Hello old friends and anyone seeing this blog for the first time. I have to put this message out for all the people who are sending me Facebook messages and emails. For some reason I have gotten well over a thousand of these the last two days. I’ve worked morning till late at night trying to respond to them all. I will get to them all, I promise. I always respond when people send me notes. But it is going to take some time. I’m a little overwhelmed right now. So please be patient. This will settle down.
And to my old friends…I have had a dillion (okay, half a dillion) outside forces tearing me away from Drogon. I fantasize about working on him (yes, you read that right). I will have a post updating progress really soon. I know that all of you artists out there understand. Thank you for your patience!
Congratulations, Dan! This is how the universe works. Your time for well deserved recognition has come. Kind of like hitting the lottery. Take a deep breath and figure out how you are going to handle the fame.
Thanks! It’s overwhelming. Yin and Yang I guess. Take care
Maybe with my steam horse at an international airport exhibit, someone will notice my work too, but I hope they don’t want steampunk stuff because I only did that for a friend. Always been more interested in dragons and sculpting. Didn’t realize until I did the steam horse how much I missed doing paper mache. Anyway, I got your book last week so I am excited about working on dragons. The comment (with book picture) on FB from “Brian Self” on your posting was especially interesting to me since my main job lately has been sewing “Deadpool” hoods for my son’s business.https://www.facebook.com/toddcookdesigns?fref=nf Maybe a sign?
Hmmm…I didn’t see his post. But I don’t see them the same way from my administrator’s spot. I looked at his site. He’s found a nice niche for sure. Remember, whatever “speaks” to you is a sign.
Dan, a friend recently posted one of your videos on facebook and it looked very familiar to me. A number of years ago my son was looking for an art project for the 4-H fair. We saw your book at an art store and he made his first screamer for which he won top honors including a trip to the state fair where he also did well. He enjoyed the process so much that the following year he made a sculpture of his favorite ball player Frank Thomas it was also a big winner! Thank you for introducing my son to such a wonderful medium! Enjoy all the attention!
Hello LJ. Thanks for sharing this with me. It amazes me that my first Screamer book came out 30 years ago! Bizarre how time flies. Glad your son found it to be useful. He sounds like a good artist!
I have long admired your dedication to answer the many comments, (almost feel guilty to say that cause I know it will take more of your time, cause you will comment, lol..You don’t have to answer this,…really you don’t!) Glad to hear that more admirer’s have joined us followers, You are just too generous and talented! We’ll be waiting, no problem!
Hey Suz. Of course I answer friends comments! I like to answer all messages, but I’ve just been overwhelmed by this little wave of activity. Well, a tsunami actually. I’ve never seen anything like it. I used to put Facebook on the back burner. Just too old or something. I’m a terrible Facebooker. Then this happened. It appears that my trophy video has gone viral opn Facebook. I never paid attention to my numbers, but I remember having about 1,500 “likes” on my Gourmet Paper Mache page a few days ago. Now, it’s almost 52,000! How did that happen? It’s just unbelievable. And I checked my inbox and found hundreds of messages. It’s going to take me a month to plow through them all. But I’ll get to them all eventually. It’s the right thing to do for people who take the time to write. Anyway, you didn’t need to hear about all that. Thanks for your friendship and support.
It IS amazing what social media can do, esp FB! Pretty cool for you!! I remember a few years back when someone mentioned FB and you weren’t excited about it, It sure has been a boost for you now, and hey put some of your old books on Amazon and Ebay, lol!! Good money! Good luck with that big field to plow!
Hey again Suz. You know, just because people ask for that much money (for my books they have to sell) doesn’t mean they get it. It’s a crazy thing. My “Make Something Ugly” book has been selling as a collector’s item for quite a while now. I see prices around $1200! That’s just crazy. And I don’t think they actually sell. People are just fishing. It’s that old adage about putting a $million price tag on it and then all you need to do is sell one. I know the FB thing will settle down. The reason I was always hesitant about FB is because it was like getting married. All of a sudden there are so many things to attend to. I’m just a lousy Facebooker. I just never get on because of time. So it just makes me feel guilty. I answered messages almost all day yesterday but there were more at the end of the day than when I started. I haven’t even looked yet today. It’s fun, but almost scary too. Anyway….more than you wanted to know. Talk to you later.
Have you seen the crazy price of your book on amazon? You are awesome! You should be making that money. Reprint maybe?
Hello Michelle. Thanks for the laugh! The revised version is sooo much better. But now that the other is not available people think it’s worth something. I certainly hope anyone willing to pay $10,000 for my old book would contact me first. I have lots of old books around. Thanks for sharing!
Dan, I am in an Art Teacher group on Facebook, and I’ve seen your video shared umpteen times in that group in the past week, which may account for at least some of the multiple views and emails you’ve gotten. When I first saw it shared, I had to laugh at the idea of you being presented as a ‘wow, look at this new thing!’, since I actually BOUGHT your Simple Screamer book at an art conference 30 years ago (and yes, I still have it). We built a screamer back then, in the spring of ’87 I think, and the students who helped build it were 7th graders then, which means, yikes, they are now in their late 30’s!!! I wonder if one of them still has the screamer somewhere. He was green and very cute (we didn’t have time for all the details, so we hid the absence of feet, hands, and claws with socks and mittens over his stumps) and I’d love to have him back. The kids who made him are unfortunately long gone from the community.
