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Asking a Face Up Artist to Redo A Company Face Up?

Apr 9, 2012

    1. I did a search for this, and couldn't find anything.

      This question came to mind when I was responding in another thread about if it was OK to ask a face up artist to redo or touch up a face up they had done a while ago. Of course, the answers were a resounding 'yes'. But while it makes sense that you'd take your doll's face up to the same artist who did it before, and not give it to someone else (and ask them to copy someone else's work) how do you handle it if the face up in question came from the company, and not from an independent artist?

      If you are a face up artist, how would you handle it if someone came to you requesting a touch up of a company's face up?

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it?

      Edit - New, Additional Question:

      What if the face up in question originated from
      a face up artist who stopped taking commissions?
       
    2. I see nothing wrong with getting a faceup artist to redo the company faceups, since most companies won't re-faceup heads for you. This is provided the faceup artist is willing and able to emulate the style. It would be extremely rude to request it of a faceup artist who has either outright stated that s/he would not copy faceups, or who has a markedly different style of faceupping from the company. If the faceups have a similar 'feel' to the company faceup, I think there's nothing wrong with asking the artist to try to preserve the visual look of your doll's character.

      As for the faceup by artist who has stopped commissions, unless the faceup was specifically designed by that artist and has strongly recognisable design elements (eg. a special tattoo, markings as designed by the faceup artist), it's probably ok to get someone else to (attempt to) replicate the faceup. If there are special design elements, or if the owner is uncomfortable, they could always pm/email/contact the original artist to ask for their blessings in commissioning a new one.
       
    3. I never have problem with commissioners requesting a repaint of an exsisting faceup. What's the point in redesigning a faceup if they're happy with the one they have, and all it needs is a bit of repair?

      I'm probably on my own with this opinion but I also can't see why some faceup artists refuse to copy an exsisting faceup. Unless the faceup is distinctly unique to a doll belonging to another owner, each work is the artists' own and will have their own style/technique instilled on the faceup they paint. It's impossible to have an excact replica.
       
    4. I'm skipping the first question 'cause I'm not a face up artist ^^

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it?

      I think if there's a possibility to have the face up redone by the company, then they should ask the company and not a face up artist. Why? Because this will give them more accurate results in terms of likeness to the original. If they can send the doll back for a new face up to the company, they should do it because it'll be better for them. If they can't, then:

      1) They should keep in mind that a touch up is a touch up and a face up renewal (completely new face up) is a face up renewal, which means it won't look the same, even if the artist tries to the best of her abilities to make it look like the original. Why? Because a face up is handcrafted and, therefore, it can't look the same (even if you're redoing an old face up you did, it won't look the same!).

      2) If they don't want to have to deal with differences in style (you know, a face up artist has her style and can't (and should not) change it to suit the old, company face up because it will be disrespectful ('hello, I wan't you to paint my dollie in the style Luts paints dollies, not yours' is quite... well, I think it means something like 'I don't like ur style, I prefer Luts'; ok, then why didn't you send the doll to Luts? U=D), then it's better if they don't send the doll to a face up artist.

      What if the face up in question originated from a face up artist who stopped taking commissions? (OMG, I forgot to answer this question!).

      I would never redo a make up that was done by a no-longer-active face up artist. Why? Because it is copying. You can always try to ask the original artist to do you the favor and if she refuses, then you have to bear in mind the face up will not be the same once redone and you can always ask for something similar, but up to the actual artist (for example, same color palete, same instructions you gave the original artist, but leave the interpretation and style to the actual artist).
       
    5. Ive never asked a face-up artist to redo a face-up, but i have asked several to try and match the open eyed face-up on a sleeping head. This was never a problem.
       
    6. When one of my dolls fell and scratched her faceup, I sent her head to an artist to repair. I did not have the materials or steady hands to fix it myself, plus I explained to the artist what the damage was and where. She did not have any problems with my request, and the repair was made.
       
    7. If you are a face up artist, how would you handle it if someone came to you requesting a touch up of a company's face up?

      I would tell them that I can try my best to make a face-up that comes close in look, colors etc. to the original one, but that they shouldn't expect a 100% copy.
      I don't want to and also can't copy style XY perfectly, and I also think it's rude to ask it...you wouldn't go to Picasso and tell him to draw like da Vinci either, wouldn't you?
      For a lot of artists the very own style is quite important to them, and if you want style XY you should either try to get the original one (if possible) or find an artist that comes pretty close to it...it's hard to copy something when your way of working is absolutely different to the original one.

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it?

      If they don't want to change it, they have to live with a damaged face-up, there is nothing else you can do.
      My first doll also had a damaged face-up for a looong time because I was too afraid to re-do it in case it could change him too much.
      In the end I just recreated his face-up as good as possible and even changed a few things that bothered me.
      People also change their looks, they get older etc., so why should dolls always look 100% the same over the years?;)

      What if the face up in question originated from a face up artist who stopped taking commissions?

