3D Printed Sufferborn Figurine by J.C. Hartcarver and Mixed Dimensions

How’s everybody doing on this fine day in 2021? I just wanted to take a moment to show you how I like to waste my time—haha! Just kidding, I don’t actually consider it a waste. I just love doing crafty things. It’s what gives my life meaning and purpose. Truly, I live from project to project. That’s how I like it. And I’m always thinking of crazy new ways to get paint all over my hands. This time I made a figurine. Check it out…

This is Wikshen (my favorite Sufferborn character. Shhh, don’t tell the others). If you haven’t noticed already, Sufferborn is kinda about him, to be honest. He’s more than a novel character to me, though, he’s an artistic outlet. If I’m trying out a new medium—of any type—you can count on seeing Wikshen appear in that medium. Anyway, about this figurine…

The very first step was sculpting him in the Daz Studio software. I just LOVE that software! I sculpted him using various morphing tools I had to buy to get the job done. I guess you can say he was expensive even to digitally sculpt. And then I used the GamePrint plugin to send my sculpture to the printing company, Mixed Dimensions, to get my sculpture created in real life 3D. It was not cheap, I must say, hahah! This was a high-end pricy little project. He stands at about 9 inches tall and his skin color was printed as well. I only added a few painted elements of my own to enhance his eyes and add his side brand and arm bands, and etc. Some parts of his clothing didn’t print in the color I needed, so I went over those with my own black paint. Consider this post to be a glowing review of all of those services I mentioned: Daz Studio, GamePrint plugin for Daz Studio, and Mixed Dimensions—all highly recommended!

What I actually submitted for printing was an incomplete figure. He had no hair and only wore his underwear. Notice his hair and “battleshift” are both made from organic materials. I wanted this figurine to be partially a hands-on art project for my own personal joy and satisfaction. I had to create the base he is standing on—not because I wanted to, but because I had no idea how the printing process would play out—if I would get a complimentary base or not. It turned out that I was not given a base by default. He arrived as a loose figure who couldn’t stand on his own (poor fella!), so I went to all the trouble to pick out a wooden oval thing from the craft store, stain it, sculpt the rocks and soil using a two-part apoxie, paint it, and added moss for a realistic terrain effect. The finished product turned out better than expected.

And that hair! Thanks to my history of enthusing in the world of Asian ball-jointed dolls, and honing my process for creating wigs, I was able to craft this for the figurine. This part I knew would be a better option than printing his hair from the resin material he’s made of. If I had done that, the figure probably would’ve cost $100 more than it did! I did run through the shopping cart process a few times to figure out my options. So making the hair saved me money, and it looks 100 times better too. I was able to use hand-dyed suri alpaca hair that was left over from a past wig I made (because I totally made a ball-jointed doll of him in the past!). This also makes his hair removeable so I can replace it in case of damage or whatever.

Look at that dirty bastard! The last thing I applied was his battleshift which is made from a scrap of linen I had kicking around. Did I also mention I’m a seamstress? Well, I didn’t actually sew this together, I “sculpted” this garment by cutting and gluing pieces directly onto the figure, so this one is not removeable. His battleshift hides the wire that I used to stabilize the figure to the base, using nothing short of caulk to secure him down, which includes under his feet.

I’m not going to say this project was “simple” or “easy” but it probably wasn’t an expert-level project either. I was able to alleviate my chores a bit by ordering a color printed sculpture instead of primed. The tasks I did take on required a bit of planning and know-how. For instance, I also had to invent a way to let the figure stand safely on his own without facing the risk of falling and breaking off one of those gorgeous, tiny fingers while I worked on him. To do this, I glued a Styrofoam “brick” to a flat piece of cardboard, carved foot holes into the Styrofoam and, voila, he had a temporary stand to prop him up while I crafted his wig.

