Monday, 8 January 2018

A Victory for the French

I asked, you voted, I listened!

A huge thank you to every one of the 782 of you who took the time to vote in my poll. Your opinions are important to me. To everyone else (those who may have missed the poll, which was blogged about here) I had some exciting shop news. The news was that Tall Tales will, at long last be issuing affordable collectible figurines of my Good Witches Bad Witches characters. Keen to give you your favourite character first, I asked which one that was and it was Hortense, the French witch who won by 25.6% of the vote.

I will be re-sculpting Hortense these coming weeks and from there she will be cast and then created as a very limited edition run of figurines. Each one will be hand painted, signed by myself and come from me to you, shipping all over the world.

Thanks again to those who participated in the vote and apologies to those who may have missed it. Rest assured that I will eventually be making every single character available, though in limited numbers so make sure you pre-order one if it's one you love.

Pre-sales will be taken at my Tall Tales Productions webshop in the coming weeks.

See more photos of the witches of Good Witches Bad Witches at the website here.

Thanks again!

- Caroline


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Which Figurine d'ya Figure?

Hope everyone's new year is getting off on excellent footing!

If you're a fan of my witches, you have a chance to be involved in something - and it will only take a few seconds of your time! Choose a witch! No obligation to purchase.

Since I am so often asked if I sell my witches, I am finally producing Limited Edition Maquettes (figurines) of some of my witches of Good Witches Bad Witches™ so that you can collect and own them at an affordable price.


I'd love to hear from you - which witch do you want me to create first?! I have created a poll (link below) so that you can click the one you'd personally like to have the opportunity to buy first. As stated, no obligation to buy at all.

Click over and do the poll. It's just one question - which would you want available for purchase?






Details of the Witch Collectible Figurines

Some of my classic witches you've come to know and love will be re-sculpted by myself and issued as resin maquettes (this means my witch sculptures will be cast into molds, created in resin and then beautifully hand-painted). Each will be a Limited Edition piece and available to purchase through my webshop here.

Final witch will be chosen from the top three answers.
Poll closes at midnight PST on Sunday Jan 7th 2018.
No obligation to purchase.

Here are the choices! See more photos of these characters at my website here, if you like.








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Monday, 1 January 2018

Life's a Long Song

From one of my favourite song's ever, 'life's a long song' and you can 'take stock of the new day' with good cheer... Happy New Year everyone! It's 2018, and if you actually don't know this song (Life's a Long Song from the album Living in the Past) by Jethro Tull I'm chuffed to be the one to introduce you to it. Listen to it here.

I hope you all had a wonderful year and are excited about 2018 and what you can get out of it and put into it.

As you must know by now, I start my new year by blogging about what went on last year and looking ahead to the next. So this post is purely about that. Stay tuned though as I'll have news and announcements coming soon which I'll blog about this week also.

In 2018 I had many private commissions I can't share on here unfortunately and it left me with time to make only two witches this year (yep...yikes!) and also a Captain Hook maquette. The year also saw magazine features about my work including an article on the Peninsular Press, a presence at the CTN Animation Expo, some fun YouTube videos, and trips to places such as Costa Rica where I got a tremendous amount of inspiration which I'll apply to new works.


I ended the year with a fantastic night out at the Ace Theater in Los Angeles where I saw Dita Von Teese's live performance. Whilst we're on the topic of this dynamic performer, I'd like to make a small shout out to someone I consider the most uniquely imaginative artist of our time. That is Franz Szony. His style has been described as bizarre and magical, his genre 'illustrative photography' and I love his work because each image is like a window into a familiar beautiful, ethereal world of the past yet it's so fresh and new, and like nothing I've ever seen before. You should take a look at his site here. He created this wonderful image of Dita Von Teese.



The year's round up....!

Some witchy sculptures / maquettes...






Other miniature and scale set work...



Captain Hook maquette...



Some publicity and events...



My re-vamped website (find it here at www.tall-tales.com)



Trips and travel... ;)



Thursday, 16 November 2017

CTN Animation Expo!

