People and paper mache

Hi all.  It’s time to make a post, even if there is no art in it.   I feel the need to share with my friends what is happening in case you are one of those people waiting in line for a response to an email or message.  This wave of interest in my work, and paper mache generally, has not waned at all.   In fact, I feel hopelessly buried.   I am now convinced of the power of social media!    I understand why it can bring down a government!  It’s brought me down (a thriving enterprise of one!).   I’m convinced that it’s because of a few of you that this all happened.  It’s because you shared a video or two of mine that at least one of them has gone viral on Facebook.    So thanks; it’s because of you I don’t have enough time to shower!  🙂    There doesn’t seem to be place where it started, like some theoretical point in the universe where the big bang started.   By looking at the “activity” log on Facebook, it seems to be just people sharing with friends, sharing with family, sharing with the nutjob who lives in the basement apartment that everyone is afraid of.   Yes, he sent me some angry emails.    The first started, “Hey dude, how do I get one of those?”  The second and third (which I read first because of how they show up) went something like, “I’ve waited days for you to get back to me!  You obviously don’t want my business!”   To which I kindly responded, “True.”     I hope he doesn’t know where I live….but I do have that dragon in the tree…  I’m off topic.  The point is that this “thing” spread geometrically.   According to Facebook,  more than 23 million people saw my posts last week, and 29 million so far this week.   I’m not sure which post they are talking about.  But the numbers are staggering.   And I swear half of them have written to me.   I spent a few days frantically working as hard as I could to respond to the messages on Facebook, but the number of messages kept growing faster then I could respond.  Hopeless.   It’s been a little better on my website email.    I might be able to almost catch up today with those.    And luckily, I can still respond to comments made here regularly.  There are only 8 right now.  Phew!   So this is the place to contact me if you need me in the near future.  I’m sorry I haven’t been able to post more work on Drogon, or anything else.   I know this will die down.  It always does.  It better.  Then I’ll get unburied and get back to art.  Either that or I’m gonna have to hire a company in India to handle my emails (and a couple of elves)(or maybe a few of those guys who stand outside of Home Depot.  I could train them to make dragons, then sell them as my own….kind of like Dale Chihuly).

The only important part of this post is the part about getting a hold of me here.  Thank you all for your patience, and your friendship!

A sad PS.  My adorable little cat Riley, my friend for 19 years passed away two days ago.  You may have seen her in my cat enclosure video.   I’m so happy that she was able to spend the summer outside, in the fresh air.  Eddie hasn’t noticed, but Max looks for her.  He always thought Riley was his mother.

happy Riley small


About danmonsterman

I've been a paper mache artist for many years. Visit my website for instructional videos, galleries, and everything else paper mache. Or visit my WebPress blog,
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77 Responses to People and paper mache

  1. Susan Wade says:

    So sorry about your cat’s passing, you sure did your part to make it a stimulating and wonderful life. Love your paper mache creatures too.

  2. Jan Robinson says:

    So sad to hear about Riley. 19 years is an awesome age for a cat. He obviously had a great life and you and your family will miss him as part of your family. No need to respond to this email. Just know that people share your sadness upon hearing this news.
    Also, if social media has made a cranky cat’s owner a millionaire, just imagine what can happen because of so many finally seeing your awesome creations! Go with the flow and enjoy Dan! You are a deserving artist who still gets to choose when and how many creations you will produce. Take a shower! Ha! Ha!

    • Wow, you are a fast reader Jan! I just posted that. Thank you for your condolences! It’s so sad, but that’s the true price you pay when you take in an animal. She gave way more to my family than we gave to her. And thank you for your kind words about my art. I seriously appreciate it. I did enjoy the first few days. Then I just got scared. Take care

  3. Debi Winegar says:

    wow 19 years of Riley Feline Friendship — you are fortunate man indeed to have had that!

  4. Christie Derco says:

    I’m very sad to hear of your loss of your friend of 19 years. To have had her for so long speaks volumes of your character. Only truly special people are given such long friendships. I am one of those pulled in by one of your videos. I immediately subscribed to your blog! Such amazing talent, thank you for sharing with us all. As for your zillion comments. Maybe you could create a FAQ note on Facebook and link those with questions? You might be able to rent a few teens with nothing to do and have them answer for you? Anyway, thank you again for blowing my mind with your amazing creations. I felt so inspired after seeing your pictures and videos.

