Commissions and quotes: #2-5
Average Price: #6
Size and posability: #7 & #14
Materials and technique: #8-18
0. JOIN MY EMAIL LIST! If you do not check your DA religiously and you want up to date news and announcements like when my next room guardian posting will be and when my commissions will open, email email@example.com and tell me you want to join. You can also follow me on Facebook or Tumblr
1. How did you come up with the room guardian concept?
The idea caught fire when a friend and I were walking through an antique store. On one of the bookshelves sat two stuffed foxes wearing riding clothes. I contemplated buying them because one could convince themselves that their expressionless stares were actually seeing and watching over the room. It was as if they were alive though they were a long way from being realistic. My contemplation came to an end when I realized I could spend less money and have a better one if I just made it myself. That is where Caiaphas, the first room guardian, came to be. Using random foil foam and cardboard, I created his body and covered it with old fur from a thrift store coat. He was a beautiful fox and he still sits by my bed in my room. In my mind, at the time though, I pictured this being a one-time project. I would not make another because Caiaphas was such a nuisance to create. Then came Christmas and I made a white fox for my friend. She was made sturdier with corks and wire inside, but she was still a pain in the neck to make and took much reluctance and procrastination to finish. At this point I knew I would probably make more for friends, my boyfriend in particular. He constantly asked for one and finally I gathered up the motivation to make another. But this time, when I went into the garage to get the sturdy wire, it was gone. I looked for it in vain, and then began looking for an alternate material. Down on the garage floor lay a roll of dirty chicken wire (Hence the birth of the modern room guardian). With the armature becoming so simple, the task of creating these creatures became less daunting and eventually enjoyable. The hollow body also allowed for me to add in hearts for the guardians. The idea to sell the room guardians came to life and blossomed. I began to make cats and rabbits along with the foxes and eventually I have gotten to where I am today.
2. Do you take Commissions?
Yes, I do take commissions, but only at select times averaging about twice a year. I take a limited amount of slots and they are done in a lottery style through my etsy shop. I don't expect to open for commissions again until late fall or winter. I will keep everyone informed of when commissions are opening and exactly what you need to do to submit a request. The best way to receive this news is here on Deviantart or on my email list (details at the top of this page). The majority of my room guardians are non commission premade room guardians which means they are straight from my imagination and put up for sale for anyone to purchase. See next question for more info.
3. Premade Non-commission Room Guardians
Premade room guardians are the room guardian designs that I create from my head to sell to the public. This is what I ultimately do instead of commissions. During the time between commissions, I make different never before seen guardians that I will put up for sale and possibly auction off every couple weeks. I sell most of them on my etsy but I occasionally auction ones off on eBay. The etsy room guardians sell very fast so I send out announcements before the guardian is actually put up for sale. The best way to receive these alerts is to join my email list. Details are at the top of this journal. If one strikes your fancy, you do not have to commission me or try to reserve one of those limited spots, you can purchase a premade guardian.
Premade Room Guardian examples:
4. Do you give quotes?
I do give quotes, but I prefer that you wait until I announce when commissions will open next. Prices and material stock changes change throughout the year. Keep in mind; if you give me some artistic freedom on a guardian, you usually get more for your money. That makes the job more enjoyable for me and you get a great surprise when you open your package! Some examples of open ended commissions
5. Commission Payment
I do not take commissions through DA. I take them through etsy. You will see on my Etsy that I accept credit cards, PayPal, and checks by mail. Please note that you do not have to have all the money when we place the order. We can reserve the order and you can pay later when you have the money. I prefer to have everyone pay in full and not in installments, but if you need to wait to save up all the money, I will need a down payment of 50% no later than two weeks after commissions open.
6. How much does a typical Room Guardian cost?
My average Room Guardians normally range between $400 and $500, but that all depends on the design. Different colors, features, and fur patterns will change the price, and commissions will run around $50-$100 higher than premade room guardians.
7. How big is a typical room guardian?
8. How long does it take to make a room guardian?
I can make a room guardian in one sitting (8-10 hours) but I normally make them over a period of two days or so depending on the complexity of the guardian.
9. Where do you buy your faux fur and what do you look for when you are fur shopping?
As far as the fur websites go...I don't have one specific place that I get fur, but I'll give you a few links to some good websites.
For altogether good quality fur www.fabricempire.com is really good. Though you have to buy full yards of the stuff.
For smaller cuts and a good variety of solid colors www.fursuitsupplies.com is good. They don't have as big of a selection but it's nice because you can get half yards.
If you need even smaller cuts than that, I recommend looking on etsy. www.etsy.com/shop/everafterfab… has a wide variety of fur and you can get perfect sizes for small projects if you don't need a lot of each fabric.