      See question 1. Live with it or get it re-done by someone who has a style close to the original one.
       
    8. If you are a face up artist, how would you handle it if someone came to you requesting a touch up of a company's face up?
      Humm, I think it is no problem. Especially most companies will not provide a touch-up or faceup service. However the client should understand, that there will be a slight difference if handled by a different hand, and also the style will be different although we are given references. But they should have known, the best method is just to send it rightaway to the company.

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it?
      Send it to the original company artist. Seriously, that's the best method. Although there are cases the doll came home quite differently although it has been sent to the company itself XD
      Or maybe, if the owner is talented in faceup, he / she can fix it by him/herself or just live with it..

      What if the face up in question originated from
      a face up artist who stopped taking commission?
      I actually want to help the owner, isn't it just sad if the commissioner stop taking commission, and he / she wants to return his / her old doll's face back? Maybe I will still help them if they think I can do it well. But only when that's the case. As a faceup artist, I don't want to plagiarize someone's work.
       
    9. In my opinion this whole I won't copy another person's face-ups is a little bit funny. I mean there are just a couple of ways to paint a face as long as you don't do a really weird, fantasy colored face painting/tattoo, so technically where does copying start and where does it end?

      Will people soon claim copyright to the angle the eyebrows are shaped and painted in? Or to the number of brushstrokes they paint their lower lashes with? Will someone claim that they are the only one who are allowed to use white/dark lines on lips (or do lip lines at all)? Will goth style face-ups soon be the intellectual possession of one face-up artist only?

      In my experience even the same artist can hardly reproduce the same face-up twice, simply because they are living beings and not programmed computers. Concluding from that you can be pretty sure that another face-up artist will even less be able to reproduce the same face-up, but they can do a face-up that has the same color scheme or give the doll a similar expression, the same angle of the eyebrows and so on and that's what the persons who are commissioning the face-up artist are mostly after in the end.

      To answer your question, I'm not a professional face-up artist, I just take commissions now and then from friends and yes, I was requested twice to do a face-up similar to the doll's default company face-up and I never had any problems with accepting such commissions.
       
    10. If you are a face up artist, how would you handle it if someone came to you requesting a touch up of a company's face up?

      I would do my best to follow their wishes, although I am by no means a professional face-up artist.

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it?

      If at all possible, contact the doll company and see if they will redo the face-up. This is not because of "copyright" issues, but so that you will get the exact same artist doing the face-up. If this isn't possible for some reason, then why shouldn't the doll owner be able to retain the look they've chosen for their doll? Face-ups are works of art, in their way...but they are not Picassos or Rembrandts. They're basically permanent makeup for dolls. I used to work for a patent attorney, and I never once saw a makeup style trademarked or copyrighted.

      What if the face up in question originated from a face up artist who stopped taking commissions?

      This is a bit trickier. Looking at it from my perspective as an artist, if I had done the original face-up and someone wanted another artist to touch it up, I wouldn't have a problem with that if I was no longer doing commissions.
       
    11. If you are a face up artist, how would you handle it if someone came to you requesting a touch up of a company's face up? I've done this plenty of times for people, I actually enjoy restoration work. I feel like I'm preserving something special for the future, especially if it's a rare early doll or something...

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it? Well faceups are necessarily somewhat ephemeral. I'd encourage the owner to get good photos of what remains of the faceup, and keep looking for an artist who's willing to restore it.

      Edit - New, Additional Question:

      What if the face up in question originated from a face up artist who stopped taking commissions?
      That would be tougher, as a lot of artists don't like to try to imitate other artists' work. Unless the faceup is irreparably damaged, it can be repaired and preserved. Otherwise you might try getting an artist who paints similarly and asking them to redo the faceup as close to the original as possible. Hopefully they won't get grumpy about it. XD
      Faceups are such an important part of our dolls, but they're fragile and temporary... it's something everyone in the hobby has to deal with. I've changed the faceup on my own dolls and had trouble adjusting, so I can imagine how it is for those who don't have the same measure of control over the situation.
       
    12. Sharkyra summed up my thoughts about faceups in general pretty well. Unless someone out there specializes in and practices actual faceup forgery, no two faceups are ever going to be exactly alike. I've actually tried it with my own dolls. Even with the two that were meant to be twins... the broad strokes were there, but the fine details were different.

      The only time I would have a problem is if I did something similar to a company faceup and then found out that the doll's owner tried to pass my work off as a company faceup. (An unlikely scenario... but it could happen.)

      I think it gets a bit iffier when you get into really distinctive details, like tattoos and such. Take DollZone's LE Asura Chen - a standard sculpt with distinctive tattoo work. With good enough reference photos (and an airbrush and stencils) something like that could be replicated reasonably well. The design might not be copyrighted, but I would hesitate to take a commission like that unless the doll was one of the original LE dolls. If the doll wasn't one of the original LEs I would suggest designing something in a similar style, but overall different.

