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A "company" face-up vs an outside artist face-up

Dec 16, 2008

    1. Hello, this is my first post on DoA. If this question is on another thread please feel free to delete this one. I would love a link to it though. ^^

      So I'm new to BJD and I've been researching as many of the different companies making them as possible. They all seem to offer the face-up option for an additional price with the purchase of the doll and I was wondering if most people think this is the best way to go provided one has the money at the time. I'm asking because I noticed that a lot of people seem to get their face-ups done by other artists after the doll is in their possession.

      I am looking for a doll to to make historic costumes for and I want a very natural looking face-up. Will the company be willing to do something like that or would someone like me be better off getting an outside artist?
    2. Its sort of a case by case thing. Some companies will, others won't. Some want actual photos to go from though, so keep that in mind. There is a language barrier to remember. If you want to just EXPLAIN what you want it may be just a little easier to go with an artist after you get the dolls, just because the barrier won't be present. That's just my personal opinion and feeling on it.

      There are a LOT of artists out there that do stunning work after market and are really easy to work with. I live in PA and sent two dolls to an artist in Washington and a third doll has gone to Arizona. One of the times I was completely open about what I wanted and left it to the artist. Other times I was very specific in what I wanted done.

      Its a personal decision sort of thing.. Though for me Elfdoll June comes with a perfect faceup for Anne Boleyn. ^.^
    3. Anne Boleyn? OOOOOooo!

      *scurries off to google*
    4. It really depends on your own tastes! If you're not as big a fan of the faceups the company offers, there's no reason you shouldn't get your doll to look exactly as you want by commissioning or painting the face yourself!

      For instance, I'm a huge fan of Fairyland's puki faceups, but I'm going to be getting my LittleFee Ante's faces painted by a great artist here on DoA.

      Irina, my Iplehouse N. Cocori, has the company faceup, but I had my Soom Kyrie's face redone to my tastes.

      Mix and match! Find a face you love and make it your own, whether it's by having the company paint it or a different artist--or even not at all! Whatever makes YOU happy.
    5. Not all faceups - by company or by commissionable artist - are created equal. ;) In my experience, there are several angles to consider.

      • Not all companies create gorgeous faceups - product images can often be deceiving; look to owners' photos in the Galleries/Database to see how default faceups stack up "at home."
      • Some companies - fewer these days - will do "custom" faceups, and for this you usually need to provide images plus a description (and hope the language barrier is not such that you are misunderstood). The drawback is that you don't get proofs or the option to correct things that might not work for you (many commissionable artists do offer you at least one iteration for minor changes). On top of which, you may find yourself waiting longer for the doll to ship.
      • Getting a doll without a faceup (blank) can save you money on the initial order, which you can then spend with an artist whose style suits your vision. Of course, this means you will be waiting longer for your finished doll ... but the process of bringing this together can be exciting.
      • I've often gone with the default faceup, even though I know I won't keep it, simply because I then have a doll with *a* face while I'm waiting for a commission opening or assembling funds. It can be dispiriting, however, to live with a doll whose faceup is not at all what you imagine for your end result.
      When I first started in the hobby, I had no idea there were so many talented, creative commissionable artists out there ... I thought I was relegated to default looks or my own sorry skills. These days, many more of my dolls have lost their default makeup and have become far dearer to me as a result of that magical thing that happens when artist, owner and doll come together to create a special vision. And more often than not, I now order my dolls blank (I've grown exceptionally fond of getting to know the blank sculpt before it goes in for an incarnation overhaul!).
    6. Lyzrd-True! To be honest though, once I get a hold of my doll I doubt I'd be able to part with any part of him/her for a quite a while. LOL!

      Though I suppose I could send a head off to be painted and still work on a costume because I'd still have the body. ^^

      FairEmmaThese days, many more of my dolls have lost their default makeup and have become far dearer to me as a result of that magical thing that happens when artist, owner and doll come together to create a special vision.

      Ah! So you can have a face up reworked! That's good to know! Thank you!
    7. I think I would prefer a face up from someone I could commsion unless I trusted teh company and knew their work already.

      I love default face ups by Volks since they can run the gambit from very light and natural like you mentioned you were looking for to very dark.

      However I think working with an independent face up artist might be the way to go for you and hopefull less time.

      I would recommend Sourdotz here on the board if she is availble. She has done 3 of my dolls ( 2 I no longer have ) she is moderately price and is honest and a pleasure to deal with and is great at communicating.
    8. I think it depends how much you like a default faceup, after looking at owner pics. I have not been a BJD owner for long, but I had two extreme examples of what you are asking about:

      I loved the default Shushus, but some artists painted her facial expression with eyebrows that seem "innocent" or slightly furrowed. I didn't like that. But I ordered one with default faceup on the gamble that she wouldn't have those upturned eyebrows, and she came just as I hoped! A beautiful, neutral expression.

      On the other hand, just as Menolly07 said, there is a language barrier. Sometimes the company will try to meet a small faceup request, not a complete custom one. I ordered a doll, and wanting her to look less childlike and more mature, I asked that she look natural and beautiful, like a young lady. Unfortunately, I think the communication didn't quite work out and my doll came with very light makeup. So, "natural" ended up translating to "very little makeup". She looked pale and I felt like I wasted so much money on company faceup work.

      If you have something specific in mind, I would go for any of the talented artists here, because you are likely to get more communication and hopefully, pictures-in-progress of your doll, so you can work together on the finished look!