Also, often times I will just type in the kind of faux fur I want into amazon or etsy search and browse. Amazon will give you good shipping prices. I have bought fabric empire fur from amazon for much cheaper shipping. It's a good place to find a variety of good fur sellers.
Always keep in mind the pile length when buying fur and try to find pictures of the backside of the fur. Anything 2" pile and up will be pretty darn fluffy on an art doll, depending on the size of your doll course. If you think you will be trimming the fur at any point, it's good to know what the fur will look like cut down. The back side of the fabric will give you a good idea. Some furs are light on top with a dark bottom so you know that cutting the fur down will be darker. Some fur when left long, looks evenly colored, but underneath you will notice spots of color instead of a nice blend so when cut down it will look unnaturally spotted.
Just one last tip: do not ever buy "fun fur" it's like the worst of the worst quality.
As with everything, it takes some trial and error to know what you like. I've definitely ordered some bad fur in my day haha. These are just some guidelines.
10. Will you make a tutorial?
I am planning on making a tutorial, in fact I started one a few months ago but it ended up getting a little too complex for a basic tutorial, so I'll have to try again when I have the time. I do have some great links to some other posable art doll tutorials that you might find helpful in the meantime though.
Artdoll Making ResourcesHere are some helpful resources and tutorials that are made by amazing artists which can assist you in making artdolls!
FULL POSABLE ARTDOLL TUTORIALS:
Posable Doll Tutorial By Eviecats
Armature to Art Doll Part 1
Armature to Art Doll Part 2
Basic art doll tutorial
The Making of An Art Doll, Part 1
The Making of An Art Doll, Part 2
How to sculpt a head / face mask
11. What materials do you use for your armatures?
My room guardians start off with a chicken wire frame for the main body. I use copper wire for the arms, legs, and tail so they can still bend and I use a plastic ball and socket armature for the neck. I fill in the holes and beef up the wire with aluminum foil.
12. What kind of clay do you use?
I use Super Sculpey clay for the head, hands, and feet and I use instamorph plastic or apoxie clay for horns and claws so they are more durable.
13. What kind of paint do you use and how do you seal it?
I use cheap craft store acrylics to paint the clay parts. I seal the paint with Mr. Super Clear sealant spray, then I use a varnish to make the eyes, nose, and mouth look shiny.
14. If Room Guardians are posable, why do you have to choose a pose for them?
Room guardians are not plush. They are made with a solid frame (see question 11) so, though you can bend their, arms, necks, and tails, normally the spine and thighs are stationary. There are exceptions of course, but a typical room guardian does not bend like a plush doll would.
Check out my posabiltiy video to see where a typical room guardian bends.
15. How do you attach the fur to the body?
I sew the fur on the neck since the neck is the only plush part and I also sew the tail seams since it moves around the most, but I use mainly hot glue to attach the fur everywhere else. Using glue allows me to make them so efficiently but I tend to reinforce some of the more mobile seams with thread after they have been glued. If I was making plush dolls, I would sew the whole thing, but as you read in question 11 and 14, my guardians have a solid frame so instead having hard nasty seams like a plush doll would, the room guardians feel seamless because I can glue directly on the foil and wire body.
16. Do you use real rabbit fur?
You may have noticed some of my older room guardians have real fur pelts. That is because I used to make room guardians strictly from real fur, but starting January 2015, I made the switch to faux fur for personal and ethical reasons. I do have quite a lot of rabbit fur still in my stock, so you may see a few more guardians made with rabbit fur, but I will not be buying anymore here on out unless it's from a humane or recycled source.
17. Do you dye your fur?
Yes, I do dye some of my faux furs if I do not have the right color or pattern in my existing fur stock. It also helps to blend hard color edges into more of a gradient change. I can color faux fur much easier than the real fur, but there are still limitations. Some patterns I will still have to cut and puzzle together. And I prefer to limit the amount of dying on my guardians because the color tends to make the fur feel less soft.
All the real fur colors are individual furs that I have to order. That means if I do not have the right color, I do not have the right color, and you will have to alter your design or pick a design with colors I do have. I have recently found a way to dye rabbit fur, but I prefer not to. Some of the pelts like the lynx’s and the tiger’s are stenciled furs that I have ordered. But most of the rabbit fur patterns you see on my guardians are pieced together with cutout pieces of fur. Keep this in mind if you have complicated fur patterns on your design. There are many patterns that are simply impossible to do with fur that way, and it takes a loooooong time.
18. Can you tell me about the crystals?
The crystals are tumbled stones, not crystal points. They vary from around the size of a nickel to the size of a ping pong ball depending on the type of crystal. If you have not looked in to crystal properties or crystal healing, I recommend you do. Each crystal has special qualities that help you with things like creativity, self confidence, emotional stress, etc… The stones I have are clear quartz, rose quartz, amethyst, tiger-eye, onyx, citrine, sodalite, and carnelian. If you do not specify which stone you want, I will choose what I feel is the best fit. If you want to send me a crystal from home, by all means, send it. That is your choice.
