Dave alias Spikekid is a Canadian artist, he works on various media including the virtual image and the polymer clay and his sculptures are modern and particularly beautiful. Full of fantasy and rich in realistic details, each one tells a story, a journey through a fantasy world : A spacewalk, a deep journey in ocean, animals microscopic and fairies. Dave has kindly agreed to appear on your favorite newspaper.
PDP - Hello Dave, can you present yourself to our readers, who are you, where do you live?
DAVE – I am a middle-aged male living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I earn a living as a broadcast designer/artist, creating motion graphics for a local TV station my city. I am also a painter, and I have just recently started doing new paintings after 12 years. The hobby I have the most fun working with, however, is polymer clay.
PDP - Since when do you work the polymerclay and why did it interess you ? Why did you chose this material and not another to sculpt ?
DAVE – When I was about 10 years old, I loved to work with plasticine. Unlike the other children my age, I took it seriously, and would spend up to an hour making a dinosaur as accurately as I could. To try and make my creation more permanent, I would put it in the freezer, or in the winter, outside for the night. This would make my prized sculpture hard for awhile, but as it warmed up, it could be accidentally crushed.
Years later, my younger brother told me about Fimo. I tried it out, and loved how it had the same consistency as plasticine, and the way it held its shape while I worked with it. All I had to do was bake the stuff for 15 minutes, and my dream had come true ! Unfortunately, I had lost my interest, for the most part, in creating dinosaurs. I did make a few interesing things like broaches, fridge magnets and eventually earring for my female friends.
It wasn’t until about 10 years ago, that I took this hobby to the next level. Oddly enough, someone showed me a child’s so-called action figure of a hockey player. I thought it was amazing, and very accurate for a plastic toy. I collected these enthuesiastically for a year, when it occurred to me that I might be able to do something similar. I decided to take as long as I needed, and my first figure, although not acceptable, showed real promise.
By my third project, I had worked out many problems, and I was creating little sculptures that impressed my friends and family.
PDP – How do you work ? do you make a style research with drawings or do you let your inspiration talk ?
DAVE – I don’t sketch my idea out first, at least, not very often. A 3-dimentional object is very complicated and has to be envisioned from all sides, and that would be a lot of drawings. I seem to have the abilty to form a design in my head quite quickly, and then keep it there. All the details are not planned ; some really interesting ideas and changes occur along the way. This makes the project more rewarding, since my vision is not complete, and it’s fun to surprise myself when I’m done.
As for research, I do quite a lot of that on-line. I love the internet for this ; any time of the day or night, you can find out, for example, what a Coelacanth looks like…you’re Googling Coelacanth right now, aren’t you ? (Medusa says : YES ! and its ugly in real)
The subject matter of my work is for my amusment, and mine alone. People make suggestions, and offer me money (although not enough money…), but I refuse. This is a hobby, my relaxation, and my cure for living in a computerize world. I don’t have anywhere near enough time to do my own ideas, so why would I spend my spare time doing someone else’s ?
PDP – When do you decide that a work is finished and perfect?
DAVE – Interesting you should ask. Nothing is ever finished, and certainly not perfect! The very nature of creativity means there is always room for improvment; opportunity do better on the next project. Wouldn’t you get bored if everything you did was perfect? As for being finished, it is only a question of stopping the work you’re on, so that you may begin another. Seriously, life is too short to spend too much time on any one thing.
PDP -Which is in your creations the one you wish to see published here, one which represents you the best? Why this one?
DAVE – I think Gods of the Sea is one of my more complete works. I came up with several new methods to solve problems, and it pushes the bounds of what’s possible for polymer clay. As for the subject matter, I never got bored, and had a lot of fun researching the history, biology and mythology – I sometimes felt like Jacques Yves Cousteau...
On an interesting note, I built this in front of a live audience, as if were – I posted pictures every week or so on my Facebook group, asking for comments, criticism and suggestions. It was fun, but there was also the possibility that it might not turn out successfully. (there are step-by-step notes on my Flickr pages, if you are interested in tips and techniques)
PDP - How long does it take to realize such a complex scene?
DAVE – Gods of the Sea took just over four months. That doesn’t really tell the story, though, because I have a full-time job, domestic chores, and of course, there’s drinking on the patio during the summer months. In terms of actual hours, I would hazard a guess of 100 hours.
PDP – Some people venerate polymerclay when others denigrate it. Do you think that Art lies in the nobility of material or in the use that an artist makes with? Why ?
DAVE – Simply put, art can be achieved with a stick drawing in the sand. I happen to love the qualities of polymer clay, so I use it.
PDP –Who are the artists you particulary admire in clay, do you have preferences ?
DAVE – I don’t think about it much, since I keep to myself, artistically. I also admire anybody who puts time and effort into expressing themselves. However, Jonathon Hoffman does some amazing scultpure :
PDP - You show on your web site many pictures of each work, including the virtual compositions, what brings you to share as much with the unknown (cosmic question!)
DAVE – Artists, musicians, dancers, writers etc., all have one thing in common : they need to express themselves. Sometimes they don’t need a big audience ; sometimes all they really need is for another human being to be clearly affected by their unique view of the world. Is it ego ? Perhaps – but personally, I find it’s a double-edged sword – when I’m not creating something to show the rest of the world, then I feel guilty, as if I am letting people down.
PDP - Thank you Dave for your answers and for sharing your photographs to the group ARTFIGCLAY, with all our compliments for your whole work. I give you the ending word, what do you want to tell to our impassioned polymer readers?
DAVE – If you live in the creative world, there are no rules. Literally. Like the over-priced America shoe says : Just do it ! And remember this : it is only a mistake if you tell people it wasn’t what you intended to do...
You can find Spikekid on its pages and admire there his whole work like a skater and other characters.
Interview by Medusa Arte for Parole de pâte