Hello Phyl. Thanks for the nice comment. Yes, it’s amazing that it’s been 30 years since the Screamer book was first published. That makes us both officially old! You are a saint to have taught kids how to do paper mache. I know how much work that was! I’m quite sure that many of your former students still have their Screamers. Many of my former students do. Maybe it’s time for you to make another? Again, thanks for the contact.
Wow, sounds like you’re become famous overnight! Glad we knew you back when… How fantastic to get all those likes on FB, but what a lot of replies you’ll have to work through. If anyone deserves the fame, it’s you, Dan. Congratulations!
Thank you Carol! I suppose this falls under “be careful what you ask for.” It is very overwhelming. What I really want to do today is art work. I have several projects in the works. I’m excited to work on them. But I’m buried in Facebook messages and emails and requests of every sort. It’s very flattering and exciting but how do I find time for anything else? I know this will calm down. My 15 minutes is almost up.
Hope you are well and doing lots of art.
Okay, I’m one of the gazillions of people who just discovered you in the past week. Wow! Just…wow! Your work is amazing, this viral recognition is amazing, and your kitty cat is especially amazing. What a voice on that guy! Have you made a paper mache sculpture of him?
Anyway, I did purchase your book because I want to try your methods of paper mache and make some monsters and dragons. While I’m waiting for the book to arrive, I did have a question–what kind of cloth do you use? I’ve scoured your website to figure it out but can’t find anything. I’ve got three weeks off for Christmas vacation and it’s a good time to start making a monster.
I was going to wait for your “15 minutes” to be up (as you mentioned above) when you’re not so busy, but I figured I’d throw myself into the foray with everyone else. Because you don’t have enough emails to respond to. Gosh, I just realized this is kind of like writing to Santa. Is he really going to read my letter? Or is some elf going to read it. Hmmm….
So congratulations on your well-deserved recognition, and if you don’t get back to me, I totally understand. You really should be doing your art. I hope you realize, though, that you are rocking the world of a lot of artists out there!
Hi Gina. Glad you got here. I have six messages here, a dillion on Facebook. I’m plowing but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to them all. I use old bed sheets. Scrounge or go to any thrift, second-hand store. The older and more threadbare the better. Elmer’s can be had at Lowe’s for $13 a gallon. Good luck! And thank you for all the nice things you said. It is truly appreciated.
Hey Dan, Just saw your dragon video posted on the Replica Prop Forum FB page. Don’t think your 15 minutes of fame is going to be up for awhile (if ever). May want to rethink answering everything personally or you may never get anymore art created.
I know. I thought it was slowing down a bit yesterday. But then it picked up again over night. I’m glad you wrote me here. I don’t think I will ever get to the bottom of the pile on FB! I’m still shell shocked by the whole thing.
Hi Dan, just another of the thousands of new fans you have. I enjoy collecting unusual art and collectibles and of course like everyone else I’m in love with dragons. I know you have a waiting list for commissions but I’d like to be added. My husband hunts and has his deer, elk etc trophys hanging on the wall. I hunt for art and I think it’s only appropriate that I have a trophy to hang next to his! Please get in touch so we can work out details. Your art just creates a visceral effect on me and I’m looking forward to having my dragon to admire every day!!
Hello Rita. Thanks for the request. I have to be honest and say that I have so many requests right now that I have no idea how long it will be before I can consider any more commissions. But I will definitely put you on the list. I’m very flattered. Thank you.
There are a couple of things on his for sale page!
after seeing your vidio on Fb my Son asked me for your monster book and is getting set up to start. He has done plaster and wire sculpting before and is keen to try a new medium. We had a question about the flour. Is it possible to use gluten free flour as one of my other sons is anaphylaxis to wheat.
Hi Jennifer. If he has a gluten allergy then bypass the flour. Use white glue (full strength) instead of flour and water paste. Elmer’s I think is best. Lowe’s has it for $13 a gallon. It is a little messier, but it’s all messy anyway. Good luck!
Thanks we are in Australia so not sure if we have Elmers is that the same as PVA glue?
Hi Dan, It appears you’ve gone viral, congratulations and commiserations!! I would just put a note on FAcebook commenting on this fact and that you will not be able to get back to everyone. Maybe collate a FAQ and point them to your books for more information and post it instead. I believe you will be getting a few thousand more messages so I think if you try to answer them all, it will not leave much time for your amazing works of art we are all coming here to see!! In fact I am just purchasing your books now so that the kiddies and I can make us a trophy over the school holidays, (we are in AUstralia). You are an amazing artist, love your work!
Thanks Turina. That’s a great idea! Thanks for the nice remarks about my work too.