19. Do you do trades?
I only do trades once or twice a year most of the time, and if I am interested, I will come to you. So, no I would not say that I am open to trades, but I do participate in eviecat's art doll secret santa every year.
Hope that answers all your questions! Let me know if there's something I missed.
Blue (it's darker than it looks in the photo)
Keep in mind I don't have more than two of each color so I will order more as I get more demand for each. Orders are not open on etsy for colored fur, but you can custom order one. The price will vary from around $15 to $25 on top of the basic $60 room guardian fee, that is not including shipping or any other extra things you may want to add like stripes or horns or feathers.
My etsy is www.etsy.com/shop/anyaboz
- Listening to: Back on the Chain Gang
- Listening to: My boy's guitar:)
- Reading: Fortune Telling Birthday Book
- Watching: The Cone
- Eating: Figs
- Drinking: Coconut
Two Mondays ago, I got five room guardian orders in one day. I am about to finish the last of those orders, and I will post all their pictures when this one is done.
After that is done, I hope to be making some different creature room guardians and different species, like goats, bats, and dragons. If you want to let me know what you would like to see and I'll take it into consideration for the next new species. I'm also going to try to make some shoulder puppet ones like these fantasypuppet.com because they were so awesome at Scarborough Fair!
My next major project for myself though will be a full body creature costume with moving jaw mask. My first A-kon experience inspired me. I'm excited. All my extra white rabbit fur has to be put to good use!
- Eating: Chicken
Nothing spectacular is happening. Just things. I finished 3d portfolio
as you can see with all my sculpture deviations. I'll start 2d portfolio
soon. Yeah... so that's it for now.
- Listening to: Pink Martini
- Reading: Neither here nor There
I check it often but I do not stay on.
I am working on many new things.
I am in the midst of 3d portfolio.
I have sculptures I want to show you that still wait to be photographed.
I won't change this for at least three months so...
Not that any of this really matters.
- Listening to: dubstep through the wall
- Reading: In a sunburned Country
- Watching: no
- Playing: no
- Eating: no
- Drinking: no
- Listening to: Various kitchen utensils
- Reading: no
- Watching: no
- Playing: no
- Eating: no
- Drinking: no
So I also got supersculpey earlier this year as a prize for a competition. I tried to use it, but after some bad planning, I realized it would not be a good idea to put an acrylic painted wood stand holding up the sculpture with hot glue in the oven so I decided to start over. This time I will think ahead. and as it goes with clue-fiddle, I probably will not update this journal in a few months, but at least I got to it now.
And since that competition, I am inspired to experiment with different kinds of art so I might be posting more often, though probably not. We will see. Anyway, whatever.
Oh and one thing completely unrelated to art is that my school started a Quidditch team that some friends and I joined. It is a lot of fun even though we sadly cant fly.
Okay, that's it, sorry for the really long journal, not that many will read it. But you know, it makes up for the ones i don't do during the months in between each new one.
love the clueliest of fiddles.
- Listening to: fluorescent lights
- Watching: I don't have cable
- Drinking: milk
I am Anya
- Listening to: Feist
- Eating: gum
- Drinking: I was drinking some nice hot chocolate
When did you start drawing?
I think I was drawing inside the womb hahaha. I have no clue when I started because I remember drawing throughout my life.
Which hand do you use for drawing?
Which is easier to draw - male or female?
Hmm, tough one. I tend to draw the unisex. hahaha. Oh I don't know, I used to draw only women but I have changed my preferences.
Which is easier to draw - long hair or short hair?
They are basically the same. for me.
Is it easier to draw the head facing towards the right or the left?
Mine always face left. I can draw them the other way it's just natural to make them face left.
Is it easier to draw the side view of the face or the front view?
I guess profile is easier for me. Especially with doodles, they just come out better if it's the side of their face and not the front.
What do you have problems in drawing?
I have problems drawing realistic hair a lot. I just can't get it to look the way I want it sometimes.
What do you like to draw?
Strange random creatures and people with character. Or just pretty photos I want to get on paper. Pretty much anything really.
Are you a traditional artist or a digital artist?
Traditional. I do need to learn digital though. I don't want to be a digital artist there are just some things that can only be done digitally.
Where do you start drawing from?
Sometimes the legs, sometimes the head.
What is your drawing habit that you are aware of?
I dont know, anyone else know?
Any tips for coloring/shading?
Many colors are not what they seem. You're mind may say it's brown or something when it is really an orange. You have to analyze closely. Also if you are drawing realistic humans, I've noticed, they are a lot shorter and fatter than you realise, but it makes them look more realistic sometimes, even a thin tall person you would be surprised at how fat and short they are. Well at least I am. It just gives them more weight and look less floaty.