    • Hello Christie. Thank you for your comments. Riley will be missed. She was a sweet friend. I’m very happy you like my videos! That makes me glad I took the time to make them. I would create a FAQ for Facebook but there isn’t a way to do it. I’d have to make one then send a link to all of the thousand people waiting. Facebook bothers me a lot. They let you make an “artist page” (or business page) but then offer almost no workable functionality. Like reversing the order of the messages so that I could answer them in the order they came in. Can’t do that. Unbelievable. And there is no way to create files to put various kinds of messages. Weird. Okay, I’ll stop there. Sorry for the rant. Great suggestion. (I wish someone at Facebook would hear it.) Happy holidays.

      • D. L. Cook says:

        Dan, I’m not a big fan of Facebook either. My son has an “artist page” too. He went in and removed the “message” button on his page. I imagine he did it through his account somewhere (when I find out I’ll let you know). Also he has a “more” section at the top at the end of the header with “Timeline”. Yours just ends with “videos”, I sent you his FB page in another one of your posts so you can look at there. He has a “Notes” section under the “More” section where you could leave a FAQ’s page. I would contact Facebook and find out how to get the “More” section for your page.

  5. eric pilkington says:

    dan, i always enjoy your posts. the FB post i saw was the one of the latest dragon head trophy…the small orange one. a friend of mine posted it to me because she knew i did a little paper mach because of you. keep up the great work…i look forward to each and every post. i’m sorry about you kitty pal, 19 years is a great life for a cat. i have two myself.

  6. akismet-bb5aae9d159f750823d6872dc472ff76 says:

    29,000,000 views? That means you have 29 million opportunities to sell your new book. That’s the good side of the traffic you have generated.

    Sorry to hear about Riley, but 19 years is at the top of lifespan expectancy so you must have cared for her very well. Randolph P.S. When you sell a million copies of your new book, you can afford to hire someone to filter your email. 🙂

  7. D. L. Cook says:

    Dan, So sorry to hear about Riley. I have thirteen (down from 15) that I have chosen to be responsible for and I am right with you in the grief department as I had one of my furry children pass last week too.

  8. Yngiwulf says:

    I left a comment on your facebook to this effect, but I think that it’s hilarious, awesome and well-deserved how overrun you are over all this. 😀 Can’t wait to get your books! Excellent work! Nothing like having an example to look up to. Sorry to hear about your cat. I hope you are well.

    • Thank you Yngiwulf for the nice comments! I’m sorry I haven’t answered you on Facebook. I have over a thousand messages there. Don’t know if I’ll ever get through them. Thanks about Riley too. Good luck with the art!

  9. Helena says:

    I saw the dragon trophy video on Facebook yesterday and have been watching some of the others. I love what you do! I’ve been wanting to make a dragon Christmas tree topper for years but was having a hard time choosing a medium. I think I shall have to buy your dragon book. 🙂

    Sorry to hear about Riley. 😦

  10. Leslie Anne says:

    I am one of the people who found your site through facebook. It is amazing what you do. My son and I now have plans to build some paper mache monsters when it dries out a bit, then move on to dragons. We have your dragon book on our Christmas wishlist. Thank you for the inspiration!

  11. Nacho says:

    Really sorry to hear about Riley, Dan. 😥
    And yesterday, a friend posted the trophy in my wall telling me to check it out!. Well, duh!! You really deserve the recognition, but I hope it dies out to a more manageable level. It doesn’t look like you’re really enjoying it, which I totally understand!
    Take care!

  12. Ketta says:

    Dan, my condolences on the loss of Riley, I loved your video on the cat enclosure, and Riley seemed so sweet. Also, my congratulations on your “explosion” on social media. I will pass along a tip, however; there are darn few emails more important than a shower, and even those few will wait on your availability. Looking forward to more posts with your wonderful artwork. Thanks for the smiles you’ve given me, and to lighten the load, no reply necessary!

    • Thank you Ketta. You are very sweet and patient. That is much appreciated! I’m going to carve out time for art. I have to. This will die down soon. Maybe I’ll get caught up eventually. Happy holidays!

  13. Cynthia Prokop says:


    Hello, been thinking, I should email. Of course busy time at holidays!

  14. Rick Neilsen says:

    Sorry to hear about Riley. He was lucky to live in such a loving household.

  15. The dragon trophy video was sent to me as well. Seems like everybody wants one. Hopefully some will buy the book. Too bad there isn’t a way to associate the new dragon book with the video everyone is seeing.

    Sorry about Riley. I know how hard it is. So glad to see her enjoying the catio.

    • Hello Jeremy. Thanks for the kind thoughts about Riley. It is much appreciated. Don’t worry, people have found the book! I actually got a call from a real human at Amazon congratulating me on the success of the book. I’m pretty stunned by the whole thing. And I’m hoping that it calms down. I need to do some art! Hope you are doing yours. Happy holidays!