I have a few mixed feelings about continuing this as a hobby. 1. Yes, of course I want to do another one! He looks lonely without his Kalea to stand there being impressed (or horrified) by his antics, heehee! 2. But it was such an “extra” thing for me to juggle. It took a long time to finish just because each session was spread out across weeks and weeks. I could only work on it a little bit at a time each weekend, sometimes skipping weekends. 3. It’s an expensive hobby…But who am I kidding? I LOVE doing arts and crafts and don’t mind spending money on a project! 4. Um…there isn’t really a fourth feeling. I enjoyed doing this but it’s not very convenient. I’ll just play it by ear. Maybe you’ll see a Kalea figurine in the next year, who knows? Until then I have a Book 3 to finish and a computer to build. Yep, I’m still working on that computer. It will make my future of using Daz Studio a bright one.

Thank you for reading this! If you catch me at a convention in the future, I will most likely have this little guy on my table to make it look cool. He’s a one of a kind.

God Bless!

P.S. I did a little filming as I worked on this project, so you can expect a creation video on Youtube soon…just gotta get that new computer running (*sigh*).

Growing Pains and Sufferborn Book 3

As it is close to the middle of the year, I feel it’s appropriate to give you all an update to the progress of Sufferborn book 3.

I’m expecting its release to be around early 2022—but please don’t think that sounds bad, it’s really not. For the past two years in a row, I’ve managed to release book 1, Sufferborn, and then book 2, Unwilling Deity, in the fall of each year. There is a certain rhythm I intend to keep for my book releases, and as a result, the starting and ending points of each book creation will land a little later in the year, each year (for example, Sufferborn came out in October of 2019 and Unwilling Deity came out in November 2020). After taking my annual “between books break” in 2020, I started writing book 3 (title to be announced) on January 1, 2021. So far, it is taking a bit longer to write this one than the previous two, and I think that is due to my trying to juggle it with various different things like marketing and such. But I am hopeful that the book’s first draft will be finished soon and I will proceed with its publishing tasks.

However! There is one thing in this year that could possibly delay book 3’s release, backing it up a little farther into 2022: I am building my first high-powered workstation computer.

Let’s put an emphasis on “possibly,” because I’m not entirely sure if my pc building venture will actually delay the book. I am having to work more hours at my day job to come up with the money, and my new workstation will not be cheap. As long as I can keep up my discipline and wake up extra early every morning, I shouldn’t lose any writing time. But the cost of pc building will have to be juggled with the cost of publishing (and this year I have to buy another 10 pack of ISBN numbers. Yay :[ ).

The thing about pc building is that in order to make a workstation, and not a gaming pc, I need better/faster components and lots of memory. I want to do this right, so my pc will work faster, longer, and allow me to do complex operations like 3d rendering. I’m EXTREMEMLY excited about what I will be able to do with my new pc—the art I will make—the new software and media I will try! Right now, I’m working on a pc that has a 4-core AMD processor and was the cheapest pc in Best Buy 6 or 7 years ago. I am planning to put a 24-core threadripper CPU into my new computer, so I’m expecting the difference to be like night and day.

As far as pc building goes, there are circumstantial complications for this year: a shortage of graphics cards and insanely high inflation for them in both retail and on the second hand market. As far as getting a graphics card goes, I’m biding my time as I have to save for all my other expensive pc parts, but it’s still a worry. In 2021, building a pc costs more money than ever before. Between it and my busy life, I’m estimating Sufferborn book 3 may release in February 2022. That’s my best guess-timation, but I will follow up if I foresee any developments.

I might also show a few pics of my new workstation pc when it’s complete. I think my Sufferborn art, book covers, and marketing graphics are about to get a LOT better. Art is my favorite part of life. It’s half the reason why I’m in this business. ❤

Reflecting on Book Creation in 2020

Well, we made it. 2020 is almost over, lets be joyful. I spent the entire year writing and publishing the second book in the Sufferborn series: Unwilling Deity. Sorry for my lack of a post back around November 26, when it came out. I’ve been living in a whirlwind! But yes, the book is out now, and I’ve often pondered that this one was created in 2020. I wonder if I’ll always remember that.

