Adding to/"editing" a company faceup?

Oct 17, 2019

    1. I'm currently in love with a company faceup...but the character I want the doll for has some additions like beauty marks. I just can't decide if I want to get the company faceup and possibly leave those things out, or get him blank and commission a faceup with the additions. It's a difficult choice!

      So I have a couple related questions I'd love opinions on!
      1. Has anyone ever gotten a company faceup and then added little things to it?
      2. Is changing or adding something to a company faceup offensive to the original artist in some way?
      3. How close is "too close" to the original when asking a faceup artist to take inspiration from a company faceup?
      4. What's more important: the overall aesthetic of a faceup, or the little things unique to the character?
      I'm not asking for solid answers obviously, just everyone's opinions and experiences! I'm interested to see what people think. :3nodding:
       
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      1. Has anyone ever gotten a company faceup and then added little things to it? I guess honestly, no. Most of my face-ups are either full factory face-ups, or done by one specific artist <3. If I do buy a used doll with a random face-up and it suits my character, it does get left but at the moment, I think all of mine are by one artist or company.
      2. Is changing or adding something to a company faceup offensive to the original artist in some way? I would guess no? Because you could get a company face-up and then wipe all of it. The only thing is, if you go to sell this doll later, you could probably need to list that he/she has mostly company default, but that you added this or that to it.
      3. How close is "too close" to the original when asking a faceup artist to take inspiration from a company faceup? I would say as long as it's similar but they add a few of their own work to it, it shouldn't be too bad.
      4. What's more important: the overall aesthetic of a faceup, or the little things unique to the character? I believe this all depends on what you want in your doll. You know, if you are more interested in a certain sculpt than the character based product, I would say aesthetic. But if you have a specific character that you want made and have role played him/her for years, and she needs a scar on her eyebrow, or certain eyeliner, or a certain beauty mark, then the unique things according to character.
       
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    2. I have added to a faceup before. It's relatively simple to do if you're just adding things like beauty marks, scars, freckles, etc or darkening the makeup. Just make sure you're using reputable resin-safe materials, as some lower quality sealants may react with the existing sealant and cause the faceup to get sticky. MSC and Zoukeimura are good for this in my experience, though I can't vouch for other brands. You'll also want to remove the eyelashes when sealing, and probably reapply gloss to the lips and eyes.

      I don't think it's offensive to change the faceup, after all, this hobby is all about customization. As long as you're not claiming you did the entire faceup, and you do mention altering it, I see no issue with it.

      How close is "too close" is going to depend entirely on your faceup artist and what they're comfortable doing. Faceups, even default, do get damaged over time and need to be redone, so I think it's okay to do something similar. Not so much if you're wanting to copy someone's OOAK faceup for their character.

      For me, it's all about making my doll match the character. The faceup can be the most professional, beautiful faceup I've ever seen, but if it doesn't fit the character, I'm going to wipe it.
       
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    3. 1) I got a company faceup on my Withdoll tiny, I enhanced her eyebrows and added little fantasy details.

      2) Company faceup and a commission from an artist for a faceup are two different things. From a company shouldn't be a problem since they made many similar without given instructions or petitions from the future doll owner. If you change an exclusive artist faceup means he did a bad job and didn't achieved what you asked them to do on your doll (therefore better had find a better artist in the first place, might offend that you change their unique custom creation).

      3) If the faceup has a natural look, being inspired by it is relative. However if you're asking to copy a limited/fantasy detailed faceup, that could be sorta unfair in my opinion.

      4) You can have a good quality faceup that still has personality. However if I were unable to make a decent quality faceup and I had the money to do so, much rather prefer a professional faceup with less unique/personal details.
       