  16. Ginger Larsen says:

    I’m sorry to hear about Riley’s passing. It sounds like she lived a good, long life and she was lucky to have you.

    Congratulations on all the exposure you’ve gotten! Sorry to hear it’s so crazy, but I’m glad so many people know about your art and can try it for themselves. I’m certainly happy I have.

    • Hi Ginger. Nice to hear from you. Thank you for your words about Riley. It’s been hard. I miss her terribly. That’s the ying and yang of it, the art goes crazy and the cat dies. That’s the way of life I guess. Happy holidays to you!

  17. Hi Dan. So so sorry about Riley, animals have such a way of getting under our skin and into our hearts that is such a wrench when they leave us. 19 years is a good score tho and she looks so well and content in your pictures I’m sure she had a fab life …. and as for your overflowing inbox …. all I can say is in the UK is that you are being shared lots on FB and that Amazon UK have sold out of your Monsters book!!! … try to enjoy it sweetie … your work is amazing and your writing is wonderful. X

    • Thank you Kate. Yes, Riley certainly did find her way into our hearts. So thank you for the nice note. My publisher is rushing to get more books printed, but I think the train has pulled out of the station. They should have had more on hand. Happy holidays to you!

  18. Dan, my sincere condolences for the loss of Riley. No matter the age or the circumstances its so hard to let them go.
    On a more cheerful note congratulations on your overwhelming success! I ordered early (thinking of Christmas) and the books are here, wrapped and waiting for the kids to open them. Have you considered minions? That might be the way to go.
    {{{hugs}}} for you and your family.

    • Hi Pamela. Thank you for the note about Riley. I do appreciate it. So glad you ordered the books early. I sold out immediately, ordered many more and sold out again. Waiting for more with people getting upset. Glad yours are ready for Christmas! It’s great to be an early-bird! Happy holidays!

  19. Beth says:

    Dan, Please except my condolences on the loss your Riley. So hard. Riley was a well loved kitty. One other note. Please do not feel as though you need to respond to my comment. Be the master of your time. Go back to art and enjoy the success! Those of us who comment understand there are only so many hours in the day and appreciate all that you share.

  20. Sandra Dunn says:

    So sorry about Riley. Lost my 16 year old cat awhile back.. painful. Love your art and will continue to stay in touch by your blog. Keep the faith, it will get better.

  21. Sherry Roth says:

    I just recently subscribed to your blog after a friend posted your video. Your work is absolutely beautiful! I do a lot of crafts and am always interested in new ideas. After viewing your video and looking at your work, I just may attempt paper-mache. I have quite a collection of gargoyles and would like to make one of my own. Also, my son’s room is oriental themed, so I would love to make an oriental style dragon for him.
    My heart goes out to you on the loss of one of your furbabies. I have 3 cats that own me, a male named Spirit (15) and sisters, Mini-V and Banshee (both 8), plus I volunteer at my local Humane Society in their cat room.

    Poem For Cats

    And God asked the feline spirit
    Are you ready to come home?
    Oh, yes, quite so, replied the precious soul
    And, as a cat, you know I am most able
    To decide anything for myself.

    Are you coming then? asked God.
    Soon, replied the whiskered angel
    But I must come slowly
    For my human friends are troubled
    For you see, they need me, quite certainly.

    But don’t they understand? asked God
    That you’ll never leave them?
    That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
    That nothing is created or destroyed?
    It just is….forever and ever and ever.

    Eventually they will understand,
    Replied the glorious cat
    For I will whisper into their hearts
    That I am always with them
    I just am….forever and ever and ever.

    Author Unknown

  22. A Fellow Seattlite says:

    I know I’m a random person so I’ll apologize if I shouldn’t have left a message here. But you stated your inbox was exploding and I didn’t want to add to it to say something simple that doesn’t necessarily need a response (I really don’t think it does).

    First off I’d like to say I’m sorry about your cats passing. 19 years is a long time for a cat, and more than a long enough time to make memories. My condolences to you and Eddie and Max.

    The other thing that I wanted to say was that your art is amazing. I came across the dragon trophy video on FB and was entranced. At some point I’ll have to purchase your book and give it a shot. When you aren’t simply exploding with emails and purchases. Hopefully you can get back to your current project soon! I paint and it can be frustrating when you can’t work on a project.

    Good luck with the influx of mail. I hope all this attention will help you out in the end!

    • Hello fellow Seattelite (and dragon lover)(and random person). Thanks for the nice words about Riley. And I’m really glad you like my work. I’m flattered. I’m going to do art the next few days and let the emails pile up. The art has to come first.
      Take care. Maybe we will bump into one another sometime.

