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Preparation: ideas

You can get sculpting ideas from everything. Most models I've made so far were mostly gifts for friends, so I looked for something they might like. What's their favorite subject? do they like specific books or comics? What's their favorite animal? Or their zodiac sign?

Other models came from roleplaying ideas. Zygo and Lexus are models from the AD&D roleplaying game. The Escher idea is from a book about his work. Don't be afraid to copy something*. After a while you'll develop your own style, as I hope I someday will.

Great ideas can come by making strange associations. The idea for the coiling of the snake I made came from a lamp. I know, it sounds wierd, but it's true. It was a sort of standing lamp from which you could bend the neck and base.

I don't know about copyright on clay models, but I can imagine that if you want to sell your models, they'll have to be unique. And there's the obvious copyright on the original items which you may have copied.