Saturday, December 13, 2014

Poster to share

Here is a smaller version of the poster for you to share on your blogs, Facebook... any place you think people have an interest in Art Dolls and story telling :o) Hugs from me! x

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cult of Doll is a pretty unique collaborative project that I dreamed up a few years back and roped poor Grace Garton of Little Black Crow Studios into helping me with. I can barely believe that all of that work will finally lead to our very first Almanac, to be published in Autumn of next year. It's also quite hard to believe (but absolutely TRUE) that on January the 1st we will be publishing a Teaser version of the main project. The mini Almanac will give everyone a taste of what to expect from all of the talented collaborators who have not only all committed to creating a unique Art Doll each, but have also written original stories to go with them!

I almost forgot, you can also get a sneak peak at a comic book serialisation that I have written and drawn about the main character of the project, Miss Araminta. So if any of that piques your interest, check the Cult of Doll blog on New Years Day for a link to the publication. PS: Feel free to share this poster for the project with all your blog readers, share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc... please help us get the message out there. Merry Christmas everyone! :o)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sylvie Perricone dolls

Some really lovely new dolls over at Sylvie Perricone's shop today, go take a look :0) I have been absent with computer woes and lots of design work to catch up on but hope I will have a new set of BJD hats to show you this weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The human cost of recast dolls

As some of you know I love ball jointed dolls. Until not so long ago they were known as Asian Ball Jointed Dolls because they were mainly sculpted and cast by Japanese and Korean artists and later by some Chinese companies. Only 8 years ago it was very difficult to get these dolls outside of Asia, then the Asian artists began to sell to the West through their own websites and the hobby opened up. Now the whole scene has blossomed and artists the world over are creating stunning dolls and producing them in their tiny studios and selling direct to the public through their own websites too. It is a wonderful way for an artist to create and express themselves and sell direct to those who love their work and cut out the middle man.

These beautiful and expensive dolls cost a lot of money to produce as the artist has to perfect and experiment with each new sculpt (sometimes for several years) before they can even get to the casting stage. As someone who has dabbled with trying to learn to make one of my own, let me tell you it is a time consuming and exacting process. One I have yet to master! BJD are sold at a high cost perhaps but at a very low profit margin. That cost makes wanting to own a particular doll something you think carefully about and then scrimp and save for. They should not be a whim purchase unless you are seriously well off. I am not well off and have always thought long and hard before buying any doll.

The hobby has changed almost beyond recognition in the last 2 years or so and not for the better. Take a look on Ebay right now, type in BJD in the Dolls and Bears section and you will find a flood of people openly selling 'recast' dolls. In case you don't know, recasting is theft, plain and simple. Someone takes one of these beautiful legitimate high cost dolls and takes a cast from it and then reproduces it. As they have had to put in very little time, effort or expense to get that copy, they sell it  on undercutting the original artists price. Sometimes the cost of a recast can be a mere fraction of the original, sometimes I am guessing the thief expects to get handsomely rewarded for their minimal effort and charges almost as much as the legitimate artist does. I am just guessing there because some of the recast secondary sellers on Ebay are asking not much less than the price of the legitimate doll.

When this issue first came to light it seemed as though it would just be a small blip, and that recasters would target only the most popular sculpts. A few years on, the sheer number of people willing to knowingly buy recasts has grown to a frightening proportion. They have face-book clubs and are very vocal and aggressive at asserting their RIGHT to own recasts and to not give a damn about the artists who create them. Their tastes are changing and they are requesting specific sculpts be recast. They seem to exist in this topsy-turvey world where those of us who support the original artist are greedy and aggressive for not accepting them into our forums, for speaking out against "their hobby" which they incredulously claim is harming no-one. We are all elitist rich snobs because we are trying to keep these poor 'art lovers' from being able to have a beautiful doll that they simply cannot afford to buy legitimately, where is the harm?

For anyone out there still sat on the fence, for anyone who thinks there are no victims in this crime or that all BJDs are created by vast Asian companies who can write off the dip in their profits (completely false, a lot of Asian BJD companies are just 1 or 2 people)... read this and put a human face to the story. If you support recasts then read that statement and think long and hard about what you are doing Here is just one of the many people you are hurting; she happens to be French, but could just as easily be Korean or Japanese, that still wouldn't make it OK to crush her dreams. The vast majority of artists are ordinary people trying to scratch a living from their talents.

This is a link to Lillycat's (Rachelle) shop where you can see her stunning work. 

Please support artists like Rachelle and say no to recast dolls. The pic above is Ellana, I think the recast doll was Constantine.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Heads up for Hats

Just a 'heads up' that there will be new hats for BJDs coming later this week :o)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Doll Classes - an apology

Earlier in the year I mentioned that I hoped to do doll classes in the Autumn at a location somewhere in North Wales... well, this year has not gone to plan (do they ever?) and I have been working much longer hours than I had expected and also had a few health issues which have made me decide to mend my ways. I am trying to break that habit of a lifetime and no longer push myself to exhaustion trying to multi-task to the point of insanity.

That's a round about way of saying, sorry, something had to give (actually, several things!) and I am afraid it was the classes. If you were hoping to come and make lovely art dollies with me this Autumn I am afraid it isn't going to happen and I am not going to make any promises that it will in the near future. I would have really enjoyed doing them and it would have been a lot of fun meeting new people, but a lot of planning goes into doing those kinds of things and I simply have not had the time. I continue to dabble with doll making when I have a bit of down time, but it has been very scare in the last 10 months and so I haven't finished a single art doll this year.... I will get there though, I am no longer going to beat myself up about these things... all in good time ;o)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mermaids ahoy!

Before my back went this morning (where did it go you ask?) I managed to print out 2 of my new Mermaid paper art dolls ad put them in the etsy shop. They have been cut out (how flipping fiddly - why do I always make them so intricate???) and assembled and look lovely in their packaging. Sadly my rather ambitious use of 350gsm sating card in a domestic printer resulted in a cr*p-tacular paper jam and as I can't bend down anymore....well, you will have to wait a while longer to see the other 2 fishy gals I have finished drawing up ;o)