Clay Sculptor Adam Reeder helps people sculpt faces in clay with his unique self taught methods.
On this page is an interview with Adam. More information on his DVD's and clay products is at the bottom of the page.
"You are not alone. You have read all the books or used DVDs written by clay sculptors that skipped too many steps,.... I know how you feel. I looked all over the world for an art program that best fitted my needs as a young sculptor. I found nothing." Adam Reeder
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Q. What inspires you as a clay sculptor? Why did you become one? Explain your ‘artist statement’ in everyday terms.
A. I suppose I sculpt what I feel. I am very interested in modern society. I like creating artwork that chronicles certain aspects of our world. I do not want to try to be a Renaissance style clay sculptor. I want to talk about today. I became an artist because it was my passion.
Q. How long have you been working as an artist?
A. I have been drawing since I was 14. I used to think I could not be anything but an artist, that I was good at nothing else. I have been working as a clay sculptor full time for 12 years, except for a short time after 9/11 when the art market dipped. During this time I studied Anatomy for my pre med studies. I abandoned this shortly there after to continue sculpting.
Q. What of your own work is your best?
A. “Ballet (En Pointe)” is one that I look at and wonder how I did it. I sculpted her with the help of a former dancer of the Royal Ballet in London. I took pictures of one of her best students. Then I sculpted this sculpture and brought it in and told her to “critique it as if it were a student trying to be the best”. I also love “Pan with his iPod” (see top photo). I actually love this entire body of work, because of the concept, and the fact that the body of work changes. The body of work is called “socio-technic evolution” and it evolves as technology impacts how society interacts with it’s world. My most recent is about the Revolutions taking place and how technology was used to help rebel.
Q. What is your ‘claim to fame’? (Why should people take note of you)
A. People should collect the art of, or learn from whom ever ignites a fire in their soul. I have had many people tell me that my work and my teaching style cause that within them. They tell me with words and with money. I think the awards, the Masters degree, the show, the news articles are all great, but what matters is that single moment when someone sees my work and fells something. That is POWERFUL!! That is what keeps me going.
Q. What other artists past and present are to your liking?
A. I love Richard Mac Donald. I love Rodin, Manuel Neri, Isamu Noguchi, Warhol, Duchamp (he liked to mess with people), Bernini. I have liked many others, but few stay mystifying and engaging. Most of the best sculptors are Asian. Sadly, the American Academic world is saturated with people looking to relive modernism.
Q. Where did you train, or are you self-taught?
Self taught. I was luck enough to have my parents buy the home of a clay sculptor when I was 19 years old. That is when I got my first lump of clay. That is when a kind and patient sculptor took the time to teach me a few things. Mostly, he taught me how to see.
"Sculpting is simply the way we translate how we see the world (All art forms are)"
If someone has sculpting in their veins, all they really need someone to do is show them how to see. That is what my friend did for me, and it got me started. It was hard to find sculptors to learn from when I was younger. I went to school to learn art, hoping I would find someone to help me grow as a sculptor. This provided nothing for me as a sculptor.
Q. How did you come to your tools and techniques (classical training or own system of working)?
A. Trial and error. Actually, I spent obscene amounts of time sculpting. I figured out how to speed this process up, and some ways to teach others how to avoid the time trap I was in. The first half of sculpting is seeing, the second is making choices. The best advice about learning sculpture I can give is, do not go to the same school I went to.
Q. Do you teach, or have you taught
A. I have recently formed The Sacramento Art Academy because students of representational art are being grossly under served in the Greater Sacramento region. Access to education that encourages representational exploration is extremely limited. It is for this reason that The Sacramento Art Academy has been created. It is housed at the Capital Art Center, at S and 12th in Sacramento. It is important for all art forms and expression to have a community voice. Now those who enjoy and seek to express themselves using representational art, have a place to go. I have also taught graduate classes and private classes. I have done many group demos as a clay sculptor for organizations like Rotary club.
Q. What ‘hot buttons’ do you see within your pupils, ready to be activated? What does this do for you?
A. They want to learn how to sculpt faces. They also want to know anatomy and how to apply it to their artwork. I also see a huge push by figurative artists into the polymer clay field (doing character design work, toys and such). That is why my new DVD is being made using all polymer clay.
Q. What made you get into the idea of doing training DVD’s?
A. I have almost 5000 Facebook friends, and was bombarded with questions about how to sculpt. I saw that the need for foundations training is huge, and the Academic world has failed to respond to the demand of people wanting to become a clay sculptor.
Q. Your sculpting tool is interesting - what is is for?
A. The small sculpting tool is specifically to make sculpting the eyes, nose, mouth much easier. The products are all on the expensive end, that is because they are not assembly line garbage. Any clay sculptor who has not experienced the irritation of having tools, armatures, or turn tables fail in the middle of a project will struggle with spending money on the high end of products. However, once it happens to them, they will have the wisdom to see the value of quality.
Q. Explain what other products are in your marketing mix. What else are in your future plans?
A. Future plans include my current project “The Anatomy Of Action”. This DVD will be a tidal wave of information. This DVD is being created for any artist of any medium to master anatomy and the manipulation of proportions and gesture to create living, POWERFUL artwork. I do not care what medium an artist is in, this DVD will be a priceless tool. This DVD is not for beginners though.
Q. Exactly how do your training DVD’s and tools benefit the prospective clay sculptor? What is in it for them? What is your USP statement?
A. Learning from my DVDs can save someone countless hours of trial and error. I am also the only person selling DVDs who’s portrait DVD (for how to sculpt faces) does not skip steps. I have seen both sides of learning sculpture, the side where I taught myself, and the academic side while working on my MFA in sculpture. I saw what worked and what did not work. The figure sculpting DVD is unique because I do not use a lot of technical terms. I try to distil the information into a DVD intermediate to beginners can benefit from.
Q. Do you have a message for your students?
"I have been where you are. I have searched for a teacher, struggled to learn HUNGERED for knowledge. You are not alone. You have read all the books or used DVDs written by clay sculptors that skipped too many steps, and still feel like you lack confidence, than I know how you feel. I looked all over the world for an art program that best fit my needs as a young sculptor. I found nothing.
Later, as an advanced sculptor looking to further myself my getting an MFA, I moved my family 300 miles to go to a school promising one thing, and giving another. Lies, disappointment, empty promises.
I know that students can reach their artistic goals and become confident powerful artists just by learning on their own! I am providing students with the tools to empower them to reach that place."
Peter Holland says:-
Below is a taster of Adam's 'Faces/Portraits' DVD featuring his face technique. As you can see he is nice balanced guy who is also a very talented clay sculptor - and, more importantly, has a gift for simplicity and does things his own way and not the 'Art School' conventional way (which is very much after my own heart!). If you want more information on Adam's DVD tutorials and his tools & techniques, please go to the list at the bottom of the page and tick the relevant boxes.
If you want more information, just indicate your area of interest below and Adam will be in contact.