      Good luck!
    9. I don't have a doll yet, but I'm planning to order the default faceup she comes with because I like it. If it turns out that I don't like it when she actually arrives, I'll save to send her off to an artist for one, but I don't think I would ever request a custom one from a company because I wouldn't feel comfortable with the language barrier and the fact that I wouldn't get a chance to okay it before it was finished. If you're not really sure on the default makeup, I would just order your doll without any and get it done by an artist you can communicate with.
    10. My opinion is that a company make up at the end, will look just like the others... even if custom, the hand of the creator is the same for all the heads in the company and they can take a really long time (months) to finish it.
      And they don't send u pics of the work in progress, an artist usually do that and will do exactly what you request!
    11. Good points! I'll keep them in mind, thanks.
    12. I would say that it really depends on the company and your own feeling about the doll. I ordered my first doll with faceup because at the time I felt like I didn’t want my first experience to be this blank, faceless doll that I either had to struggle with myself or wait for a slot to come open in someone’s commissions and hope I had the money. I had one of the last custom faceups from Luts, and although I worried because I didn’t get to see what the faceup looked like before she came home, it turned out that she was beautiful and exactly right, even though my description was primarily word-based, supplemented by full-face human photos to show an overall style rather than the detailed close-ups of brows, blushing, lips, etc. that I’ve seen some people put together. So although it is a gamble to let the company do the faceup for you, there are plenty of success stories. What someone said about looking at the style of faceups overall to decide sounds very wise to me. Also, sometimes companies will accept not-quite-custom requests such as “I’d like a Shiwoo with El’s default eyebrows.” My second doll had basically the company default (although I don’t think the company officially has a default, I basically linked to a picture on the site and said something like “like this, but she’s a girl, and no freckles.”).

      But I expect that many of my future dolls will have artist faceups, some because I just don’t like the company’s style or the default look for that doll. Others because I want to have more control over how they look. Still others because I may be buying dolls who I want to look similar at removed intervals, and the best way to ensure that they do sort of “match” is to make sure the same person is doing the makeup, which most large companies cannot guarantee.

      So it’s really something that you have to decide for yourself, and perhaps on a doll-by-doll basis.
    13. I'm not sure what the debate is, but . . .

      It varies so much by company. Some companies do absolutely gorgeous, high quality faceups, but others, not so much. But if I wanted to order a doll from a company that did beautiful faceups, and either I liked the default or they took custom requests, I wouldn't hesitate to get a company faceup and would consider it a big plus.

      As for other artist faceups that are commissioned, they vary a lot in both quality and style. Recently I've been poking around the customizers section here on DoA and found that the ones I would consider commissioning have prices at least as high as a company would charge and/or had a substantial wait list. There are many faceup artists out there but keep in mind that they tend to have a particular style (as do company artists), regardless of your what you request. Also, keep in mind the materials used for the faceup and whether or not airbrush is used. Between the artists' style, availability, materials used, and airbrush availability, I found that my list of potential faceup artists was smaller than I would have imagined based on the sheer size of that marketplace section. :sweat

      Oh, and about the language barrier thing: some excellent artists here on DoA are not in the US and have less than perfect English, so it's not just company faceups that could have that issue. ;)

      I do think if you have a highly specific look in mind, a commissioned faceup would be your best bet. But if you are simply wanting a "natural" looking faceup, it really depends on the company.
    14. It really is case by case; I haven't met a lot of people who have a really solid preference one way or the other; If you like the look of the company faceup, then go for it, but if you don't, look for an artist!
    15. I have a talented girl do most of my face ups as well as my body work. But when weather gets cold and she can't I would consider on a doll to doll basis who would do face up. As in case of my Lume boy, I feel the artist who created him would be best to do his face as she would do it as I like as well as the face I fell for. Now if I opted for say a IH boy I am drolling over right now, if I opted to get him before Spring then would pay IH to do face, but if I can wait to get one second hand then I am for sure going to ask my friend to do his face. So it's not just when but who I feel will do best by my doll.
    16. I'm also failing to see the debate here... But for discussion's sake~

      For me it depends on how the company default faceups (I won't even bother trying to get something custom from them) suit my intended character. For my first two boys, the default was fine, so I went with that, but for the others I needed something very specific, so went with some of the wonderful artists found right here on DOA.

      At the same time, though, my opinion is changing. Since now I know non-professional faceup artists can do just as well as the professionals, I'm less willing to spend $60+ for a company faceup, when I can get something just as great for $30. It just takes a little more patience. .^^ With maybe one or two exceptions, I think all my future planned dolls will have outside faceup artists.
    17. i much prefer to do faceups on my own because i feel im the only one who knows what i want. one day i might hire someone to do one but i feel its a bit of a waist of money if i have all the tools at my disposal i may as well do it..
      i orderd a faceup on my topaz and now i regret it, it was a bunch of money and my mind changes so often on what i think i might want the character to be i feel it will be a waist if i go and erase it now. but oh well nothing i can do now ^_^; not so close to when shes shipping
    18. My first came with a (beautiful) default faceup (bought secondhand) and I'm planning to get my second one with a company faceup since I generally like the ones I've seen. If I had something custom in mind, I guess I'd commission someone to do it. I am planning to try my hand at faceups as well, but I want to get a practice head to work on before trying on one of my "real" dolls. I was amazed at the tiny detail in my Mo's faceup - they must have been using a brush with ONE hair in it...
    19. Sorry if this isn't a classical debate. I'm new here and don't actually want to stir things up. What I'm asking is which people feel is better. I'm getting a lot of balanced opinions on the matter and I'm finding them quite helpful so for me at least this is a valuable debate/discussion.
    20. I think that unless the company face up is what you really think you'd like best for what you want with the doll, then you should get an artist to do it :) I paint dolls(thanks for the compliment Aichan!) and several of my dolls have company face ups, just because I like them best. You may not have 'characters' in mind for the dolls, in which case maybe the company default may be better if only for making it easy and quicker. But if you have an idea in your head of what the doll will become, then picking an artist will get you closer to your ideal ^^