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It's Hard Being a Sculptor in a Game

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Chimalus avatar Chimalus
Level 41 : Master Artist
Right. I've just gotten my PMC account back after a five month login debacle. It's nice to be at the controls again, although I have kept up with my favorite PMC builders anyway.

I thought I would have tons and tons of sculptures to post once I got my account back, but in fact, no – no I don't. When I think about it, all the organics I've made recently have been for commissions (usually mundane and quick) or for a web series I worked on, which got plenty of publicity of its own. If you follow me here, you probably also follow me on Twitter. If you don't, well, poopy.

I guess I should take a step back to where my building journey took a significant step up. After I posted my Flight organic, James from BlockWorks PM'd me with an invitation. I began doing commission work with them. I've been building with the team for...... golly, it's a year and a half now, isn't it? Could it be almost two years? Let's just look at Flight. Uhhhh yeah, posted July of '14, 'bout one and a half years, good. GET ON WITH IT. Let's see.

Do I have a profound message to deliver this time? It's amazing how well received my Bitter Builders blog was. I sounded like an airhead but at least it was honest. Thanks for your support on that. Golly, things have gotten a little mellow in the building world. My skills have certainly improved. I can build faster, much faster. Deadlines refine us. But see, we're already falling asleep thinking about it. What can I write that will elevate this blog to something really worth reading?

I'm just gonna talk about an issue that's come up in the commission world. I work with a lot of professionals. Great professionals. Each one has a skill set; some have a specialty; a few have rare talent. I think I fall into the specialist category. Organics. That's what I do. The team rarely asked for more and never insisted. They respected my gift. A few times I've dabbled in terraforming to help out with maps that needed to get done quickly, but it always comes back to sculpting for me, and if a client asks to see my portfolio, I tell them upfront I'm a sculptor.

That often rules me out as a client's choice for commission work.

I don't do spawns, I don't do hubs, I don't do PVP maps, I don't provide the environment for your play. I put a monument in the center for you to look at; to get inspired by. How valuable is that? To some, quite. To most, icing on the cake at best.

Hey, I knew what I was getting into. And let's be real. I'm not sorely lacking for commissions. I get a trickle and keep afloat and feel useful to my family; I'm no longer a total carryon. (Oh my god, Timbaland's "Carryout" is the hottest song alive. If songs can live, that sentence makes sense. Ok. Songs can live.) Where was I going with that?

Is it pretentious to compare myself to Michelangelo? Only by virtue of being a sculptor, of course. It goes no further. My talent pales, my passion pales, my commitment to God and craft pales. Heck, I don't even work with my hands. I'm a shut-in plucking keys over a glowing screen. I'm the product of a doomed generation hahahaha! (Oh no, it's true.) BUT if you know Michelangelo, and if you know artists in general, you see many getting the short end of the stick by reason of, well, not putting themselves in position for the long end. They really could if they wanted. Michelangelo was a great painter, but he hated to paint. He eventually ended up painting The Sistine Chapel ceiling and it became his most famous work. But he was so, so reluctant. He had a vision. He excavated creatures from marble; he believed God put them there and it was his job to chisel them out. Suffice to say, he wanted to offer the world a certain thing. And that's common for artists. If they depart from that, it might break their spirit. They really want to avoid that. They're hedonists. They get off on art. It's about the feeling of satisfaction at the end of the road, not the accumulation of wealth. It's the top of a mountain at sunrise, not a mansion in the hills.

Lol, I knew I would get into some hippy stuff.

Being a specialist in an industry that rewards generalists is a tough sell. I wish I could say I was in Michelangelo's position – that if I simply bit the bullet and humbled myself to exercise a different skill (painting in his case, or Minecraft architecture in mine) I would be great – but like Salieri, I have not been blessed with the variety and potency of Mozart.

I can still spend thousands of hours upping my game and hopefully produce something enjoyable to you.

My upcoming sculpture is a reflection of that sentiment. I really want to prove my worth with this one. Even if it's never used in a map or on a chapel ceiling, I want the figure I create to bear the weight of all my (Minecraft) dreams on his muscular bird-man shoulders.

But it's gonna be awhile longer.

Thanks for checking in. Happy building.

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11/22/2016 8:33 pm
Level 1 : New Explorer
WizardDeerGod avatar
Man I wish he would post that land with the sculptures. I could use some sculptures like that. But guess not. Keep up the great work.
04/06/2016 1:45 pm
Level 1 : New Architect
MathMan1234 avatar
I agree with this and your other post about are builders respected. I am also in the same boat as you but unfortunately for me I am at the beginning of my building career and am not that well known and my skills are hardly any good compared to you. I prefer to make terrain but most people that come to me ask me to build things like structures for hubs or actual hubs or lobbies. One thing I would like the community to do is respect the builders more by actually listening to their comments because if they were able to build something that they thought was good they wouldn't come to us for help in the first place so at the least they should listen to what we have to say. I hope people one day listen to people like you and me. Definitely someone like you with your abilities and your known building skills. :)
02/02/2016 3:30 pm
Level 56 : Grandmaster Procrastinator
babbajagga avatar
ehrm... this was posted 2 days ago and I am the 1st commentator O_o

just wanted to tell/share, that creating things like buildings, pvp maps, or landscapes, especialy if done with 3rd party application (like worldpainter, mcedit, etc.) and not by hand in game/creative mode are ofc. most popular, several of them got even sort of an art value,...
... but whenever I see some organics done, I mean, well done, I just stay in ave.
I find organics/sculpting as one of the hardest "specializations" in mc.

yeah, yeah, look at him, or him or her, they all do it with ease... yeah, yeah...
one thing is how easy it looks like to do, another thing is how it needs really a good eye and skill to make a really well done sculpture. Sculptures are one of those things where one can most easily spot imperfections. The sculptor really needs to know the right proportions of body or w/e he is sculpting, even a less experienced user can notice too fat arms, or legs, or too big/small head, long/short body parts, etc.
So making a really good scultpure is far from easy task.
Aside all that things what one needs to pay attention when sculpting, there is one more hard part of this spec... the work with not rectangular dimensions, most of the organics are made of rounded, oval shapes and rotated in several angles.
All that needs one handle to create a perfect sculture creation.

For me, each sculpter out here is a Michelangelo descent :)
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