    4. 1. I've ordered a company face up and when I received it, I thought the eyebrows were too light, so I added more pigment over the brows and sealed it with MSC again. (I covered the part of the face that didn't need more sealant).
      2. I personally don't think there are any issues with adding to a company faceup, since you paid for it and you're only adding to it.
      3. I don't think any faceup artist will identically copy an existing faceup, and it's probably very difficult to do, since everyone has their own style. Having the same colors or eyebrow shape would be fine, I think.
      4. This is a hard one. I personally prefer the overall aesthetic than small unique details, but that's just me. :)
       
    5. I've never done any of those things you are asking about. However, back when I got my VDES head sculpt from Luts (centuries ago), they allowed people to ask for minimal changes to the face up (like lip color, no gloss, more blush, no lower lashes, etc.), for the same price as standard/basic face up costs. If I recall correctly they didn't offer custom face up work, but did allow minimal changes to their default face ups. I don't know if any company now still allows those things, but when I got my Paris from SoulDoll a bit later, they also allowed changes to face ups for an additional minimal (or no) cost, or a "full custom" face up, for a bit more. It can't hurt to ask the company you're shopping from, if they allow small changes for (free or) a bit of extra money. It might be easier for you if they just add the small things you want changed, than asking a face up artist to "copy" another artists work, even if it is a company artist and not an individual "face up" artist (not everyone is willing to "copy" other people's work out of ethics or ego, even if it is from a "company's artist work"). I personally don't feel like it would be insulting to the artist if you decide to just change aspects of the face up, if you go for the company's face up and then chose to add/change things.

      Having said that, I have modified quite a few of my dolls, and I don't feel like I'm insulting the artists who sculpted any of the dolls I own. I've paid for my own dolls, so what I do with them afterward should be only of my concern and none of anyone else's even the original artist. As a graphic designer, I have done work in the past that has been modified later and I've never felt insulted by it. If the client wanted something different after I had already been paid, it's none of my business, my job was done and it was their choice to modify it or change it. It also happens a lot when a client wants to "update" a design but don't want to pay again for changes (even small ones like color changes). It's never my intention to insult the artists I own dolls from by modifying their sculpts -- nor was it my original intention to modify (most) them, it just happened that way through a lot of consideration and for my own personal enjoyment of the dolls. I think face ups are the same, you paid for them, so if you want to change them it's your own personal business and it shouldn't affect anyone but you (general use of "you" and not anyone in particular). I do my own face ups nowadays, and never changed the ones I've got for my original two dolls, but I have removed paint from a lot of dolls and even one of my earlier BJD. I don't feel like I'm insulting anyone, these dolls were always meant to be customized, in any way the owner wanted. (;
       
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    6. I have added extra color to lips and changed the color of brows to match wigs. No big changes, though.

      A related question: short of wiping the faceup, can I lighten it? I'm happy with most of the company faceup on a recent doll, but her under-eyelid seems too dark, making her look like she isn't getting enough sleep! How can I lighten it without messing up the lovely blushing in her cheeks?
       
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    7. Hmm, I’ve never actually done any kind of faceup-ing, so I honestly have no idea, but maybe a teeny little bit of brush cleaner or isopropyl alcohol on a q-tip could be used to gently brush some of the paint away? I’m not sure though... But getting through the sealant might be difficult that way, and I’ve heard that sealing over an uneven coat can have some funky results.

      Maybe a better option would be to try to soften the color with a tiny bit of pigment on top of the liner? That way you don’t have to worry about using any remover that would hurt the faceup, and if you use a very light wash of pigment then it would definitely be easier to try to remove that then fix something that might get messed up when trying to lighten the paint itself. Plus you wouldn’t have any uneven sealant coats.

      I’ll reiterate that this is all total speculation though! I’ve never done a faceup. :sweat I only know what I’ve read on here over the years!
       
    8. Has anyone ever gotten a company faceup and then added little things to it?
      - I haven't done it yet, because I'm the want-to-do-it-myself kind of person, besies my dolls are usually pre-existing characters. Never say never, might do it in future. But once I tryied to copy company faceup, it turned out bit differently in the end. When 2 people do the same think, it's never the same.

