First of all, how long have you been dolling? What got you into it?I made some doll-like stuff from around 1998. So that's around 14 years. Back then, personal sites and "adoptables" were all the rage, and I just wanted to make some of my own. If you remember Angel's Chimera Dreams, Starluck's Sweetwater Valley, BearJest's, Amanda's Page Guardians, and the like, then there you go. I also got into the Kiss Doll community at OtakuWorld via the Magic Knight Rayearth fandom.
I wouldn't have called myself a "doller" then, though, because that's not what it was called. I got introduced to the official dolling community when Punky/Swiss Cheese Army started posting regular non-kiss dolls on her site.
What did you think of dolling before you learned more about it?I didn't really think about it. I just went "Oh hey, that looks cool. I want to do that." and started jumping into it.
What's the hardest part of dolling? What do you find most fun?I still have issues with drawing clothes. I love how other dollers can make their designs so beautiful, detailed and foldy. Getting anatomy right, especially when foreshortening is involved is also a challenge. I'm still working on this.
It's the most fun to pick out colors for a doll. It just kind-of sets the mood for the whole thing. Lately, I've been addicted to bright, fun, vintage Coke Poster colors. They look so happy.
What's the most confusing thing about the dolling world?This is really just a personal thing, but I've always disliked that traditional doll sites categorize their stuff based on genre. For example, you'd have to go to one page to go to 'historical' dolls, another page to see the 'fantasy' dolls, and yet another for the 'goth' dolls. I like seeing an artist's progress and/or the dolls that are most representative of the artist's current style so I'd have to sift through several pages to find the newest dolls. I like things better in chronological order.
What type/style of dolls inspire you the most?I appreciate all styles, as long as they look good. I probably have a personal preference somewhere but I haven't noticed it. xD
Do you create bases, or do you mostly make dolls?
What's your stance on "traced bases"?I used to be just flat out against it because the general art community automatically brands dollers as tracers. I make things from scratch so it was a very bad thing for my pride to be indirectly implicated in it. xD
After a few discussions about the topic, I figured that well, if that's what some people enjoy, I'm not in any position to stop them. It's harmless, after all. I still firmly believe, however, that if you're going to use something someone else made directly in your piece, it's always more polite to get their permission and ask.
Do you participate in contests or pageants? Which was the most fun to do?I do, sometimes. I can't point out which one I enjoyed the most because so far they've all been equally fun.
I like contests/pageants because there's pressure on you to finish something in a certain amount of time. Plus, if your competition is especially good, there's extra pressure to pump up and produce something epic. There's nothing quite like making dolls on an adrenaline rush. xD
If you could tell someone who doesn't know anything about dolling *one thing* to help educate them about it, what would you say?I'd say it's a mix between digital art and making clothes for regular dolls (like Barbies or BJDs).
You pick out a doll, you do face-ups, you pick out wigs, you make clothes, dress them up all pretty, and post photos for your friends to see. Only,it's completely digital and it costs next to nothing.
It also involves digital art techniques done on a small scale, which makes it quicker, easier and just as satisfying.
What would you like to tell beginner dollers out there?Just get into it and have fun.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for everything so just go on exploring and experimenting what works for you.
What was the most challenging doll you've ever made?
Finally, which dolls of yours are you most proud of?"Shall we go for a swim?" is my most successful doll to date. Not only because it's gotten a lot of attention, because despite its flaws I managed to make it nearly exactly the way I imagined it in my head.
"All that flows, v. Dinka" was a lot of fun because she involved a lot of cross-culture research. And while a lot of people didn't really like the texture, I enjoyed the dithering very much and like how she turned out.
"Ulap" because she turned out light, wispy and elfin - just the way I wanted her to.