Unwilling Deity is a pretty wild book, I must say—at least as far as my history of writing. I shocked myself with the things I worked up the nerve to put on paper. I tore down some boundaries, hopped to the outside of my comfort zone, and set loose the wildest side of my imagination. I guess Kalea experiences a similar whirlwind within the book. It’s almost like she goes through her own “2020.”

As usual, creating the book took total dedication and diligence, but as I sit here, on December 29, 2020, I feel relaxed and at ease. I might just be getting the hang of this book thing. Heck! I even already have book 3 outlined! I’m supposed to be on a 2-month vacation away from writing, but found it feasible to go ahead and do the outline, working for only a few hours each day until it was done. It’s not 100% done yet, I still have to arrange my scene summaries in proper order, but the hard part of that is behind me. On January 1st, the next book will begin.

Creating the book in 2020 wasn’t terribly hard, of course, even as far as taking my cover paintings to be professionally photographed. The process had its usual stresses, but all in all, I feel positive that book creation might become much easier soon. I’ve done two novels now, and am about to write the third. As a hard-working person, I feel after 2 years, that I can handle it better now, physically and emotionally. I’ll let you know if it unfolds otherwise, hahah!

Before I go, I’ll tell you a few things which might be necessary. Unwilling Deity turned out 40,000 words longer than Sufferborn, and that resulted in an increase in its printing cost—which means I had to raise the price to 17.99 USD for paperback. In order to make up for that price increase, I added two additional illustrations to the lineup. So where Sufferborn had four illustrations in its paperback form, Unwilling Deity has six! I think that’s pretty cool, and I do think that it looks good this way, so therefore I’d like to use this amount of illustrations for the rest of the series. I do wish I could write the next book slightly shorter, for my convenience and yours, but alas, my book 3 outline has several more entries than even Unwilling Deity had. This is an epic series, after all, and by nature epics tend to get thicker with each installment.

Also, Sufferborn, book 1, will get a new cover! It already has a new blurb on Amazon, and a new front cover is coming soon. I’ll talk more about this cover change soon. I’m currently working on the painting, and enjoying the process, as usual.

Hope you had a good 2020. Happy New year!

Sufferborn on Amazon

Unwilling Deity on Amazon

Happy Book Birthday Sufferborn!

Has it been a year already??? Holy crud.

Guys, I don’t know what to say. This book is special on so many levels. It’s the project I devoted my life to–literally, every life decision I made centered around this. At age 13 I started coming up with the characters and adventures that would eventually blossom into a book called Sufferborn. At age 34 I published it. I couldn’t be more proud, and now I am overwhelmed because I’m about to publish book 2 Unwilling Deity (Preorder here!). Where did the year go?! And in the near future of January 1st, 2021 I’ll begin writing book 3.

Sufferborn, though, is amazing, I must say. It truly is the fruit of my life-long labor. It’s epic. Lots of characters, lots of attention paid to those characters’ development as well as the development of their cultures–particularly the elven culture. It’s sweet, it’s sad, it’s magical, it’s brutal. It’s tragic. The first book is only the beginning of a much bigger story. If you haven’t tried Sufferborn yet, what are you waiting for? It’s only 99c until Black Friday 2020!

Here’s to the birthday of my first novel! Cheers!

The Suffering Continues

Well, not really, I feel pretty good these days. So how about an update on this fine spring day? As I write this, I am two days away from doing a little “first review” of the book I recently finished: Unwilling Deity, book 2 of the Sufferborn series. It has been simmering in its dark corner of my PC for the last four weeks since its completion. The next step is a quick read-through and then I’m sending it off to the editor for a formal critique! Am I nervous? Meh. I’m psyched about the book, and I hope you will like it too!