      Is changing or adding something to a company faceup offensive to the original artist in some way?
      - That's probably individual. I don't have doll company, so I'm not, most possibly, able to relate...Well, I wouldn't consider changes or addition to my faceup ofensive at all. Right on contrary -- they like my faceup anough to keep it. We mod dolls and make hybrids quite prequently. It seems, doll artists have no issue with it. Many companies/indepandant artists sell heads and bodies separately. So, changes to faceup should be just fine, I guess.

      How close is "too close" to the original when asking a faceup artist to take inspiration from a company faceup?
      - Hmmm...I don't know. Many companies offer custom faceup. If changes are small they may be willing to do it cheaper than custom faceup or for same price as company one. I would ask them.

      What's more important: the overall aesthetic of a faceup, or the little things unique to the character?
      - Difficult question. Depands on particular doll/character/faceup. Little things unique to the character are extremly important, but...if overall easthetic or sculpt doesnt match too glaringly, the little things unique to the character won't save nor emprove it that much. If the match is aproximate, little details can do a lot.
       
    9. 1. I made my own additions to one of mine. I didn't dislike his faceup, but I wanted a more dramatic look. He had a pretty fresh natural face, so I basically just added some makeup. Deeper eye shadows and liners, some more dramatic contours, etc. I think I am going to wipe his lips at some point since I don't like the glossy look from the company. :-)
      2. I don't see how it would be. Considering how often people decide they want to customize the dolls with their own faceup or modifications I'm sure that the artists expect it to some degree.
      3. I still think this is pretty similar to taking inspiration for make-up looks. It's going to look different with someone else doing it and all depends on what they're comfortable with.
      4. Both. The overall aesthetic is really important, but the details keep things from looking too generic.
       
      1. Has anyone ever gotten a company faceup and then added little things to it? I'm actually going to be modifying a company faceup pretty soon. However my doll came second hand with the company paint and that wasn't something I chose for myself. I don't really dislike his face, but I want to add some tattoos, give him some thicker eyebrows and maybe do some extra color to his face. The rest of his face is nice enough to leave alone though unless it looks funny with my additions.
      2. Is changing or adding something to a company faceup offensive to the original artist in some way? Hmm, maybe for one you got commissioned would be a little offensive, but not if it came to you second hand or you got it painted by the company. At the end of the day these dolls are meant to be customized so I don't think anyone should be getting too upset over it.
      3. How close is "too close" to the original when asking a faceup artist to take inspiration from a company faceup? Like someone else said, depends on how "natural" vs "fantasy" the original paint job is and the comfort level of the faceup artist.
      4. What's more important: the overall aesthetic of a faceup, or the little things unique to the character? Both! It's important for it to fit your and the doll's style but it also needs something unique to set it apart and really distinguish the character.
       
    10. Has anyone ever gotten a company faceup and then added little things to it?
      Oh absolutely! I’ll do whatever it takes to create a specific character. That’s why I purchase a doll in the first place! And sometimes you might love the company faceup but it only needs a few tweaks to make it exactly what you need. I purchased a limited Aimerai Scraps Illusion with company faceup to be my antique French automaton (who was wearing out from age, hence the patches.) But over time in my possession, her story progressed and she fell in love with a carousel. So that necessitated the need to “enhance” her existing faceup with some subtle romantic clown details to match her newly evolving, carnival-based story. She remains one of my favorite dolls to this day simply because she’s the perfect representation of her character.

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      Is changing or adding something to a company faceup offensive to the original artist in some way?
      No. We pay for it after all so if it can be re-worked to better represent our character, why not? Customization is what these dolls are all about.

      How close is "too close" to the original when asking a faceup artist to take inspiration from a company faceup?
      I’ve done many faceups and I can tell you from experience that no matter how inspired I am by a faceup I admire, I’m absolutely incapable of reproducing a direct copy of it. It always comes our as distinctly my style and obviously not theirs.

      What's more important: the overall aesthetic of a faceup, or the little things unique to the character?
      Both...they should work together in a harmonious way to create the perfect look of the character.
       
