So, I’ve been a lurker fan of Harrison Krix‘s work as Volpin Props for years now. I discovered him the way a lot of folks did: back in 2010 through Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play and the amazing Portal Gun. I’ve been hooked ever since. Following his blog and creations has been a guaranteed way to set off an itching need to create. Harrison has made so many amazing projects, from guns and weapons from all kinds of games, to full Ancient Nord Armor inspired by Skyrim! One of the coolest things about what Harrison does, is that he doesn’t just share his finished projects, he documents his process along the way. At this point I’d be surprised if there was a prop making medium that he hasn’t used. I have learned so much about how to work with so many different materials just from reading his blog!
His work, and courage to share his process so freely is a large part of what inspires me to share my own. I’m nowhere near as polished at the photography, and the remembering to take a photo at every step of the way, but with each build report I get a little better at showing and talking about what I do. And I hope it gets a little more enjoyable too. I think that it’s really important for creators to share some of that stumbling, and the slow crawl of pieces coming together into a whole. I’ve had so many encounters where people have seen a finished work of mine and thought that what I did is somehow unobtainable to them, that there’s this secret magic of making that I have and they lack. But not that long ago I was crap at everything I tried to make, and I still catch myself looking at better artisans and feeling their level of talent is unobtainable.
During my psychology studies, we talked about how there are two major responses to envy: You can be inspired to improve, or you can be discouraged by just how great a gap there is between what you are and what you wish you were. I think a lot of what goes into evoking one response as opposed to the other has to do with tone, and transparency. Sharing the dirty, sometimes mistake ridden, process of bringing something beautiful into the world, grounds the creation in reality and makes it approachable. By making the difference between the artisan and the observer something as concrete as time, dedication, and methods, it gives observers the opportunity to realize that if they wanted to put in the time and dedication they could bridge the gap and turn envy into inspiration.
So thank you, Mr. Krix, for writing in such a way as to inspire folks to try their own hand at making things. Reading about how you’ve transitioned from working in your own home to obtaining a dedicated workshop space, has definitely inspired me to not give up when my own space limitations get frustrating. I’ll try to be less of a lurker in the future, but I can’t promise anything other than that I’m finally getting around to reading your e-books! (btw, if any of my readers are interested in prop making, cosplay, and related arts, you should check the books out here)
And lastly, since I’m a friggin fan girl, here are some image links to my favorite Volpin Props creations!