Mar.19, 2014

Melissa Ng, a doodler, entrepreneur, and 3D printing artist has created some very beautiful, intricately detailed 3D-printed masks.

"I've always been fascinated with masks since I was a child. Oftentimes, when people look at masks, I feel like they first think about how it conceals and disguises. While this is true, masks also offer a lot of meaning and symbolism and I like to focus on this aspect." said Melissa.

Melissa is the creator of, where she helps entrepreneurs break through fear and self-doubt through inspirational writing and 3D printed art. The Dreamer Mask: Illumination is her first 3D model and first attempt at 3D printing. This mask is also the first of the Lumecluster Dreamer/Nightmare Mask Series.

This Nightmare Mask: Fear below is Melissa's second mask in her Dreamer/Nightmare Mask Series, representing the fear that can consume us in our nightmares and our waking life.

The masks portray the unpredictability of the entrepreneurial and creative Dreamer's wonderlands. The pursuit of a passion can bring illuminating clarity or consume us with fear and uncertainty. Overall, the masks aims to raise a discussion on how we choose to wear our dreams (or nightmares) at rest, work, play, and life. The design is originally derived from Lumecluster's fluidly chaotic black and white ink illustrations.

Her another 3D printed mask 'Dreamer Mask: Illumination v1' is a derivative of the first piece of her Dreamer/Nightmare Mask Series, a half mask version. Highly influenced by fantasy, clusters, contours, and patterns found anywhere and everywhere, her style is fluidly surreal, as you can see here.

"My time as an entrepreneur and the world of entrepreneurship (or that of any creator) has been the primary inspiration for my masks." Melissa said. "When I started my first business, PianoVerse, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I had was naive optimism that was quickly burned (but not crushed) by reality. But if you believe that what you're doing is truly good, you feel the fear and keep fighting for your ideas anyway. Or you fail and try again. And I deeply believed and I fought hard. It's no surprise that these experiences seeped into my art."

Melissa is also the co-founder of PianoVerse, a musical home that provides adult piano lessons in Queens, NY. "When I wasn't working, drawing was one of the few activities that brought me peace and comfort. As PianoVerse improved, I was able to dive deeper into expressing myself through my art. Eventually, my ideas felt increasingly restricted and so I turned to learning 3D modeling and printing in October 2013."

"My ink drawings started to feel a bit stale. I wanted to give my illustrations a new form and bring them to life. I initially started with pyrography and then ventured into laser cutting but those also felt restrictive because they were still very 2D. And so, I decided I'd give 3D printing a try."

Melissa started learning how to 3D model in Blender in October 2013 (usually after closing up shop at PianoVerse). In January 2014, She created her first two masks.

Her workflow begins with sketching, then drawing out the pattern, and then finally giving them form in Blender. "I usually don't put too much thought into it and let spontaneity guide my hand (when drawing)." Melissa said. "My first two masks each took about a week to create. However, I create pieces much faster now that I have a better grasp of the program."

Then she sent her design to Shapeways. Both masks were printed using white, strong, flexible material. "I chose the white, strong and flexible material because I like the light strength to it. It also allows for more customization." Melissa explained.

When being asked what was difficult about making it, Melissa said that the toughest part about 3D modeling and printing was learning the basics and figuring out how to use that knowledge to create what she envisioned. "It was definitely a huge learning curve." she said. But "I've learned
tougher/scarier lessons as an entrepreneur, so I just viewed learning 3D modeling/printing as another challenge."

These Lumecluster Masks are available on Shapeways in three sizes, with the smallest to be used as a decoration and the largest to function as a wearable item.

Melissa has several collaborations that are in the works and will be shared soon. Aside from that, she will also be releasing several more masks and a jewelry collection that is also very focused on empowering the fighting spirit that she believes is "within all of us who create in some way or form in our life."

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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sarah wrote at 5/22/2015 3:57:49 AM:

such an inspiration to all us young artists including myself

just that one chick wrote at 11/6/2014 7:50:59 PM:

Wow this is great I was in at looking for mask ideas and this is a great idea!

ladeana walker wrote at 10/1/2014 7:09:59 PM:

this is so amazing doe!!!!!!!!!!!!

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