      #12 PoeticSoul, Feb 12, 2020
      Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
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    11. There's really no way to lighten, unless you're good with an airbrush, or want to go at her like crazy with white pastel, but that's probably not the look you're going to want (it would look like you went over it with white and end up ashy). You can remove parts of a faceup (very carefully) but not layers. It will take everything off, sealant, all the color, everything. So she'd be totally blank under her eyes, probably with a hard line where pigment was removed, and you will run the risk of ruining her blushing on top fo that.


      Has anyone ever gotten a company faceup and then added little things to it?
      Many times. Most recently a Ringdoll K with the company faceup. I love the faceup, but I darkened the eyebrows and around his eyes, added blue and red all over it, hair and made it look more like his other heads

      Is changing or adding something to a company faceup offensive to the original artist in some way?
      I hope not. I've done it a lot. From like, my first doll ever who's lips I reddened on top his company faceup to the K just recently.
      I also did this to a doll head I bought from an artist here...The faceup was beautiful, I just needed him to look more like his character on the TV show he was based off. So I added.

      How close is "too close" to the original when asking a faceup artist to take inspiration from a company faceup?
      @PoeticSoul s answer is my answer. Unless an artist is a really good copy-cat it's unlikely you'll get a real copy. There is nothing wrong with being inspired by a look. Asking them to take inspiration from a faceup should not be an issue, it's far from copying. Especially if you're asking for small changes.

      What's more important: the overall aesthetic of a faceup, or the little things unique to the character?
      For me, character. The reason I changed my two favorite company faceups was to match their character - both Ringdoll K and Raven, who's faceups I loved, but needed amending. Raven was worse than K, I didn't just add I removed his eyebrows completely and redid them, then added more to the faceup. And I would absolutely remove a faceup completely I didn't think would work at all.
       
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      • Has anyone ever gotten a company faceup and then added little things to it? I have! My first doll came secondhand with her company faceup already intact, and since I like it, I see no real reason to remove it at least for now. But DS Pepper's default faceup is eyebrowless, and as my doll's character involves her being very sulky and hot-tempered at times, it'd be hard to convey that in pictures without eyebrows! I took the leap and so my first-ever attempt at a BJD faceup was to edit the company one. I gave her brows, and also tried to brighten the color in her cheeks, temples, and eye makeup. <3
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      • Is changing or adding something to a company faceup offensive to the original artist in some way? Oh, I hope not. ;O; That said, I'm sure that while there are a few company artists who'd take offense to minor tweaks being made to their work, I think most artists in this industry would be either dismissive or understanding. This is a hobby heavily revolved around customization, after all. In a similar vein, you could also try to argue that wiping a company faceup is also offensive to the original artist, or even ordering a doll blank -- as if you were snubbing their faceup work!
      • How close is "too close" to the original when asking a faceup artist to take inspiration from a company faceup? Hmm, this is something you'd probably have to answer yourself. Personally, I think that if you're only tweaking around a few things, such as adjusting brow shape or changing lip color, you might as well do it yourself! Good faceup practice and you save yourself the cost of a commission! But again, that's completely up to you! <3
      • What's more important: the overall aesthetic of a faceup, or the little things unique to the character? Depends 100% on what you want with your doll(s) -- and even that might vary! One doll might be totally aesthetic-based with the faceup, another very much dependent on their facial quirks. I think I'd answer a mix of both aesthetic and uniqueness for me. After all, my DS Pepper rocked the butterfly/faerie look of her company faceup......but she needed some scowly brows!!
       
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    12. I've got a Soom Xenos on layaway, when I set up the layaway I decided to get the company faceup because it looked super gorgeous and I wasn't very good at faceups at the time. It's been a few months now and I've already improved a lot, I now want to give him more personality... but I already paid a ton for the company faceup! I'm definitely going to be giving him some unique traits like beauty marks and a little more contour, then let him rock that for awhile. Maybe after a year, I'll wipe it or add even more to it, but for now, once he arrives I'll be editing the faceup to really make him my own :3nodding: I really don't think most faceup artists would mind the edits, though every individual is different. If I were in their position of making the same faceup multiple times for a company, I think a little creativity added to the work would be appreciated. These dolls were meant to be our unique dolls, after all!