How long does it take to finish a piece of art?
Hahaha from a minute to a month. Depends. My animal sculptures take months, paintings take days, and drawings take hours, doodles take minutes.
What music do you listen to while you draw?
What ever is in the stereo.
How long does it take you to come up with an idea?
They come quickly, a finished idea might take awhile but just getting the gist of something I want to do takes a second, it usually is manipulated as I start working on it.
Your favorite drawing utensils?
I like good pens and ebony pencils, a normal pencil is fine too, I just like the darkness of the ebonys
Your favorite color/the color that you use a lot?
My favorite color is turquoise, the color I use a lot is I guess green if you don't count the gray graphite and black pen.
Your favorite style(s)?
I love realism and surrealism in paintings but I also love colorful expressive things too. I love Edward Gorey's style it is pure wonder. I am not as big on abstract if it's just cubes of color or something like that, i love something I can stare again and again and see a new thing every time.
What kind of artist are you aiming for?
Unique art, stuff you can look at and that makes you think and question things.
Here's for you Since you wanted it.
- Listening to: yeah yeah yeahs
- Reading: Elsewhere
- Watching: triplets of belleville
- Playing: russian card games
- Eating: gum
- Drinking: milk
I have been in the construction of a thestral mask from Harry Potter. I will wear it for Halloween and/or the next premier hehe. I was just going to have a stationary head, but then I accidentally figured out how to make it's jaw move, so now I can make it talk. of course, the mouth of it moves opposite of my mouth, but whatever. It was more than I was expecting. I will post it on here when it is finished.
I have so many things to do for people, I'm overwhelmed. I have to paint like five shirts and paint a huge canvas. I have to paint a rock haha and I have so many other projects I'd like to get done for myself, but I have to finish the huge painting by the end of the summer and the shirts I don't want to hold up for too long. Ahhhh!
I'll just work it out the best I can.
- Listening to: your mind
- Reading: your mind
- Watching: your mind
- Playing: with your mind
- Eating: your mind
- Drinking: your mind
The main thing I have worked on has been Cease and that took me two days, I took that picture and knew I wanted to paint it so I did. Normally I can't gather the motivation to do such things. If anyone has any cool suggestions for me please share. I might not get to it for awhile but it may motivate me to do something.
My birthday is coming in like two to three weeks. I don't want much. I really really do need an easel.
I saw the Harry Potter premier, I for the most part enjoyed it, I can't say I have a rightful opinion being that I've only seen the first and second movies. I have read all the books though. I need to get up to date on my harry potter knowledge.
It's funny how this is my eleventh journal entry and I've had this for more than a year.
It really doesn't matter if you read this or not. It's just an update and a chance to talk to some of you. Now I have to look forward to fall play auditions, my heart skips a few beats just saying that. ihhh. I love you all
hebarensea, iquiblc, sc, ar, snelt, iblooody
Just a few words made up playing Up words.
- Listening to: children screaming in my cellar
- Reading: kidnapping for dummies
- Watching: children fall into my candy traps
- Playing: with a barbie doll to lure children in
- Eating: children
- Drinking: blood hahhahahahahaha
- Listening to: Little computer men mine gold
- Watching: Manly man
- Playing: with my mongo macho gargantuan necklace
- Drinking: milk
I am performing Fuel for the Furnace on the twenty eighth. We get to wear our costumes to school on the wednesday before to advertise for the show. I am painting my dress for theatre banquet. I may post that when it's finished. School is almost out!
- Listening to: The dog itch
- Reading: Jane Eyre, I guess
- Watching: Story from North America
- Playing: with rocks
- Drinking: tea
- Listening to: The Killers!
- Reading: London Noir
- Watching: Ice melt
- Playing: minesweeper
- Drinking: soy milk
I got this new fake fur that I am going to make some sort of spotted cat out of like my poodle. Im excited. I'm saving up my milk jugs for its insides.
I have started to but leaves on my tree project if anyone remembers it. i might be posting some literature because we have to write a page every day for english. Hopefully I will remember to check this at least every two days. I will post more artwork and photos too.
I am doing this project in art where I am making a portrait out of bones. Its not like a skeleton. Its like a normal human face just composed of random bones. Because this artist named like Archimbolo or something made portraits out of fruit and animals and stuff I am modeling it off of his work. you can look him up if you are semi interested.
With nothing else to say, i am ending this journal with a random....tumbleweed
- Listening to: nails being clipped
- Reading: your mind
- Watching: gnats being zapped by a lamp
- Drinking: apple juice
- Listening to: Stirring
- Reading: Phone book
- Watching: my eyes
- Playing: soccer