  23. Sorin, Romania says:

    Dear Dan,
    This morning I found out about your work, in fact your Art! Being passionate about dragons, of course I jumped on your website. It is amazing what you have been able to create from such ordinary thing as paper. Your creations are truly alive! You have to keep this going, because it is an art for soul, both yours and ours!
    So sad to hear about Riley… There is nothing it could be said to comfort this kind of loss. I have a tomcat from 6 years now and I really hope that we will enjoy his presence for many years from now…
    Thank you for sharing your works with us!

  24. Sue Pearson "Suz" says:

    Oh, I was so sad to hear of Riley’s passing, and glad he got to live his last summer in that wonderful catio. 19 years is a nice long time to have enjoyed his company, it so hard to lose a good buddy.

    I too had a friend post one of your video’s on FB and had to laugh. I replied with a link to the page where you have our Photo’s. She bought my Giraffe shoe a couple years ago. Take care Dan, sweet thoughts of Riley…

  25. Carol says:

    Oh Dan, so sorry to hear you’ve lost your beautiful Riley! It’s a very sad time, but what a great life she had with you and your family, and the catio. Maybe Eddie is just being the strong silent type…

    I’m smiling at your fame predicament but sympathising at the same time. WE know you deserve this but wow! This takes the cake! For goodness sake, don’t reply to this, you have better things to do just keeping your head above water. Cheers, Carol

  26. Dan: your talent + Internet = million people tryng to talk to you! I´m one of them from Buenos Aires, Argentina. But I won´t ask you for a reply. I just want to make you know that your art is wonderful. I´m watching every video to avoid make questions that you´ve already answered in video. But… you DON´T cook you glue, is it right.
    Te saludo desde Buenos Aires, un placer verte trabajar.
    (sorry about my poor english)

  27. Jean-Claude says:

    Rowrrr! Bite em! Oh, sorry. The gargoyle in me got carried away…

    Seriously, though: Congratulations on finding Fame, and you get the sympathy vote for the headaches that Fame has brought you. Bad Fame! Bad! Bad!

    With thousands of emails you will have to change your way of working or be crushed. Give yourself permission to revisit your commitment to answer *every* email. Maybe make a few pieces of boilerplate text that say, well, anything you want, but “Thanks for the compliments!” or “I’m sorry I don’t have time to answer every email individually, but the answer to your question is in book of mine,” or “That’s a great question. I’m utterly buried right now, but I want to get back to you [note: no promise, here, just a statement of desire], and have moved your email to a folder of questions to answer when I can.” Then cut and paste as needed.

    It seems unlikely that a fever pitch like this can last forever. Budget a fixed amount of time per day, and spend NOT MORE THAN THAT in answering emails from the public. Chip away at the mountain, and eventually you’ll have it reduced down to, well, a pile of rubble, maybe.

    Don’t publishers sometimes handle mail for famous authors? Might your publisher provide some admin support to field your fan mail, so that you can have some space to do the work that only you can do? It might be worth asking them.

    I hate to see you smothered to the point where you can’t be you. It isn’t right. And gargoyles know what’s right. Rowrrr!

    I will do a Grieving Dance in memory of Riley.

    With love,
    Jean-Claude (and his creator, who is reclusive)

    P.S. Do not reply to this! Rowrrr! I will give you another chance, later, when you post that you have had a chance to shower and catch your breath.

    • Hello Jean-Claude. Thanks for the tips! I have tried using some of them. I had a template message for Facebook people wanting to buy a dragon. It still took a long time. And then I noticed that the number of “unread” messages was getting larger even as I was trying to answer them. It turns out that many people stay on Facebook all day (and night) long. So they would immediately respond to my response. So I would go backwards. At that point I had to stop. I will wait till this dies down before trying again. Last check I had over a thousand unread messages. So thanks for the strategies and the kind words generally. Take care

  28. Adauto Vieira says:

    Hello Mr. Dan,

    I’m just a brazillian student who loves many kinds of arts and technology, and after this big pop in the numbers of shares in your posts, today i’ve been blessed with the pleasure of admiring your arts! They have impressed me so much, that i’m now inspired enough to try some sculpture with your techniques (and hopefully, you’ll see no problem in that). If i get to something good enough, i’ll send you pics of my creation! By the way, i’d like some tips about the amounts of ingredients you use to make your perfect paper mache! 😛

    Well, you got 1 more fan! Hope you enjoy all the fame! You deserve even more!

