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 accentuate 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*)

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

“Unwilling Deity” Book Cover Reveal!

Unwilling Deity coming November 26, 2020

Sufferborn book 2, Unwilling Deity is ready to show its face! Please excuse my lack of pageantry in this cover reveal, just a simple blog post, but I’m very very busy…publishing the darn thing! It’s the year 2020 at the time of this writing so I don’t think I have to explain that things have been a little…weird. It was not a good year for me—for other reasons. Hard to explain. Anyway! I’m looking forward to the last bit of the year because that’s when it comes out—the book (*cue the angel choir*). All my work will pay off. Just the satisfaction of holding the final product in my hands—that’s what I live for.

I work EXTREMELY hard at this stuff in order to put these books out in a timely manner. I promise, you won’t be waiting yearS to get the next installment of the story, just…you know…ONE year XD. I have to work overtime, besides doing my day job, in order to create these books, it’s a very big deal (at least to me) and it shakes up my life like I’ve never known before. And now that turbulence is the norm.

So the book cover! It’s an oil painting. Are you surprised? “Her Ecstasy,” was painted on linen stretched over a panel. In person, it’s 27×36 inches big, and I’m not sure how long it took to paint. My process usually takes about 40 hours, BUT I gotta tell ya, it took several tries to get this right. My first attempt I painted over and then scrapped my second attempt before I finally came up with this beauty, so there you have it. The book cover. A long, frustrating process, but I am happy. It says a lot about the story on the pages. Lots of themes going on here to prelude what you are about to read.

This book, folks, was really something for me to have to write as well. It put me on an emotional rollercoaster besides the whole “2020 effect.” The book is rough, dark, gritty—it’s wild! I don’t know, you should just read it.

And it will release on November 26! Thanksgiving day, because this is what I’ll be thankful for (*glasses clinking*). I’m going to see about putting up the preorder soon, perhaps in a few days. So you should DEFINITELY follow this blog! Just click the button on the side panel and you’ll never miss a future book in the Sufferborn series!

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!

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!