Exploring the World of Snokido: A New Creative Craft
Snokido (pronounced “sno-key-doe”) is a fun, new type of arts and crafts activity that is quickly gaining popularity. At its core, snokido involves sculpting and decorating miniature figures out of clay or other moldable materials. However, unlike pottery or more traditional sculpture, snokido has a focus on fantasy, pop culture, and imaginative themes.
What Exactly is Snokido?
Snokido is a portmanteau word, blending “clay”, “sculpting” and “weirdo” to describe this quirky new craft. Snokido revolves around sculpting little fantasy creatures, characters from TV shows, movies and video games, as well as more abstract and surreal designs straight from the artists’ imaginations.
While polymer clay is the most popular material used for snokido, creators also use air-dry clay, Magic Sculpt epoxy clay, papier-mâché and even natural materials like wood and stone. Finished sculptures are small—usually ranging from one to six inches tall. This makes snokido faster and easier for beginners to pick up compared to sculpting larger works.
Once sculpted, snokidos are painted in vivid colors and given imaginative detailing to bring them to life. They often incorporate elements of humor, fantasy and science fiction in their designs. Snokidos make for wonderfully weird decorative pieces as well as cool handicrafts that can be traded and sold.
Where Did Snokido Originate?
Snokido has its origins in Japanese kawaii culture. Kawaii means “cute” or “adorable” and has become a famous global phenomenon thanks to characters like Hello Kitty and Pikachu. Snokidos take inspiration from kawaii, emphasizing vibrant colors and playful, imaginative designs. However, they have a quirkier, edgier style compared to classic kawaii.
The term “snokido” itself first emerged around 2015 within online sculpting communities and handicraft circles in North America and Europe. However, the trend of sculpting weird fantastical clay critters existed for years before taking on an official name.
Early snokido pioneers like Becky Stern and Christina Angileri (better known by her YouTube name Polly Pocket Geisha) played key roles in shaping snokido as an underground artistic movement and subculture. Their highly creative and delightfully strange sculptures presented an alternative to the wide-eyed kawaii aesthetic and caught viewers’ imaginations worldwide.
Why is Snokido Spiking in Popularity?
In recent years, snokido has spread rapidly from niche sculpting groups to the mainstream spotlight. A few factors help explain snokido’s surging popularity:
The rise of geek culture– Pop culture franchises like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Disney, anime and video games are more mainstream than ever. People embrace their fandoms as creative outlets. Snokidos tapping into these universes allow fans to celebrate their passion.
Increased interest in 3D modeling/printing– Emerging technologies like Photogrammetry scanning and affordable in-home 3D printers enable converting snokido sculptures into 3D models for sharing online or printing physically. This increased accessibility drastically expands their reach.
The growth of YouTube and Instagram– Social media allows snokido artists to share their work with exponentially more eyes compared to old-school blogs and galleries. On just Instagram, the #snokido hashtag has over 70,000 posts and counting.
Therapeutic benefits– Sculpting snokidos requires focus and fine motor skills. The process can aid relaxation, stress relief and mood elevation—perfect after long days stuck on Zoom calls.
Outlet for creativity– Many traditional art schools and programs focus on realism and classical techniques. Snokido embraces wild styles ranging from cartoonish to nightmarish, making novices feel freer to tap into their imagination.
Snokidos’ cute-yet-creepy aesthetic and embrace of the weird truly resonates with today’s pop culture. As more people discover this underground art form, its future looks bright. What began as a niche sculpting style is quickly becoming a global sensation.
Getting Started Sculpting Your Own Snokidos
Curious to try making snokidos yourself? It’s easy to dive in. With a little guidance, basic supplies, patience and creativity, anyone can start bringing these quirky characters to life.
First, gather a few essential supplies:
- Polymer clay (Sculpey III or FIMO Soft are great starter clays)
- Clay sculpting tools like rubber tipped sculpting shapers for detail work
- Acrylic paints for adding color after baking your sculptures
- Clear acrylic gloss to give finished pieces a smooth, glassy finish
- Super glue for attaching additional elements like wings or mini top hats!
When beginning your first snokido creations, keep these basic techniques in mind:
- Start with a simple armature for stability. Embed a toothpick, wire or small acrylic ball into your clay foundation.
- Work symmetrically to keep both sides even and proportions consistent, especially for faces and bodies.
- Smooth and polish surface textures for cleanliness and sheen.
- Bake properly based on clay instructions to harden sculptures before painting.
- Seal with gloss for durability and to make colors pop.
Where to Learn More
Thousands of snokido artists happily share guidance online for free. Check out YouTube tutorials from channels like Catscosy Claylogy, Flox Clay Creations and Navarro Can Do It. Creative makers like Mary Blair, Tiny Ceramic Cottage and Planet Plush offer lessons via Skillshare or their own Patreons too.
Instagram abounds with inspiration as well. Some of the most renowned snokido creators to follow include:
In addition, Facebook Groups like “The Magical World of Snokido” connect over 15,000 members. Members share tips, showcase new works and coordinate trades.
Unleashing Creativity with Snokido Art
Once you grasp the basics, snokido unleashes unlimited potential for you to explore your own wildest ideas. This style celebrates curiosity, humor and just plain weirdness. Snokido encourages experimenting with unique color schemes, mashing up franchises with original concepts and sculpting both cute and creepy.
Popular themes include:
Creatures and Characters
- Mythical beasts
- Aliens, robots and monsters
- Fandom figures from Marvel, Star Wars, etc.
- Original characters and alter-egos
- Anthropomorphic sweet treats like doughnuts
- Spooky cakes decorated with creepy crawlies
- Melty ice cream cones with googly eyes
Abstracts and Surrealism
- Hybrid mashups like a bull with a unicorn horn
- Melted clocks and surreal landscapes
- Weird head sculptures
In snokido, anything goes! Let your inner eccentric run wild.
The only limits are the bounds of your inspiration. Snokido offers freedom to think outside the box and render the images in your mind into quirky clay realities.
Where Next After Snokido?
Once you perfect making snokidos, this new art form can open surprising doors:
Sell your creations– From craft fairs to Etsy, handmade snokidos have avid buyers. Some artists even land commissions from fandoms and companies.
Teach workshops– Share your techniques by hosting classes at local art centers, conventions or online. Teaching is very rewarding!
Exhibit at galleries– Weirder art institutions increasingly accept snokidos for avant-garde and pop culture exhibitions.
Pursue product design– Skills used making snokidos apply perfectly for prototyping figures, toys and collectibles pitched at companies.
Launch animation/gaming projects– Snokidos make great references for animated films and video games. Several YouTube creators already feature their sculptures in popular ongoing series.
With a touch of business savvy, snokido can transform from a hobby into a full-time artistic career.
Join the Weird World of Snokido!
Creative, kitschy and seriously fun, snokido taps into the inner child in all of us. All you need is an openness to play sports,games, and explore new things.
To everyone curious about snokido, dive in and try it! Mold an original character, sculpt your pet or immortalize your favorite fictional crus. Let your imagination run free.
What weird wonders will you create? Discover them one snokido at a time!