    Adauto Vieira

    Ps.: I’m sorry to hear about Riley! Just about ten minutes ago i watched the cat enclosure video and i find it so beatiful and full of life! I know how hard is to lose a good friend. 😦

    • Hello Adauto. Nice to meet you. I’m glad you like my art. Thank you for the nice comments and your remarks about Riley. About my paste, I use flour and water in a about a one-to-one ratio. But there is nothing precise about it. It get thicker as I work so I add more water. Nothing special. Good luck to you.

  29. Stella says:

    So sorry to hear about Riley; it’s hard to lose a friend. Take care, Dan.

  30. Isabelle says:

    Hello Dan! I am sorry about your loss. It’s good that the cat deluxe enclosure got ready on time and she could spend some time out.
    Your art is amazing and this amount of people getting interested by your work only shows that. You deserve all the recognition you’re getting, but understand your feelings. I too would be kind of scared if I were in this situation. I hope the interest in your work will continue, but on a level that doesn’t get to actually make you feel overwhelmed.
    Best wishes,

    • Thank you for the note Isabelle! I appreciate all of your remarks, especially about Riley. She was sweet. And yes, I’m so happy she got to spend her last summer outside. She actually went out the day before she died. About the viral stuff… I took two days off from doing emails etc to do a little art. It felt good. Take care

  31. Lori says:

    Don’t want to Burden you with a message when you are so over loaded…but I wanted to say I am sorry about your kitty.
    Good luck with your emails. That is funny about the crazy guy!
    No need for a response.
    Take care,

  32. Sandra says:

    So sorry for your loss. I have fur babies, too. They are family. I enjoy your art very much, thanks for sharing. No response needed.

  33. Denise says:

    Hey Dan, congrats on your exposure! I bet I’m one of the viral video spreaders. I’ve written you before and you have answered me already, you don’t need to again. I’m just happy being your facebook buddy, you are amazing. And I never finished my Alduin dragon, he’s in the closet. I’m building an elephant between semesters! Sorry to hear about Rileycat. He was a puma of a kitty. Someday you might just make a sculpture of him to watch over you!

  34. I saw your work on Facebook for the first time today. I was amazed and enthralled. Your work in so beautiful. So sorry for the loss your beloved kitty.

  35. Pingback: Exquisitely Detailed Paper Mache Sculptures of Animals and Mythical Creatures by Dan Reeder | Museperk

  36. Margareth says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing work. Sorry for your loss.

  37. Cheryl Stone says:

    Dear Dan,
    So sorry to hear about Riley. I had to put down my buddy of 17 years this year so I feel your pain. They are missed everyday. I noticed you have an Abyssinian, I have been modelling my cat sculptures from that breed for 2 years now and this year a real one was gifted to me from a friend. They aren’t you’re average cat, are they? Very entertaining. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for posting your incredible work as well as all the tutorials, even the one you didn’t finish is enough to get the idea. It is very inspiring and just the motivation I needed to get my butt back into the studio. Congrats on the viral videos.

    • Thank you for the comments about Riley Cheryl. I appreciate it. You do know what it’s like. Yes, Eddie is an Abyssinian (so was Riley). He’s very smart, very willful, very loving and playful. They seem to be virtually un-trainable. I’m heading to my studio write now. Good luck!

  38. Cyn says:

    Hello Dan,
    After watching one video, I am a fan! Your work is amazing! I was an art major in HS and have always done some sort of artistic hobby.
    Also, so sorry for your loss of Riley, I am a cat lover too. She was certainly beautiful and I loved watching her in your videos. I had my Moses for 21 years so I understand they can become your longest friendship sometimes.
    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, well, a bit sadder for Riley being absent, but she is with you and your tender heart.
    Hugs, Cyndi.

  39. Brodie says:

    I just received your book. I can’t wait to make something! I noticed from your past posts that you have been ordering wire online. If you know anyone who has horses, they may have access to a lot of wire hanger. I literally have miles. The hay bails that we buy come bundled in it. It’s so hard to find wire hangers these days! Just a helpful tip! Keep up the awesome work! Thanks.

  40. Laura Williamson says:

    Sorry to hear about your cat. I have 3 two are adopted strays I saw your cat enclosure even before I knew about your art. I want to do something similar for my trailer since I live in campgrounds most of the time I cant let them loose. I want to thank you in advance for the sleepless nights I will have now that youhave shown me this art but good sleepless nights figuring out armatures and eyeballs hooves and bones. Have a good New Year

    • Hello Laura. I don’t know why I didn’t see this comment. It was in a different place. Thanks for the note about my cat. Sounds like you understand. And I hope that you don’t lose too much sleep over eyeballs and hooves (although I know what it’s like to lay in bed thinking about some aspect of an art project). Have fun!

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