the excess to get the shape im looking for. After that, I work around the whole piece, not getting attached to any one idea or part of the sculpture. I'm pretty good at not worrying about sunken cost if it doesn't add to the overall design. I'm pretty brutal iterating through a sculpture. While I care about things being roughly symmetrical, I try not to fall into the trap of perfection, and know when to stop and get the sculpt into a mold. That's a skill in its own right.

Anyway, keep an eye out for the streaming content, and I hope to see you there!

That's a great question, about old pieces. I always keep the masters around, which means if I decide I want to do a run, I can usually make a new mold from the masters. The way I work, sometimes I just burn out on a particular design, and plan to consign it to storage forever, but like the Sabertooth, maybe one day i would go back and update. I like to keep the options open.

Thanks!

LustLacker9 karma

Very cool. I'm a parent of a creative kid, so I like to ask this question: In your experience, what were the most influential parts of your upbringing that allowed you to put discipline into your creativity?

MissMonsterMel12 karma

Thats a great question, and you sent me on a trip down memory lane!

I'll never forget my mom taking me to see a special effects exhibit at a museum in my home town. She was so happy watching me enjoy all the monsters, despite not really understanding anything about it. :)

To answer your question about putting discipline into my creativity; my parents always encouraged my art since I was little, gave me art supplies, and allowed me to enroll in craft classes outside of school, or summer classes. Additionally, my dad was always hard working and loved what he did, so a lot of that rubbed off on me, and I got a lot of that from him. My parents always being proud of what I did, made me want to make more of it. An important part of that, which helped a lot through art school, was that my mum was never afraid of letting me know if I wasn't doing my best work. My first and best critic.

I hope that helped, feel free to ask follow up questions, :)

AustinnnnH8 karma

Who are your inspirations? Also, how the heck do you have all this time to finish all this stuff? Your work is stellar.

Also, please write a haiku about the movie Alien.

MissMonsterMel12 karma

Wow, I love these questions!

So many Japanese artists for a start. Keita Amemiya had a huge impact on young-me (and still does), and the movie Zeiram just blew my mind. His designs are incredible, and so is his art. Similarly, Takayuki Takeya has a huge influence on me. Straying away from Japan, we have artists like Jamie Hewlett for things like Tank Girl, and a friend of mine, Paul Komoda, blows me away with the detail and textures he creates.

As for how I have so much time to do stuff, I really don't feel like that's the case! Being self-employed, I basically get up, work all day, and then maybe enjoy a little free time at the end of each day, it's non-stop, but I wouldn't change it. I just have all these monsters that need to come out, or I'd probably burst.

And finally, an Alien Haiku! Give me a little time on that one, i'll try to do it justice, and come back here with it. :D

AustinnnnH2 karma

Thank you so much for delivering an awesome answer. This is the first I'm seeing of Keita Amemiya's work, and I definitely need to dig through this stuff more. Also Paul's sculpts are pretty flippin' gorgeous. Excited to see more of your work, and I love your Cragnogs a bunch.

MissMonsterMel11 karma

How about this to finish things off?

Got acid for blood / bust from your chest at dinner / blood shower all round

MANTISxB8 karma

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MissMonsterMel4 karma

This used to happen a lot more, back-in-the day, but as I don't really take commissions any more, it's dropped off to none.

TheMaskedHamster6 karma

It's really great that you're able to do this for a living.

How do you connect with your customer base to the degree that you're able to stay self-employed?

MissMonsterMel11 karma

Thank you, and that's a great question.

What is important to me, is to put myself in front of groups and people that are into the same things that I am. It took me 14 years, and as my tastes shifted, so did the groups I put myself in front of. By picking who I show my pieces to (rather than just 'shotgunning' my work out there), I feel like I've built an awesome community of people that genuinely seem to love what I produce. I never lose sight of the fact that these people allow me to keep doing what I do. It's important to keep people updated, and show them what you are working on. If you are excited by something, let that show in your posts, because if they are on your page, or looking at something you've made, then they are obviously there because they are curious, interested and probably excited too.

Keep making different things, always evolve, and don't get stuck in one style or piece (this actually recently happened to me, and it had a huge impact on my happiness and ability to produce). Be consistent, be on time, build trust in you as a 'brand' (though I don't like thinking that way, I'd rather the art stay personal). I think that's it, that the most important thing is to build trust and a rapport with the people that follow you. Like I said, they allow me to do what I do, so I try to stay true to myself, create what I love, and because I've built a community of people who love the same things, I know they will appreciate, share with friends and hopefully buy it.

Tough question, but thanks for asking!

missthrowaway425 karma

Why do you constantly attack small creators who make anything even remotely similar to your work?

