Featured Artist

Melissa Ng – 3D Printed Masks & Armor

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Written by Emma Jones

Self-taught designer Melissa Ng uses a 3D printer to bring her own dreamy, fantastical sketches to life–and subverts female movie character tropes in the process. Melissa, who has a background in media studies and PR, started her blog Lumecluster in 2012 as a platform to share her sketches and ink drawings. She eventually began experimenting with 3D printing and, five years later, has turned a number of her “doodles” into intricate masks, jewelry, body armor, and even a prosthetic leg.

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Her creations, however, are more than just ornate disguises: her masks, such as “Dreamer Mask: Illumination” and “Nightmare Mask: Fear,” are physical manifestations of the artist’s creation process. Ng admits that she spent most of her life trying to quell her love of art, and yet, after years of admiring others’ artwork from afar, she found the courage to bring her own visions to life.

“Dreamer’s Regalia,” her first foray into armor design and creation, redefines the portrayal of female warriors in movies and cosplay, and sparked a discussion about medieval armor design and history. The armor worn by female characters is expected to reflect the “feminine” form, and yet, such shapes would provide little to no protection in reality. While Ng’s armor clearly holds aesthetic value, it is clearly not intended to be effeminate. The artist explains on Lumecluster, “Did I want to throw my interpretation into the mix to help show that a woman can look just as beautiful and sexy in practical looking fantasy armor (that actually covered her body)? Of course.”

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Find out more about Melissa Ng’s breathtaking 3D-printed creations at: www.lumecluster.com.

About the author

Emma Jones

Emma Jones is an intern for Creative Arts Advocate. Originally from Longmeadow, MA, she is currently a sophomore at Vassar College with a women's studies major and an art history correlate. She is particularly interested in female artists and the portrayal of women in art, and the intersection of art, activism, and everyday life. In addition to writing and editing, she enjoys photography, digital art, and drawing.

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