Putting a hand on pop culture: An interview with Daryl Muncaster of Creature Creation

You know what’s cool? Things. Physical things. You can touch them, activating a sense that’s really crucial to the human experience.

I think this why people like to sculpt things, or why we as a human species invented sculpting. The sensation of running your hand over material, carving it – that’s something special. And that’s what artist Daryl Muncaster does for a living.

I found Muncaster on Facebook and then Instagram (he goes by creature.creation), where he displays the sculptures he makes of pop culture icons like The Joker, Groot, Batman, and Hellboy.

Photo courtesy Daryl Muncaster

Needless to say as a pop culture weirdness junkie, I was immediately fascinated. Muncaster was nice enough to share some of his experiences as a working artist and the inspiration behind his unique pieces.

How did you get into sculpture? Where did you learn?

As I kid I always played around with bluetack, making little sculptures of creatures and animals. I later had a play around with more traditional pottery in my college years. It wasn’t until university, studying Fine Art, when I really decided to move away from my painting and focus on sculpture. I pretty much sculpted day and night until I’d taught myself the basics, and continue to teach myself with each new sculpture now!

When people think of sculpture, they usually think of Venus or other Ancient Greek museum-based work. What inspired you to do

Photo courtesy Daryl Muncaster

pop culture icons?

Strangely enough, my favorite sculptors are Christo and Jeanne-Claude. They are mostly known for the wrapping of famous landmarks and buildings, transforming them into some amazing visual art. The sculptures they create have nothing technically to do with my own, but I’ve always admired their ability to take something already existing and change the way we view it.

How do you approach a work? Walk us through your process.

My own creature designs started from a project I set myself in University. I researched folklore and mythical creatures from cultures all over the world and collected text from each of them. I’d read the descriptions of alleged sightings and stories, then sculpt what I envisioned from them. This is a process I still use when coming up with a creature.

You make accessories too, how do you get all that detail on something so small?

Most of what I do is learning by doing. Whether it’s a commission I’m taking, or a project I’ve started myself. Each project has it’s own challenges that are part of the fun to figure out and overcome!

What’s your favorite piece you’ve worked on so far?

I really enjoyed working on my mythical creatures and folklore sculpts. I set them all up as a sort of museum for a show, some in glass cages, some wall mounted. I also made masks so that the viewers became part of the exhibition, it was a lot of fun!

What are you working on now? Any cool projects you can tell us about?

Well, I’ve really been wanting to take some of my sculptures to a convention for the first time. I’ve been working on lots of fan art style works based on characters I love. I suppose this is all one big project for me, with the end goal being a convention stand.

What’s your advice to those looking to pursue this kind of art professionally?

I’m very new to selling my sculptures but I can say that the best thing I did was start a social media page. In my case Instagram seems to be working for me. I started it almost a year ago now, and it’s allowed me to keep an online portfolio as well as attract people that want to buy my work. This pushed me to start my little Etsy shop. In short, make something and post it somewhere! The chances are, if you like it, others will too. It might take some time for them to find you but it needs to be there for them to find.

Using Instagram to market your art: A guest post at Nevue Fine Art Marketing

Last week I got the chance to write a post for Dave Nevue of Nevue Fine Art Marketing. Nevue is a professional graphite artist committed to helping professional artists achieve success, and as a supporter of professional creatives, I was happy to collaborate with him. I dug into my experience in online and social media strategy and wrote a post on Instagram marketing for artists on his blog, which you should absolutely check out because it is chock full of helpful tips for up-and-coming artists looking to turn their passion into a profession.

From the post:

For artists whose media are inherently visual, Instagram offers an excellent opportunity to capitalize on an engaged user base to market themselves and their work. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re using your Instagram to its greatest capacity.

If you simply post photo after photo of your art, your audience may get bored – and it’s not a very good use of Instagram, either. The platform is a great place to promote sales and giveaways, announce new products or projects, and, perhaps even better, show off your art at work!

Social media is a great way to connect with people and take charge of your own media presence, but it needs to be part of a wider strategy. Make sure to include a link in your bio to your website where you can collect email addresses, make sales, and demonstrate your knowledge and skill. If you primarily sell on Etsy or a similar platform, include a link to your profile there.

These are just a few pearls of wisdom Nevue was kind enough to allow me to share on his platform. Read the whole post here, and be sure to leave me a comment and tell me what you think!