Somewhere along the way of this artistic journey I've been on my dolls got pretty. Of course pretty or ugly is completely subjective and this is my opinion. I have no idea how or when this happened. Truth is, it's been a progression I was completely unaware of. Above is Virgina a current dolly and below is Bethany, a doll I created 2 years ago.
Whats funny is when I made Bethany I never set out to make an ugly doll. I was still fairly new at this art doll stuff and she is just what came out. When I set out to make Virginia I didn't intend to make a pretty doll, again she is just what comes out these days.
I'm very grateful and honored that people see something in what I am doing, even if my talent wasn't or isn't still yet honed.
If I had any advice for a new and budding doll artist (or any artist for that matter) I would say that though your technical skills may not be what they will be in the future always create what is true in your heart. Work to achieve what you want to say. From my experience people will still be able to feel and appreciate that even if it's not yet the best you have to offer. Art is a continuous, ever exciting journey that never ends.
With embellishing in mind I set out to make Ella. So with her tiny underpants, tights, underskirt, skirt, over skirt and her velvet jacket she has five layers of clothing on:) Each piece I finish completely even if you don't end up seeing it. I just can't stand the thought of unfinished panties under all her clothing. Ella is free standing and measures approx 12" tall.
In making her I had to dig deep into my stash of vintage laces and linens which was a really great thing, I found stuff in there I had forgotten I had. It's good to rotate your supplies from time to time.
I've been diggning through Victorian parlor photography for clothing inspiration and I think Ella's little get up would fit perfectly into the era.
Today I'd like to share nother story about building friendships and sharing ideas in the art doll world.
A very dear cyber friend, Paula Nerhus recently took home one of my dolls. Its a huge compliment when another very talented artists sees something special in your work and brings one home. Please see Paula's work here ....amazing huh? Check out her flickr here
Paula is not only an incredible art doll aritst she is also a very very gifted photographer and she did the special favor of photographing Ellie, the doll she brought home and sent me the photos.
For the life of me I cannot figure out how to get those photos on my blog so I'm going to give you the link to my flickr account where you can view Paula's photography of a Loopy doll.
I was obviously blown away by her talent and work. Her images got me to start thinking on how to photograph my dolls in different ways. I have a long way to go to equal Paula's talent, but I'll keep at it.
One of the numerous great things about living in New Orleans is that people come here to visit and I in turn get to meet a lot of really wonderful people I've became friends with on the web and through doll making.
Jacqui is a amazing doll artist and a beautiful person. The last time she was in town I gave her a naked Loopy doll and Jacqui took her home and clothed the dear thing. She named her Estelle and gave her a great gothy burlesque attire with purple hair and black patent leather gloves. I immediately fell in love with her. We got to spend a day making dollies, we exchanged some dolly making ideas and some vintage scraps and trims. What a sweetheart, Jacqui loaded me up with some of the most incredible little laces, ribbons and goodies.
If you ever get the oppurtunity to work with another doll artist I highly suggest doing it. It's really inspiring and fun. One of the things I took from the day is embellishing! Being a bit of a minimalist I don't typically embellish my dollies much but Jacqui showed me some great little tricks, like making hats and the last two dolls I made, Jodie and Shelby ended with with hats a and lot more trimming than I normally do.
The doll making community is really such a wonderful group of people. I've found so many aritsts willing to share techniques and knowledge of the art form, little did I know when I got into this that I would meet so many amazing artists and wonderful people.