I understand it if someone is copying your work stroke-for-stroke or selling recasts. What I don't understand is why you attack artists who are inspired by your work, that mimic your style for a personal piece.

MissMonsterMel4 karma

This isn't really a question, is it? Other than just ignoring it, i'll take this opportunity to reach out to anyone that reads this, and let them know that if they have any legitimate grievances, they should feel free to contact me on my facebook or instagram and I'd be more than happy to discuss the situation.

nmagod5 karma

How many "fursuit" masks have you made, if any?

MissMonsterMel3 karma

I've never made any fursuit masks. :)

regularjeff5 karma

Hello and thank you for doing this AMA. Your work is incredible! As an aspiring sculptor who wants to one day break into the toy, industry, what resources, books, websites did you find most helpful in improving skill? I currently don't have much direction in my practice and just aim to practice what I feel like needs improving several hours a day. How would you recommend one to practice in order to improve skill level most efficiently?

Finally, any tips on using social media to get your work out there?

Thanks again for the AMA!!

MissMonsterMel7 karma

You are off to a great start, and to be honest, the way you are going about it is great (i.e. keep practicing!). Working a few hours day to day is definitely the best way to improve skill. It will happen, just give it time, and don't be frustrated if the things in your head don't match what your hands are currently producing (word to the wise, it's unlikely to ever happen, but sometimes what you make ends up better. I'm not even that close getting the thing in my head, out into reality) but you'll get closer and closer, and one day you'll be satisfied with what you produce.

If we are talking personally, a book that I found awesome (can't verify how awesome it is now though, there may be better), was "Pop Sculpture: How to create action figures and Collectible statues" by Tim Bruckner et al.

I think the best advice I can give you is to always keep trying to improve. Don't get comfortable with any particular style or method. Use free resources like youtube, and even try to look into fields that are maybe tangential to sculpting to see if you can learn anything new or exciting there. If you think 'man, my heads suck', go out there, learn the anatomy, and make a tonne of heads. After that, make a tonne more. Try breaking the 'rules' and pushing what you learned. Just keep geeking out, and loving what you do, the rest will come with time. :)

lostbutnotgone4 karma

Hi there, your work is just gorgeous! I'm a budding special effects makeup artist and I've made a few masks out of plaster. What would you say were your best resources in learning how to make the masks you do? Also, what was the process like for procuring a job in this particular field?

MissMonsterMel7 karma

Hi lostbutnotgone!

Thankfully, there are a tonne of resources out there now that I didn't have when I started out. Youtube is obviously a vast, free resource that is like a rabbit hole of information. Go as deep as you are willing! I personally love what the Stan Winston school has done. Their videos and tutorials are second-to-none, and they are super receptive to comments and questions. Check out the Stan Winston School site for that.

Alternatively, I have a bunch of friends who went the make-up school route. Move to a place that has special effects classes, and whatnot, like Cinema Makeup School, or even sign up online for classes. I have heard that the Dick Smith school is great, and is based online.

There are some great books out there too, I thoroughly recommend the "Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen" book by Todd Debreceni.

From me personally, and how to procure a job, basically keep working on your own stuff! Build up a body of work that you can show people, and soon enough you'll have enough that will get you a foot in the door or most places. Just keep at it.

Good luck!

Nighshade5863 karma

MissMonster! I have 3 of your scarves, a few shirts with your designs (Seer, The Slaughtered lamb one) and your werewolf patch was on a few of my motorcycle jackets. Will you be coming out with any new tentacle stuff any time soon?

MissMonsterMel2 karma

Oh that's awesome, but I don't think i'll be doing any more tentacle stuff any time soon. Maybe when I've cleared the deck of all my current ideas, I might revisit something. :)

Thopterthallid3 karma

Aren't most masks wearable?

MissMonsterMel2 karma

A+ for observation!

Zeldrid3 karma

Can you make me a Ken Kaneki Tokyo Ghoul mask?!

MissMonsterMel1 karma

I don't normally take commissions, but I think you can get those pretty cheap on eBay, no? :)

Lionroo2 karma

MonsterMel! I follow you on instagram and I love your work! Question, what steps would you give to an amateur mask maker? How do you go about starting a project like this?

MissMonsterMel5 karma

Thanks for following my work!

The best advice I could give you is to start small and just keep practicing. It doesn't have to be a mask, your sculpting skills will be transferable. Don't get hung up on one piece, or going too big. Don't try to make things 'perfect' while you are still learning. Be open to critique (don't focus on the words that are said, whether positive or negative, try to extract the lesson or the meaning from them) Learn something new regularly (from youtube, or sites like StanWinstonSchool.com), and keep practicing it over and over until you feel like you get it. If you find yourself noodling around trying to 'do the thing' that you have in your head, and never quite getting there, then that's usually a sign to stop and move onto the next piece. Don't be afraid to take a break and come back with fresh eyes, or just quit a piece outright, and move to the next. The great thing about that is that you take what you learned (mistakes or otherwise) and carry into your next piece.

That's it, the key to starting is just to get going. Keep practicing, and keep having fun, and share what you make! :D

BWOcat2 karma

What is your favorite work you've done? (Out of all masks, dolls, accessories, prints etc)

Your work is awesome! I bought your Werewolf Skull and Tentacle Bandanas cause they look amazing :)

MissMonsterMel3 karma

Here's a pic of my favourite piece!

http://www.missmonster.com/projects/biomech-seraphim-helmet/

This project meant a lot to me, because I felt like i had spent a long time making what others expected me to make. This one was the first that I really let loose on, and gave myself complete creative freedom. In a way, it shaped how I would move ahead with my art in the future.

Thanks for supporting my work! <3

Mastro_Saboldo2 karma

Did you have ever created something so scary that in the end you thought "Nope, too much." And you destroyed it?

MissMonsterMel2 karma

I wish! :D

Funny question, I like it!

rpeters3302 karma

How do you feel about the lack of practical effects in movies nowadays?

MissMonsterMel7 karma

I think it's great when both are used together, and i'd love to see more movies use each appropriately, utilising their strengths to make the best portrayal of the artistic vision possible. Movies like Fury Road and Blade Runner 2049 are perfect examples of this. It's just stunning what you can achieve when you use the right tool for the job. Money obviously drives a lot of these decisions, but I would hope the true artisans use a hybrid approach.

ibrien2 karma

"I'm more talented than you AMA"

all jokes aside, amazing work. Have you ever been commissioned for drawings specifically for tattoos?

MissMonsterMel3 karma

LOL!

I used to do tattoo commissions, but I tend to avoid custom work (tattoos or otherwise) these days. That being said, feel free to get any of my existing work tattooed on you, so long as you send me a picture after! ;)

DarkKing971 karma

Im am super interested in things like mask design. Is there any good resources or tups on how to start?

MissMonsterMel3 karma

Hi DarkKing97!

You'll forgive me if I provide a quote from a reply earlier today, but I think it's just as useful for you too!

Thankfully, there are a tonne of resources out there now that I didn't have when I started out. Youtube is obviously a vast, free resource that is like a rabbit hole of information. Go as deep as you are willing! I personally love what the Stan Winston school has done. Their videos and tutorials are second-to-none, and they are super receptive to comments and questions. Check out the Stan Winston School site for that.

Other resources, and a good starting point, is to check out other mask fabrication techniques, like on youtube's 'Evil Ted Channel' and 'Punished Props' among many others. I've seen some stunning masks made with little but foam floor mats!

Just keep practicing, and good luck!

To_fuck_a_dinosaur1 karma

Do you do commisions for furrys?

MissMonsterMel1 karma

I don't do commissions for anybody, furry or otherwise!

123STAR1 karma

What do you do to make them comfortable to wear?

MissMonsterMel2 karma

I often use upholstery foam, which is available from most craft stores to pad the inside where the mask is closest to the face, or in the case of full head masks, on the top so that it sits comfortably on the crown of the head. I use elastic straps that I make adjustable using something similar to a bra slider, which helps stop the mask sliding around and rubbing.

If I think of anything else, i'll add it here! Thanks for the question!

End_Of_Century1 karma

Any quick tips on how to make a Kamen Rider type helmet from resin/ any favorite Tokusatsu series?

MissMonsterMel2 karma

I'd actually be tempted to make that out of foam if you are just making it for yourself! I might not start with this one if you are just starting out. Check out the 'Evil Ted Channel' on youtube, and also 'Punished Props' to get ideas on how to put together some amazing armor out of foam. Great starting point.

Good luck!

216horrorworks1 karma

Once and for all, has anyone actually figured out a "homemade" version of ultracal or is that just a pipe dream?

MissMonsterMel1 karma

Not that I know of, but for the amount of use you can get out of a 100lb bag, it's pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things. Is the issue that you are having trouble finding it where you are?

Bojangles90001 karma

Hey Tommy Jarvis, why did you kill jason? He never did anything to you!

MissMonsterMel1 karma

He had a really cool mask I wanted, sue me!

boondocktaints1 karma

You made the mask?

The monster mask?

MissMonsterMel1 karma

Yes. Yes I made the monster mask.

[deleted]1 karma

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Sop_Art_Studio3 karma

Love your work! Before you became independent, how much did you rely on conventions for sales?

MissMonsterMel4 karma

Thanks for the question! I really only go to conventions twice or so a year (Designercon which Im at now, being one). If I were to ballpark a figure, I would say it's not much of my overall sales, maybe about 10%. I think I gain more from meeting new makers, people discovering my work, and general networking. Plus, I've got to get out of the workshop and stop being a hermit from time-to-time! :p

Sop_Art_Studio4 karma

Thank you. That is extremely helpful to hear. I have some friend who are illustrators. 80% of their annual income is from doing amazing at shows. I have trouble making enough sales to cover the cost of the table.

MissMonsterMel4 karma

My experience was the same as yours. You might not make money back for a while, but stick with it! Grow your own community. 14 years in, and I wouldn't change a thing.

My advice is to take your time, don't try to rush or force things. Find your crowd, keep creating and building your online presence, put your work in the hands of groups and sites that fit your style, and most of all, have fun. :)

fartmasterzero1 karma

Were you ever inspired by Corey Feldman's character's abilities in Friday the 13th Chapter IV: The New Blood?

MissMonsterMel1 karma

Another Tommy Jarvis reference!I like it. :)

therealjonnymcgovern1 karma

Hi Melita! I've followed your work for as long as i can remember being on the internet it feels like. As a budding bespoke mask maker i have one issue I've been turning over in my head a lot. Im confident in my sculpting abilities but a little afraid of the resin casting process honestly. If you're familiar with working in garages and shops.. How do you know its well ventilated enough to not be accumulating secret toxic fumes? Also: what do you use for your mother molds?

MissMonsterMel2 karma

If you are worried about the ventilation, then you should probably make yourself a little set-up outside if you can. My workshop is attached to my house, and is pretty much a mesh-window extension that lets a lot of airflow through. If you can't set something up outside, maybe because of weather, or whatever other reasons prevent it, then just try to get a decent fan or two, open your windows as far as they will go, and try to make a sensible air flow. Wear a fume mask whenever you work with these materials, and make sure you leave enough time after for adequate ventilation before you think about returning to normal living arrangements. Again, though, I think setting up somewhere outside would be the safest.

For my mother molds, I recently started using fiberglass, which is definitely something you want good protection for, both lungs and body! I would not advise any fiberglassing in living spaces.

capybara_c0de1 karma

I've seen your work on instagram and they're great! Have you thought about being a keycap artisan?

MissMonsterMel1 karma

keycap artisan

I had to look up what that was, and while I don't think that's something I would get into (though I do know a bunch of people with 3D printers that might), I find it kinda fascinating! I learned something new tonight, thanks!

DustyDGAF1 karma

Have you ever been to a Hall House Halloween Party?

MissMonsterMel1 karma

Hall House Halloween Party

Nope, can't say I have. I'm not sure what it is, do you have a link or something I can take a look at?

handstands_anywhere1 karma

The first thing I bought from you was a tentacle scarf in 2008! Then I drooled HEAVILY over the demon rug... and lately I bought a crystal light.. (the batteries tend to die in the light bit, even with the switch off, I switched to a different light but the crystal is the key part anyways.) I love your work! I wish I had bought horn hair clips! I wish I had bought a sabretooth mask just to keep on my shelf.. but I love following your work (and garage sales!) and seeing all your incredible creative process. And emotional process too- it's very intimate and I think that's very brave.

I guess my question is, how would I go about making my own demon rug?? I am a decent seamstress but an amateur sculptor at best. (Sculpey & tin foil armatures are the peak of my experience...) Maybe I could start with a sheep-size demon... there aren't a lot of lessons out there for fantasy sculpture, it's a bit of a trade secret! Thanks for any arrows in the right direction...

MissMonsterMel1 karma

Great question, and I'm glad to hear you are going for a challenge!

You are also in luck, I made an instructables a while ago that will really help you out, using a taxidermy head, just make sure you look for a 'rug form' than the wall-mount head that's in the instructable. Taxidermy casts can save you a lot of time! Check it out:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Halloween-decor-werewolf-head/

You could use sculpey, but you might want to look into self-hardening clays, such as the two-part epoxy clays and whatnot. They should be readily available in most craft stores, or you can order the good stuff online.

Let me know if you have any questions!

double_integration-11 karma

Can you make me a Fleshlight? Asking for a friend.

MissMonsterMel11 karma

I can't, but have you heard of a Fifi? I'm sure you can manage one of these on your own! :D

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fifi