Sunday, June 7, 2009

Interview with Terry Dietz (aka Aedan Blueflame)

Hello readers! It's been a while since I've done an interview, and I have a great one for you today. Professor Greyrose got me in touch with an artist whose work I had seen on the Fan Art Gallery page of the Wizard101 site. Over the past couple of days, Terry Dietz has been kind enough to answer a few questions and share some of his work, including some that haven't been seen in the fan art gallery yet.

Below is our conversation.

Q: Hello, Terry! I'd just like to start things off on this interview by introducing you to my readers and catching them up with the cool fan art you have created. For those of you who don't know, over on the Main Wizard101 site in the Fan Art Gallery, Terry has created some real "stand-out" art from the crowd. Terry produces miniature sculptures of Wizard101 characters.

I must say first of all, thank you! Those are some very detailed works and very nicely done. What inspired you to create this very cool form of fan art?

A: My inspiration came from Wizard101. I saw a commercial for the game and thought I would give it a try. Next thing you know I was hooked.-LOL As I started working my way through the game I thought it would be cool to have a statue of my character sitting by the computer as I was playing. I have always been an artistic person and have dabbled in sculpting for years. A few weeks later Aedan Blueflame was born.

Q: Let's talk about you in the Wizard101 realm. What are your characters' names and where can we find you playing in Wizard101 these days?

A:First off, I have Aedan Blueflame (Adept Pyromancer) Level 23, Alric Stormweaver (Initiate Diviner) Level 13, and Reed Jadestone (Initiate Theurgist) Level 11. It's great being able to bounce around from character to character. I'm sure everyone has had their moments when you just can't get that quest accomplished right and you have to start again. It gets frustrating and that's why I like the freedom to have different characters and enjoy different quests.

Q: Let's take a closer look at a sculpture that hasn't yet been released on the Wizard101 website. This is your firecat sculpture. Can you talk just a bit about the process you went through to create this particular sculpture?

A: Every wizard has to have a pet, but unfortunately some pets can't be dyed on Wizard101. My blue firecat was born from that idea. Being Aedan Blueflame, why not a blueflame firecat? I'm not a computer genius and can't say for sure how hard it would be for the creators of Wizard 101 to have that option, but it sure would be cool.

Q: How long does the creation process usually take you?

A:It all depends on how much detail I put into each one. On average, around 25 plus hours, but this will span over a couple of weeks. I like to take my time and relax while I create.

Q: Your characters almost look like action figures from the pictures. How durable are these works when you are finished with them? Are they something you need to keep on the upper shelf or can these be handled more roughly?

A:Polymer clay is somewhat durable, but still delicate at the same time. I keep mine on the shelf for display. They can be handled, but I wouldn't recommend for play. Sorry everyone, these guys are not up to the duel!-LOL

Q: Are your works for sale? And if you were to put a price tag on a one-of-a-kind sculpture like this, what would it be? Also (sorry to make this a three part question) would you ever consider doing a commissioned work for a fan that wants to own a sculpture like this, yet has no artistic talent of their own?
A: Unfortunately that's not an option. Kingsisle are the creators and owners of Wizard101 and its likeness. Being an artist and photo lab supervisor I deal with a lot of copyright issues. I respect the Kingsisle creators and would not want to profit from all their hard work. If given the opportunity, I think it would be amazing to be part of a creative team to design and produce characters from Wizard101. Sorry everyone, I guess my wizards will be sitting on my shelf for awhile. Who knows what will be coming in the future from Kingsisle. Hint, Hint-LOL

Q: Where or how did you learn how to make these sculptures? Did you take a class? Natural talent?

A:I would say a combination of talent, books, and the Internet. I was part of a sculpting forum on Yahoo and learned a lot of tips and tricks from other sculptors. Forums can be very helpful if you want to learn something at your own pace.

Q: Have you had any major frustrations with a sculpture that perhaps hasn't turned out the way you wanted it and you had to start over?

A: Definitely! I still consider myself an amateur so it's all trial and error. I few of my visions have been attempted, but never accomplished. It's all part of learning, but at least I tried.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for aspiring artists who might see your work and want to create something similar?

