Working with a new client

I had a new client approach me to do a puppet for a short film. I really like that many of the design tutorials here at the school talk about working with clients. Every client is different. Some get into a lot of detail and other are more abstract, looking for you to fill in the blanks. 


This client was a bit different from other clients. He is very new to the industry, but he had an interesting idea. I first thought, no. I don't have a lot of time these days for side projects but he was my son.

 Yes, my 7 year old son came up to me the other day and said, "Dad, I want to make a movie." The rest of the conversation went something like this: 

Me: hmmmm, 

 Ian: yeah, a movie. 

 Me: what is your movie about? 

 Ian: it's about the evil elf who keeps messing up my room even though I clean it up when you ask. 

 Me: you have an evil elf messing up your room? 

 Ian: yes, I drew a picture of him for you. Below is what he handed me.


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    Me: wow! Ian: yes. See how angry he is? And the teeth? He was very excited about it. Ian has been hanging out with me when I sculpt and paint for as long as I can remember. He is drawing and sculpting because he thinks it is fun. I want to nurture that so I decided to take him on as a client. I grabbed some clay and we did a little 1/6 scale bust so we could agree on the head. He sculpted the nose shape since I could not quite understand what he was talking about. That "V" above the eyes on the drawing I thought was a ridge turned out to be angry brows. So it was good to have that client review before we pressed on. These are a few shots of the rough sculpt to get an idea of the face. The next part is to do the 3 foot sculpture for the puppet. My next thought after the sculpture is complete is what to make the mold from. I am thinking fiberglass so I can get a silicone casting. I am also thinking about the best way to make the skeleton structure for the mechanics. I have to work in baby steps so one step at a time. Anyway, here are the rough sculpts. I'll post the progress of this project as my new client and I work through the build. I hope you enjoy the posts. Matthew
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    Ha!  This is a funny story.

    My suggestion, though, for the mold is ultracal.  It's much, much less toxic than any resin you're likely to use for fiberglass.  Plus, there aren't any tiny glass fibers floating through the air.  All this means is that I would comfortable allowing said client to 'assist' in the process.

    You can still get a silicone casting out of the stone, though you'll need to seal it first.  (I have used good 'ole krystal klear.)  This is what I have done in the past...  Pull a good silicone copy out of the stone mold, clean it again, then pull latex castings.  The silicone acts as a master casting so I can recreate the production mold if I drop the original.

    Good luck!
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    Hi Dave, Thanks for the ultracal idea. I was trying to steer towards a lighter mold, but I like the idea of not having the fibers and resin to work with. Plus it will allow my son to help out. I don't know what happened to the image of his drawing in the first post though. Funny, last night he shared with me that he and his friend have been talking about the direction of the film. They are now wanting to do a costume creature instead of a puppet. Clients always change their mind when they bring in another partner. :-) I am still doing the puppet. Matthew
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