As mentioned in my last post here, I have a presence at the CTN (Creative Talent Network) Animation Expo this weekend, and it begins with a soft opening tonight!

It's at the Burbank Convention Center and you find details here. You have options to get a one day pass or all three days (Fri, Sat, Sun). There are panels, presentations from some amazing animation artists, portfolio reviews, book signings... (read the Top 8 Things to do at CTN Expo here!)

My table is located at T217 which is pretty much at the entrance, right. I'm opposite Sony.

If you manage to attend CTN Animation Expo this year then please do come and say hello, and see some of my witches in the flesh (or in the clay). Also, I am unveiling a new piece for the first time at this show! Find out what it is in person, or wait until next week when I tell you about it here on this blog. Okay, here is a tiny clue as to what this piece might be.... (Clue).

Looking forward to seeing some of you soon!

Caroline
x


Thursday, 2 November 2017

Burn Baby, Burn!

If you're familiar with me or the Tall Tales YouTube Channel, you'll know that Halloween is my favorite time of year.

Let me tell you what I got up to this spooky season and then I'll catch you up with Tall Tales news (or just scroll to the end)!

Aside from being burned at the stake as a witch (as documented in this photo), I spent the evening with a childhood idol. Yep, the witch to rule them all - Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

Re-wind to when I was a scrawny little 7 year old girl in rural England. I popped into a video rental shop with my best friend Sarah Wise. We went for sweets but came out with a VHS tape of 'Elvira; Mistress of the Dark' because she looked too cool on the cover and we had to know what she was all about. I LOVED her. I loved the film. I went around using her cool Valley girl catchphrases in my squeaky little voice. When I wrote my first book 'The Witch's Day' (which got my photo in the local paper) it was with her in mind. She was a big influence. Maybe I wouldn't have created Good Witches Bad Witches ™ if it weren't for Elvira?

Now living in LA I have had the inordinate fortune of meeting the incredible lady behind her Elvira persona - Cassandra Peterson. I was introduced by someone pretty wonderful who I will blog all about (and his company - Tweeterhead) another time soon. But take a peek at his website before then...

Halloween night was spent watching Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson) perform her fantastic show live at Knotts Scary Farm for the very last time. She was thrilling, hilarious, energetic, wonderful. The dance routines, stage sets and lighting were perfect. And in the finale she came out wearing a dazzling crystal gown, specifically made for the occasion by designer Michael Schmidt.

If you're a fan of Elvira (heck, how could you not be?) I recommend this - the definitive Elvira book. It's gorgeous. Hardback, really nice and big and filled with your favorite photos of her and tonnes of photos you haven't seen. It's amazing. I couldn't put my copy down and as soon as I'd finished thumbing through it I turned back to the beginning and went through it all over again.

You can buy it here.




Here are some of my personal photos of the event at Knotts Scary Farm, Halloween night 2017.












Meanwhile, in the world of Tall Tales Productions...

I will be attending the famous annual CTN Animation Expo this month. Founded by animation talent veteran Tina Price, CTN (Creative Talent Network) hosts this event at the Burbank Convention Center (details here) in Los Angeles and I am thrilled to have a table there this year. If you're based in LA then it's well worth a day or two (event runs Nov 17-19) as it's packed with artists and companies such as Pixar, Disney, Laika, the Jim Henson Company and so forth.

If you make it over there, come and say hi!

Until then I shall be working on something special to be unveiled there.....
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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Copy That!


It's been a while since you've hard from me, I know! My apologies for not updating this blog or the Facebook page as often as I'd like. But never forget you can reach me via email or through the contact page of my website, and indeed through any social media places. :)

I took a little hiatus due to an injured arm, which I wrote about here. And then have been busy with commissions, which I'll let you know all about soon.

What else?

Well............... it's a shocker!

A well known and well respected European artist, who has published maybe two dozen books which teach people to sculpt characters using polymer clay, started plagiarizing my work and selling it.

