Table Top RPG Creators Corner — Dice Artist Tallis Of ‘Draconid Dice’

Welcome to the table.

On this installment of our RPG Creators Corner, I had the chance to sit down with Tallis of Draconid Dice.

Anton: Hello, and thank you very much for taking the time to chat with me about your craft. Before we dig into process and artistic inspirations, tell our readers a little more about the creator behind the creations.

Tallis: My name is Tallis, and I’ve been making dice for just over a year and a half now. I’ve had such an amazing time creating and sharing what I’ve made with the world. Dice-making has given me a massive boost of confidence that I think high school me would have been baffled by.

I’ve always loved fantasy and nerdy things, but in high school, I was way too nervous to ever show it. Yet, here I am now. Fantasy stuff like Dungeons and Dragons has almost become all-consuming in my life. I went to university for a BA in History, and I’m working on my MA currently, yet I still can’t imagine myself not making dice or something for TTRPGs.

Anton: How long have you been engaged in the tabletop role-playing space?
Tallis: I’ve been engaged in the TTRPG space for around five or so years now. I was interested in high school, but I was just way too nervous to ever initiate anything. I was introduced to TTRPGs, Dungeons, and Dragons specifically, by one of my best friends, and it has just kind of spiraled from there.
Anton: What is your favorite type of character to play?
Tallis: That’s a hard one. I’ve got so many characters I love that are just waiting to be played. I think my favorite types of characters are ones that subvert expectations. One of the first characters I played was a Drow Light Cleric. Sure, half of my spells gave me disadvantage, but there was fun in that.
The campaign didn’t last very long, but I adored playing him when it was running. For future games, I want to try playing Tiefling Barbarian with a sugary candy aesthetic whose goal is just to reform the witch from Hansel and Gretel, assuming I don’t get stuck as a forever GM.
Anton: Is dice craft your full-time job?
Tallis: More or less full-time. I currently have income from freelance writing and from making dice and jewelry. The majority of my income does come from dice-making, however, and I certainly put in enough hours for it to qualify as full-time!
Anton:  When did you start dice making?
Tallis: I started dice-making about a year and a half ago. In August of 2020, I started to take photos of my dice and post them on Instagram. They were, admittedly, very low quality, but I wanted to do better – I knew I could. So I started taking posed photos with better lighting. My hoard began to grow, and I was making friends with more makers. Eventually, some of them brought up the idea of me making dice.
I pushed it off for a few weeks before, in February of 2021, I took a good look at what I was doing and said, “all right, let’s do this.” I’ve had an absolute blast making products. It started with just making sets for family, and when I decided this was something I really did want to invest time and money in, I bought better materials and dove in head first. It has given me so much creative fulfillment and confidence in what I can do and am capable of, and I couldn’t be happier.

Anton: Recently your Discarded Paper has come across my desk on multiple occasions. These dice are stunning. Can you tell us about the inspiration and process that lead you to create these?

Tallis: I’ve always loved the ‘vintage’ aesthetic that the Discard Paper set gives. Writing, paper, the aged look – all of it appeals to me. I knew I wanted to do something similar to that aesthetic, but I could never figure out how to do it. I found out about aesthetic journaling a few months before I made the set, and that really appealed to me too. I made a big list of supplies I’d want to get if I ever did start aesthetic journaling, but I never bought anything.

Unbeknownst to me, I was sitting on the perfect material to make Discarded Paper. It wasn’t until I was attempting to glue ribbon to dice blanks (and slowly dying inside trying to) that I asked myself why things couldn’t just be stickers. At that point, the idea kind of “clicked,” and I started looking for sticker sheets I could cut out and put on blanks. I very, very quickly found the washi tape sticker sheets with the “vintage paper” aesthetic, and I immediately bought some to try. Much to my absolute elation, they worked perfectly. I love creating them, so the fact that so many people enjoy them or have purchased a custom set of Discarded Paper just fills my heart.

Anton: I am a big fan of the Summer Night dice. Stary-filled expanses and the endless possibilities of space speak to me and these dice feel like they capture that in their artistry. Can you tell us a little about the process that leads to their creation?
Tallis: I love space and the night sky, and I wanted to make the effect in dice, so I tried it. And tried it again. And again. And I tried it so many different times that, at one point, I gave up trying. I’m sure most creators know this, but there are a lot of attempts behind the scenes to create something good that most people don’t see. I have a popcorn bucket filled with failures or things I wasn’t happy with selling at the time.
I sort through it occasionally, and I’ll find some single dice here and there that have the potential for something other than dice, like keychains or jewelry, but there were a lot of attempts for Summer Nights. Eventually, I was sitting in my workspace one day, and I had a jar of shimmer and all my alcohol inks. I did a dirty pour of blue, green, and pink with a bit of shimmer mixed in and pipetted in some slightly-translucent white resin. When I pulled them from the mold, I was thrilled to find they had turned out because finally, I had made my starry night set.
Anton: I noticed you take commissions. What does that process look like?
Tallis: Commissions involve a lot of communication with the customer. It can really vary from person to person, but it starts with an idea. For the Discarded Paper commissions, I send photos with the available sheets I have to “paper” the dice with. If nothing appeals, I have other booklets too. In the end, I end up with five sheets, and I cover the blanks. For other sets, it starts with fleshing out the customer’s idea and sketching something they’re happy with.
From there, I take my sketch, and I try my best to replicate it in real life and give a price. The most important thing, however, is to set reasonable expectations for myself and the customer. I keep in constant contact throughout the process, sending update photos and videos if possible. If ever they’re unhappy with one of the dice or the entire set, I’m always more than happy to recast or redo. I set my timeframe for 2-6 weeks for commissions, but I generally get them finished by the end of week two or three.
Anton: With everything going on in the tabletop role-playing space currently, what are you the most excited about?
Tallis: I’m looking forward to playing the Olive Garden TTRPG… I’m mostly kidding. I’ve got a game set up to play with some close friends for the ATLA TTRPG that’s coming out. As soon as we have our hands on the full rulebook, my friends and I will be ready to go! The thought of Elden Ring getting a TTRPG is also fun. I haven’t had the chance to play it because my setup sucks, but also, I’m just not great at dark souls-esk games, so being able to play it in a TTRPG setting is something that deeply appeals to me.
Anton: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. Can you please tell our readers where they can keep up with you and follow your work. 
Tallis: Any and all social media, @draconiddice. I post most consistently on Instagram and Twitter. I’m the easiest to reach on Instagram, and I regularly check and respond to DMs! The only social media you won’t find me on is Facebook because Facebook doesn’t think I’m a real person (I promise I am!).
Until next time, may you always follow your muse. 

Welcome to the table. On this installment of our RPG Creators Corner, I had the chance to sit down withCOMICONRead More

Leave a Reply

Generated by Feedzy
%d bloggers like this: