Yesterday, I had the rare pleasure of a studio visitor. Normally I get newly formed friends wanting to see where I work, or the occasional fan that lives near the area. But yesterday, I was visited by a very smart and gifted 11 year old girl name Carolina. She's an aspiring artist with talents so strong that out of a group of hundreds of kids who entered a contest, she was the winner and got to meet the artist Simon Silva.
Her visit out to my studio wasn't part of a contest, but rather an opportune coincidence. Carolina enjoys sculpting and she knows my sister, who happened to mention that her brother (me) is a sculptor. We arranged a studio visit several weeks ago and finally yesterday was the day.
My first impression with Carolina was that she was so tiny and cute. It's been so long since I was that small that I can't remember it. As she stepped into my humble little studio, I could see her eyes trying to take it all in (there's work at various stages all over my studio). I started with showing what I had been working on for the last two days - two creature busts (an Eel Dragon and a Vampire). It was fun to watch her reactions to the work. I gave her a walk through of my process and showed her pieces that were in various stages of completion. Her questions were intelligent and quite advanced (artistically speaking) for someone so young. She spoke about doing a report on Chuck Close (another impressive name in her knowledge of artists).
At one point during our conversation, she mentioned the use of impressions for sculpting. I thought this would be a fun opportunity to do some hands on stuff. I showed her the silicone putty that I use to make my molds and texture stamps, then we went in search of something cool to take an impression of. We decided the tree stump outside my studio had some cool textures, so we proceeded to find just the right spot. I showed her how to mix the putty then I placed it on the tree. After a couple minutes, we went back to remove the texture stamp and it turned out really well. I told her she could keep it as a reminder of her visit.
We spoke a little more about influences, school and process. She told me how much she liked Werewolves and if I would sculpt one as part of my creature busts. I agreed to do one - so keep an eye out for the Carolina inspired werewolf bust coming later. I wanted to give her a couple more things to remember her visit by, and so I gave her a copy of one of the Zombie Pirates, and I let her choose one of the 1:6 scale portrait heads I had (She chose the portrait where I'm making a goofy smile).
It was such a pleasure having such a bright and gifted young girl in my studio, and I look forward to seeing all the great things she will create. My doors will always be open to little Coralina, and I hope she comes back again.