First thing you might be thinking: what the hell is going on with this dark-ass picture? This, for your curiosity, is a little sneak peak of the new book—a character I had not planned to create, who wasn’t in the outline, and just sort of walked on and insisted I give her a part in the book. How could I say no? It was a pretty wild idea and I was liking it! So I said, “Welcome aboard, mysterious lady with horns and Cheshire Cat smile!” You’ll also notice the new art style. If you’ve been following me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you might’ve heard that I’ve been dabbling in the art medium of 3D rendering. Ok, not dabbling, I have been obsessed with it! Working with 3D character models has been something I’ve kept in the back of my mind for several years now, since I first saw the Poser software for sale on Amazon. I hemmed and hawed at the price and the possibility that my computer wasn’t fast and powerful enough for such a thing. Then a few weeks ago, I saw some other author’s Daz Studio render on Instagram. To make a long story short, Daz was free to download and I had nothing to lose by testing it out. Now I’m hooked. But don’t worry, because this isn’t the downfall of my paintings, it’s the dawn of my own paintings’ renaissance. I’m going to use Daz to create precise references I will use to paint better pictures. Fantasy art is all about painting something that doesn’t exist, and creating realistic art requires painting from real references. Daz will combine these two elements for me. No longer will I have to pick out an art model and stretch reality to make him or her look like my book character!

So that’s what I’m up to these days.

After finishing writing the book, I’ve taken this month of March to dive in and do some deep study with Daz Studio, using it to create cover mock-ups of potential paintings BEFORE ever lifting a brush to canvas. Aside from my upcoming sweep-through of the manuscript, the book cover is next, and I’m loving the creative process! This is what I live for.

Sufferborn fans, hang tight, Unwilling Deity is coming. I’m doing great and making fast, steady progress. If you enjoyed all the sex and violence in book 1, book 2 throws gasoline on that heat!

Valentine’s Day Special

Love is in the air and Kalea is about to find out how much Dorhen means to her.

On February 9th through the 15th, 2020, you can read Sufferborn for FREE with the purchase of any Sufferborn tshirt from The Print Kingdom on Etsy! The ebook comes in PDF format and is readable on any device.

This is also the perfect chance to grab the brand NEW shirt style featuring an illustration from Sufferborn’s hardback format, titled, “Kalea dreams sweetly of Dorhen.”

Click HERE to visit The Print Kingdom! Hurry before it’s too late!

Please note: The free ebook version does NOT contain any illustrations and there will be a watermark on every page.

An Important Note

Recently, I’ve felt compelled to compose this Author’s Note, which you will see in various places:

Sufferborn is not your everyday fantasy-romance. It is not a light read. This series is intended for readers looking for deep, complex, and EPIC concepts (think Elizabeth Haydon’s Symphony of Ages or Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, which I had read in the past and taken influence from). My most savvy reviewers have confirmed that Sufferborn reads like “classic fantasy.” I would include “romance” as a sub-genre because the romantic relationship between the two main characters, Kalea and Dorhen, is the overall foundation and motivation for the story to continue, as well as the defining factor this series will require to wrap up. I classify this story’s genre as “Epic Romantic Fantasy.” There is more than one subplot. This story is long. This story is dark. You’ve been warned.

Rest Assured! “Unwilling Deity” is Coming Soon.

Expect Sufferborn book 2 “Unwilling Deity” to be released in late 2020.

Sorry to put this so plainly, without any fancy pageantry or illustration, but apparently this must be said right now. Sufferborn book 1 JUST came out mere weeks ago (in Oct. 2019), and I am excited to state that book 2 is almost finished being written (a superhuman feat by my standards to be honest), and that’s the thing, it DOES take time. Not only did I NOT pre-write the whole series, nor am I rapid-releasing these books, I also don’t believe in doing that. At all. Yes, I’ve spent the last 20+ years developing this series, but nonetheless, the final product of the books are coming hot out of my keyboard. Why? Because I care a LOT more about quality and not about vomiting the books out onto Amazon as fast as I can.

Quality is number 1.

