A Cagayan de Oro based independent artist studio which paints miniatures has placed Cagayan de Oro in the Miniatures World Map, and its clientele is growing.
David T. Roa of the start-up indie Ravenstagg Creative Studios said the majority of their art pieces are miniature figures and busts and some collectible figure alternations on the side.
“We work through a home studio. Painting figures is our primary focus but also write.”
Dave started painting miniatures for clients some four years ago when he purchased a board game called “Mansions of Madness” "Mansions of Madness" with unpainted miniatures.
“I ended up painting them and it became therapeutic for me. I've been painting ever since.”
However, his motivation to paint arose much earlier with his passion for playing games.
“I grew up playing games. It did not matter what they were. Traditional Pilipino games, computer games, and board games.”
In fact, he was given a bunch of miniatures when they were in high school by a friend who left for the US. “I did not paint them very well and then I forgot about them. “
He initially started painting for local clients but as his skill developed and the quality of his work improved over time he found it was getting more and more difficult to find clientele who could pair a fair wage for them.
“So I had a choice: paint lower quality minis to stay relevant in the market, or keep growing and ratcheting up the quality but look for patrons elsewhere.”
He chose the latter and initially accepted commissions from Cebu and Manila, then gradually made his way into the international scene as satisfied clients referred him to their friends in other countries.
“Now, most of my commissions come from abroad, and most of them are fellow artists (sculptors) who I collaborate with to launch their own art pieces. I'm planning to remove the region lock on our studios page very soon and open it to the rest of the world.”
Besides painting of miniatures, Ravenstagg also does Tabletop Terrain painting; 3D printing on demand and output painting.
On top of those, Dave is also a Private Tabletop RPG Session Producer, Facilitator, and Games Master.
A visit to his FB Page Ravenstagg Creative Studios features a growing clientele for keycaps but Dave said they’re not Ravenstagg’s bread and butter.
“I used keycaps as a means to survive. Since artists aren't paid very well in the Philippines, let alone Cagayan de Oro, I had to find creative ways to make a living. My first keycap commission introduced me to the mechanical keyboard community and I've been getting commission ever since. Most of the time it's a welcome distraction. But it does get tedious at times.”
As to keycaps not being their main thing, Dave replies: “There's a point of contention there. I understand that I NEED to make money to survive. So I DO work at it professionally. But the way I've built myself up and the studio is more to the lines of Artist first, entrepreneur second.
“The therapeutic element is only one of the many reasons I do it. Keycaps range from P550 to 1,550 on average, with custom jobs and more complicated commissions costing more.”
“But I'd like to reiterate that keycaps aren't our primary focus, the majority of our art pieces are miniature figures, busts, and some collectible figure alternations on the side,” he added.
As to the etymology of the name Ravenstagg, Dave explains: It's a portmanteau of my spirit animal / totem (the Raven) and my fiancé's spirit animal / totem (the Stag). The Raven is a keeper of secrets, a bearer of hidden wisdom, and a guide to those who walk in shadow, The Stag is noble, regal, steadfast, and loyal.
“Thought it would be fitting since we both started this venture together. Although I am the main artist who does most of the pieces, she also assists in certain paint jobs, crafts, and quality control/assessment.
Interested parties who’d like to get in touch with Ravenstagg Creative Studios can contact them through their webpage.