Bill Doran (@Chinbeard) is a replica props and model builder based in Seattle. He has turned his hobbies — playing video games and attending conventions — into his profession by serving a niche community who need high quality props and weapons as an part of their cosplay.

This conversation focuses on how Bill creates his pieces using very hands-on techniques and tools, and how built his online customer base from mostly in-person interactions.

Bill’s work can be seen on his website, Punished Props, and on his YouTube Channel.

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Show Notes & Links

An example of Bill’s YouTube videos, where he brings some how-to direct to your screen.

“Networking should just be called 'meeting people'”

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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Tools

Techniques

  • Artistic Effects like washes, glazes, patinas
  • Go to conventions to meet people (aka network). Costumes attract attention and start conversations
  • Be systematic about your schedule. Fill your commissions and book your upcoming time.
  • Get reference numerous images for your projects before starting
  • Do business with real names, not internet aliases

Habits

  • Work out every day
  • Use mornings for productivity
  • Check email at lunch
  • Work until the wife gets home (then have dinner and relax)
  • Always take the advice that comes from a seasoned expert (at least try the recommendations)

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 17+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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