One of the challenges I face with completing projects, and the reason I don’t complete them fast enough, is that I’m a perfectionist.
No matter how long or hard I work on a piece, I’ll always see the flaws and find hours of potential work in an attempt to fix it.
I recently watched this amazing video by James Clear on forming habits through repetition and improving output quality in the process (great video to watch in the background while sculpting).
As part of my fresh start, I set out to complete a few ‘smallish’ projects to focus on completion rather than perfection.
The smaller the better, right?
If I tell you I could have easily spent a week on this sculpture despite it being just larger than my thumbnail, I doubt I’d be exaggerating.
I chose Wizard Mickey as the first project because I’ve always been a fan of Disney.
Mickey reminds me that while we age on the outside, we can remain as young and free spirited on the inside as we like.
The magic doesn’t have to die when we grow up.
Sculpting the Micro Mickey
Mickey was sculpted using Premo Sculpey polymer clay over a thin craft wire min armature.
Tools and supplies to follow along:
You can pick these up at your local craft store, or purchase using my amazon affiliate links below. (If you go through my links I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you)
- Premo Sculpey or other polymer clay
- Craft wire for the armature
- Hemostat ‘clamp’ for holding the wire while sculpting and in the oven
- Handmade sculpting tools TUTORIAL HERE
- Oven – I used a dedicated one for clay – the Deni Convection Oven
I started with a concept drawing to envision his size then found most of the colors in my polymer clay scrap pile.
The head/face took forever. When sculpting a recognizable character it’s important to hit the key identifiable features. ie shape of the mouth/nose and Mickey’s signature big ears.
I love how the face turned out, not too thrilled about the hat. Perhaps it’s too short and squat?
Lower body was a challenge because most of the allotted height went to his head. So I started backwards with his feet. I ran the wire through one foot to help him stand.
Sadly he doesn’t stand 🙁
Added a robe, belt, tiny hands and voila, all done!
The imperfection mindset:
I follow many talented artists and sculptors on Instagram.
Most are amazing, and some are just out of this world ‘is this even real?’ amazing!
And what surprises me is that sometimes, when a sculpture appears perfect to me, they’ll critique the work.
The thought process being that you’re never done learning and therefore always have a better ideal to strive for.
But I think their work is amazing!!
Which has me thinking,
Who ultimately defines perfect?
And what is my goal with this piece?
I don’t plan to sell it so I don’t have to worry about pleasing any customers.
And I will always find flaws with my work no matter how good!
So what if I take a step back and try to see what others see?
And with that mindset I have to say I really like how he turned out.
Sure he’s not perfect.
Sure the face could be bigger/rounder, the hat taller and the robe better shaped.
But hey, I completed a short project in just 2 sittings!
And that’s a huge win for me.
Next up: A Mockingjay Pin since I’ve wanted to sculpt one ever since reading the Hunger Games.
Follow along with the progress on my Instagram: @MagicByLeah