A: Do your research. The Internet is an amazing tool to learn so much. Every little bit can help. Also if you have the desire to learn something don't give up. We all make our mistakes on the way, but learn at the same time. One thing I learned about myself is you have to accept your limits. Not everyone is a Picasso or Rembrandt. You have to see the beauty in your own work and need to like it for yourself since, the harsh reality is not everyone is going to appreciate your work.

Q: Have you ever created sculptures for other games that you have played?

A:Wizard101 would be my first.

Q: What captured your imagination for creating your Wizard101 statues in particular?

A: The individuality of each character. I like to be different and Wizard101 gives you that ability to create your own character. I’m sure with over 2 million players there might be that chance someone might look alike, but who will ever know.

Q: Do you have any sculptures in mind that we will be seeing in the near future?

A:I would like to attempt the pet dragon, just haven’t decided on my color scheme yet.

Q: Speaking of the future, what are your aspirations in building these? Are we going to see Kingsisle signing you up to create a line of action figures for them?

A: That would be amazing. I do have a few creative ideas in mind, but that will be up to everyone at Kingisle to decide.

Q: Thank you so much for your time, Terry. I look forward to seeing more of your art over on the fan site! Do you happen to have any questions for The Friendly Necromancer?

Terry's Q to me: What do you like best about Wizard101?

Friendly's A: I like the fans, and when I say "fans" I'm talking about people like you and me. It's one thing to play a game and love the storyline or the intricacies of battle, but it's an entirely different thing to spend time working on a Wiki (like Matthew), a blog (like Tara and all my blogger friends), a forum (like Jester and his admins), a piece of art (like your sculptures) or fan fiction (like all the writers over at Wizard101 Central), a comic, a remix of the music, or an expression entirely your own. The talented people that take the fun of Wizard101 to heart and get inspired to put it to the good work of creativity; it's those people in the game that I like so much.

Um, and of course, I like the new housing feature a lot. ;-)

Q: Any final comments you'd like to add, Terry?
A: Thanks for the opportunity to share a part of myself and my creative side. If anyone is interested in chatting about Wizard101, has a question or just wants to leave a comment, feel free to contact me at eyeful_dezignz@ yahoo. See you all in Wizard City.

Thank you, Aedan Blueflame! And, thank you to my readers. I hope you've enjoyed this article. Feel free to leave Terry some praise in the comment field below.

Happy Dueling!


Isaiah Spelldust said...

those sculptures are crazy cool!

L. R. Jonté said...

I work with polymer clay myself, so I know what's involved. Nicely done!

Fatal Exception said...

As always, Friendly Necromancer for the Win! Great interview, and gratz on always finding stuff that nobody else even thinks to search.

Morgrim ShadowWraith said...

Those sculptures are amazing, good job!

dakota said...

u r the king of sculptures. p.s. can i have one of me? plz?

Starpling said...

Awesome stuff there! I was wondering if you free form your models or do you take a lot of time, for things like sketching.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work!

Sarai Willowbreeze

girafang said...

Wow! Those sculptures are great!

Anonymous said...

Do you know what brand of polymer clay you used, i think it is a fun idea and i would like to make one.

Anonymous said...

I use sculptey brand

Alex Marie said...

Wow, those are just . . . how do I put this . . . AWESOME! Now I've gotta try it. I won't do nearly as well. It's like Terry opened a whole new view of art here.

dakota silverbane said...

I have a Wizard101 blog and i need help on it! can you give me some help?

Alex Deathshade said...

your the next big thing in art!

Saffron MythHaven said...

wow! Your really good at this

Anonymous said...

Can you make Blake GoldenGem

Mike said...

Terry is a amazing artist.

Terry said...

It’s hard to believe it has been 14 years since this interview. I still play Wiz, but don’t sculpt as much anymore. Terry (Andean Blueflame)

Stingite said...

@Terry -- So good to hear from you! Glad you're still playing Wiz. :) Thanks so much for the fun inspiration you provided us with all those years ago. It's appreciated!