A year ago I wrote about copyright infringement here. I was frustrated and bothered because a few more people had popped up with work that resembled mine just a little too closely for comfort, and who did not credit me as an inspiration either. This story is different. This wasn't an amateur artist who didn't know better and didn't understand copyright infringement laws. This was a career artist who had published her first book teaching others how to work with clay whilst I was still a child playing with dollhouses. She copied my characters of  Good Witches Bad Witches ™. and attended fairs and shows with these characters and boldly sold them to fans. I wont name this artist since the issue is now resolved and I don't want to embarrass her.

How did I find out?
A fan of mine from India attended one of the largest miniature shows in Europe and saw a booth set up with an array of my quirky and instantly recognisable Good Witches Bad Witches ™. She saw a sign beside them which had my name on it. She looked around to see me so that she could say hello. Many who follow this blog know that I'm a diminutive redhead. But no diminutive redhead was around. Instead, presiding over the booth was an older woman and her grey-haired husband. My fan realised what was up, snapped some photos of the witches for sale and sent them straight to me.

This artist had been recreating my designs for almost two years before I found out. She used the work in progress photos on this blog to copy every detail of my designs. That means all the research and brainstorming I put into a costume for one of my witch characters... all the thought, planning and the trials and errors of creating one were handed to her and she simply copied the design exactly without conscience and remade my work for sale. The witches were priced quite highly and after I did a little digging on the internet I found that she'd been selling them to people who believed they were buying original Caroline McFarlane-Watts art - actual character sculpts from Good Witches Bad Witches ™

Personally I see differences in this artist's work and my own. She's left fingerprints where I would not have, and the outcome is not quite as neat and clean. However, if you had seen photos of my work online and were a fan and then spotted a booth at any one of the many shows she went to with her witch characters, you would have recognized the designs, seen the sign with my name on it (!) and thought you were buying a character from Tall Tales Productions (me).

Copyright infringement and identity theft.

The matter was resolved very quickly, but not after a few weeks gathering evidence from online and several exchanges with my solicitor.

Why do I care?
I've spent years building a recognizable brand Good Witches Bad Witches ™, which is enjoyed and followed in many countries around the world. To have my characters recreated by someone else damages my brand. To have my name written on signs alongside work which is not mine nor made to my standard is damaging to my brand. To have my carefully designed characters sold at several fairs in the US and Europe cheats me out of profit for my hard work. If this wonderful fan of mine had not alerted me to this and enabled me to step in, there's a chance she could have published another tutorial book - this time showing people how to make my characters. None of this is acceptable or even legal.

So there you have it! Can you believe someone could be so thoughtless?! So brazen?!

Here are some photos we had to send her along with the cease and dissist.

I'll blog about something chirpier soon! Thank you so much to those who follow my work and actually 'get it'! I appreciate you so much. I know I say this from time to time but I really do mean it. I appreciate you all. Thank you.
- Caroline xXx







Saturday, 5 August 2017

Rare Welsh Bits...

A little while back I wrote about my design process for the character Mabyn Mossback, who is the Welsh witch from Good Witches Bad Witches and also the latest character addition. You can see the post here.

Finally, here she is!

Mabyn Mossback is a 1:12 character sculpt - handmade by myself using clay, wire and mixed media. She'd be about 5 foot (5 inches) if she stood upright. Mabyn dresses in old fashioned Welsh attire complete with red wool shawl, green knit open finger gloves and a Welsh stovepipe hat. Her cart is carved like a wooden love spoon (again, read more about the design here) and there are dragons carved into the cart - a tribute to the national emblem for Wales - the dragon. Finally, Mabyn's cart is pulled by a black ram with a copper cattle bell around his neck.

I added a flickering light to this piece, just like the lantern I made for Captain James Hook here. This lamp is a Welsh miners' lamp. They're amazing objects, don't you think? Growing up back in my English village, we had a brass Welsh miners' lamp hanging in the kitchen and it gave such a wonderful glow.

Enjoy the photos of Mabyn below! As with all my witches you'll be able to learn a lot more about them and see more working photos in my book - out later this year. Explanation as to why the book is delayed is here.










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