Please understand that what you are dealing with is a brand NEW series. I didn’t write these books ten years ago, giving you the luxury of reading the whole series in one evening; and I’m not writing them overnight and publishing them by day. That wouldn’t be a good idea at all.

A realistic but also close-cut release schedule would be to put out 1 book per year. That’s the goal. And it would only take 6 years—not too bad, right?

Thanks for understanding. But also, thanks for loving book 1! Dorhen thanks you too!

SUFFERBORN Available Now!

Get it NOW at your favorite retailer! Available in ebook, paperback, and hardback. The ebook can be found on Amazon Kindle, but will soon be available in a greater range of stores, so please check back soon.

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Signed Sufferborn copy on Etsy

T-shirts on Etsy

Back Cover Description:

Her life had been planned out for her, until an elf with a fiery past came to tempt her future.

In an age of hostility toward elves in her region, Kalea couldn’t just stand and gawk when one of the handsome creatures was caught stealing. He might’ve died had she not helped him escape his grim fate. This was her first sin and she is aware of it. She might have set in motion the ruination of her social standing, her chastity, and ultimately her life…if not her own preservation.

She warns him not to follow her, yet the elf, Dorhen, manages to find her home at the convent where she is looking forward to a long, peaceful life of prayer and study. She is about to take her vow of chastity, and although consorting with any male is forbidden, Kalea can’t resist her fascination with his beautiful eyes and sweet, gentle nature. A precarious interest in Dorhen begins to blossom within her. Meanwhile, a sinister plot unfolding in her home region is about to slither right into her safe little convent in the forest, bringing Dorhen’s ominous past with it.

When sorcerers raid the convent and kidnap the other novices, Kalea manages to escape with Dorhen’s help, but he vanishes in the aftermath of the attack. Determined to save her sisters and the elf she loves, Kalea sets out on a perilous journey across a land rife with magic and festering with an unknown evil… an evil that threatens to destroy all Kalea holds dear.

Sufferborn is a sprawling, dark fantasy with sensual elements that explores the power of faith, supernatural dreams, and love. It follows the treacherous journey of a heartbroken young woman as she struggles to let her old life go in order to achieve the desires of her heart.

Trigger Warnings: This story was written for adults and has an overall sexual theme. Contains violence and blood , sex, slight and brief rape scenes and reference to rape, abduction, cruelty, and moderate swearing.

Sufferborn is Now Available for Pre-order on Amazon!

That’s right! You can now pre-order the ebook version if that’s your cup of tea! The other formats, paperback and hardback, will be available on the 19th of this month. Keep in mind that every format will have a different number of illustrations. Ebook has 3 illustrations (not including the map), paperback has 4, and hardback has 6!

Here’s the back cover copy:

Her life had been planned out for her, until an elf with a fiery past came to tempt her future.

In an age of hostility toward elves in her region, Kalea couldn’t just stand and gawk when one of the handsome creatures was caught stealing. He might’ve died had she not helped him escape his grim fate. This was her first sin and she is aware of it. She might have set in motion the ruination of her social standing, her chastity, and ultimately her life…if not her own preservation.

She warns him not to follow her, yet the elf, Dorhen, manages to find her home at the convent where she is looking forward to a long, peaceful life of prayer and study. She is about to take her vow of chastity, and although consorting with any male is forbidden, Kalea can’t resist her fascination with his beautiful eyes and sweet, gentle nature. A precarious interest in Dorhen begins to blossom within her. Meanwhile, a sinister plot unfolding in her home region is about to slither right into her safe little convent in the forest, bringing Dorhen’s ominous past with it.

When sorcerers raid the convent and kidnap the other novices, Kalea manages to escape with Dorhen’s help, but he vanishes in the aftermath of the attack. Determined to save her sisters and the elf she loves, Kalea sets out on a perilous journey across a land rife with magic and festering with an unknown evil… an evil that threatens to destroy all Kalea holds dear.

Pre-order the book here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YG8PMKD