I have been singing your praises for decades, first while living in Austin, TX, then in Port Townsend, and now in Anacortes. I could not be more pleased to see you finally getting the recognition you so sorely deserve. You are kind and generous and funny and smart…order them as you choose, and have always helped anyone who asks. Be compassionate with yourself in this newfound (but hardwon) spotlight, and pace yourself, Take time to enjoy the limelight, dear Dan.
Thank you Lorien! I appreciate you stopping your travels long enough to write! 😉 You are very kind.
Saw your videos shared on FB and I’m now following your blog. You are so inspiring. I wish you gave classes! : )
Thank you Midnytereader! I would offer classes by my audience is all over the planet. There isn’t a critical mass in one place. That’s why I offer my books and videos and this blog. Those are my extended classroom.
PS. Thanks for following me here!
Hello, Dan! I am completely awed by you’re commitment to answer everything you get, and with an actual lengthy reply rather than a “Thanks for the kind words, have a nice day!” which is the norm for people as online famous as you have suddenly become! 😉 I confess I did run across one of your videos on facebook, and saw a plug for your website at the end. Went straight there, and was instantly captivated by all of your amazing pieces. The work you did for Todd McFarlane, with Spawn’s Violator in all his forms, was hilarious and just so great. Your cat inspired dragon with the two kittens were also adorable…you can fully tell that your years and years of experience show through in all of your pieces and videos. I did have a small heart attack when I saw the “for sale” page, though didn’t get my hopes too high and for good reason! Being as I’m a struggling 25 year old dog (and cat!) groomer, I can’t go spending too much money on art, or just not yet at least. I always like to keep my limit to around $500 every few months. But I had been hoping for a sculpture that could be kept hanging, in that twisted style of art that I love so much, and just have fallen in love with all of your beautiful work, ❤ Have you ever made an octopus? Those are definitely my soft spot with art. Do you update your sale page much, or do you never particularly want to part with anything? If you have a small piece that you'd ever be willing to part with for $500ish (though I certainly would have bought that fish for 650!) I hope I could find it at the right time. I know too well that you are being absolutely flooded with messages like mine and there would likely be no hope for you to remember me specifically! But for the effect that your work has on my emotions I just had to say something.
Keep doing your work, it's clearly what you were made for!
Damien M from Alberta, Canada
Hi Damien. Wow, you did study my page! You seem to be the only one who looked at my “for sale” page. Mostly I added that page to give people an idea of my range of prices. I got tired of people getting offended when I wouldn’t take a hundred bucks for something that took 80 hours to build. I appreciate your interest. I really do. I set my prices based upon the time, effort, and love that goes into the piece. I realize that sometimes that pushes the price higher than what the project is objectively worth. I could write a treatise on the price of art, but I won’t. I found out a long time ago if I sell my work for less, then I go backwards. And if it becomes just about money, then I might as well work at Safeway in the evenings. Sorry for the long defense. I also have to say that when people see my prices many decide to make their own using my videos or books. Invariably when they do they find that they love their projects way more than mine. It’s the thrill of pulling something out of thin air. (I could also say that many of the projects look like their makers! But I won’t.) Anyway, thanks for the note. I’ll keep you in mind because you are nice.
Thanks for the reply! I would never dream of asking you to lower a price past what you thought it was worth; I’m definitely a firm believer in an artist charging what they think their time and effort is worth. When you think about it, I can sometimes be in the same boat with my dog grooming…with a person wanting me to take their matted scruffy dog and turn it into a majestic silken show-quality specimen and do it in less than two hours for $40…I definitely feel where you’re coming from. It’s true that the subject of art prices could have a book written on it, and I’ve always found that a confident artist will charge more than an artist who is talented but not used to selling their work. Even if the pieces are comparable, the less confident artist will usually be uncomfortable charging what their time, skill, blood sweat and tears are worth to them. I definitely did find all of the prices for your pieces on the for sale page to be very reasonable.
Thanks again for the well thought out reply! And as a last thought, I thought I would tell you that I immediately liked you when I saw the first video and at the end, you held Eddie up to the dragon and he rubbed his face against it, and then you did the same…it was just very endearing!
Have a great day and thanks for keeping me in mind because I’m nice 🙂
I have just discovered your work and I must say, I am fantasizing about starting a dragon of my own. A friend of mine bought me your book and I can’t wait to start, kind of bummed I leave on vacation tomorrow and can’t start until I get back.
Hey Harry. You have the bug already! Have fun!
Is there any particular clay you recommend for the teeth or will just any polymer do?
I use Fimo most often. But any brand will do.
Hello! Greetings and Grats! Your work is amazing. I’m from Mexico and i really love your work. I would like to see more and more creations from you, like the Monsters are my fav ones. I want to make a crown with ram horns, but can’t figure out how to do it 😛
Hello Vico. Glad you like the work. I think my mask tutorials on Youtube would help with the kind of crown you want.
How much just to have it made and sent to me.
Love the Dragons
Hello Dwayne. Right now I have many more commission requests than I can handle. In fact, I will probably not be able to take any more orders for several years. For what it’s worth, you could make your own dragon (or some other awesome project). I sell how-to books. http://gourmetpapermache.com/about-my-books/