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it?
      It doesn't matter if your doll has some super-coveted, only-one-in-the-world-ever LE... if the faceup is worn out and looks bad, your whole doll looks bad. Just bite the bullet - commission someone else to redo it to the best of their ability. A skilled artist will make your doll look good even if it isn't exactly the same.

      Even if the original doll company was willing to redo your company faceup, there's no guarantee that they are using the same artist or, if they have more than one artist, that you would get the same one again. And, personally, I wouldn't want to pay that kind of shipping just to get a basic faceup.
       
    13. If you are a face up artist, how would you handle it if someone came to you requesting a touch up of a company's face up? Like others here, I've done this a few times, too, both for repairs and to match sleeping heads to painted awake heads. It's not a big deal as long as the person knows there will be some subtle differences.

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it? For matching sleeping heads, the person usually has already contacted the company to find out if they would paint the head if they sent it, but have been turned down. For repairs, I don't think anyone here expects a company to take the trouble to touch-up a worn or chipped face-up.

      What if the face up in question originated from a face up artist who stopped taking commissions? Hmm... If at all possible, I think it's a good idea to ask the original artist's opinion if a face-up is damaged. If they'll fix it, fine. If not, I'd be suprised if they'd get miffed about the owner having someone else repair it. I always see original face-ups credited to the artist, but I've yet to see a notation of (but fixed by such-and-such). Most of the touch-ups I've gotten have been purchased second and third hand from the MP, and the new owner doesn't know who the original artist was.

      Mimicing another artist's work get a little bit muddy, though. Every artist has their own style. Like Sharkyra said, there are only so many ways to paint a face... And yet everyone has their own way of doing it in the length and thickness of their brush strokes, lips styles, color pallet, and so on. As an artist I would never copy someone else's work, but most people who ask usually have a picture of what they want their doll to look like. "Make it look like this," they'll say, attatching a photo from who-knows-where. Not exactly like that, of course, but maybe that kind of overall style (thick lashes, shaped of the eyebrows, etc.) Certainly to understand what a client wants, it's better to have a visual refference of what they have in mind.
       
    14. I don't see anything wrong with having a default faceup restored.
      Some people adore their faceups and want to save them when they get worn out.
      There aren't many companies that will allow you to send the head back to be fixed.
      Im sure once the doll is sold, the company doesn't care. They painted the doll and they move on to finishing other orders.
       
    15. Since all three of the OP's scenarios are about repairs/touchups, I would have no problem with them. I would consider them "restorations", not "forgeries".
       
    16. If you are a face up artist, how would you handle it if someone came to you requesting a touch up of a company's face up?
      I've done it. It's not been copying, it's been filling in where an eyebrow got scratched or fixing scuffed lips, etc. It's fixing, not copying.


      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it?
      I've had this happen too. I redid the faceup on my RingDoll Valo to be very similar, but not exact. I changed it a bit to fit the character better, and am about to do the same on a BBD Waltz. I see no reason in keeping a damaged faceup just b/c it was once perfect. If I totally wipe and redo, it WILL be different than the original, as I have my own style and it isn't going to be identical to the original artist. But I'm also very picky about my faceups matching the character and defaults usually don't, so I usually want to change at least something about them anyway.


      What if the face up in question originated from
      a face up artist who stopped taking commissions?
      Again, I don't really see this as copying. If you originally commissioned the artist to do a faceup that you picked out and instructed them to do, it's your design as well. I would compare that to creating my own dress pattern and having two different tailors make it. It isn't copying. Now...if you had NO say in the design of the faceup (say you bought it second hand or something), then it's a little iffy on duplicating it, but again, I kind of think of it as a restoration, not stealing their idea. Besides, even trying to copy it exactly, it's still not going to be 100% identical. As long as you aren't trying to pass it off as being by the original artist, I see no harm. Now if somebody was claiming a faceup was by me that wasn't...THAT would be an issue. Especially if they did a bad job and made me look bad.....
       
    17. I agree with a lot of what you said, but this had a special appeal to me. It's so true. ^^

      What do you believe an owner should do if the company face up gets damaged or wears away, but they don't want to change it?
      Personally, I would try to talk to face up artists in my own country first. Mainly because I don't want to risk sending a head too far away since there are so many things that can go wrong, shipping wise. It's just not worth the risk for a repair, imo. It's one thing to send a head to one specific face up artist if you want their artistic talent and style, then you simply have to send the head to where ever the artist is. But for repair jobs I'd say stay close to home if you need it done at all. And of course, be nice about it. If I was asked to copy another models shoot I would be terribly offended, and I guess the same goes for people in all creative fields.

      What if the face up in question originated from a face up artist who stopped taking commission?
      As for a face up by another artist, I think the best thing to do is ask said artist. Perhaps they know someone who would be perfect for touching up work in their own style, or perhaps they'd even do it themselves. Or, quite possibly, they don't want anyone else "messing with" their work, in which case I guess you have to ask yourself what is more important - respecting the artist or fixing a "broken" face up (I would probably have the whole face up redone by someone else in that case, as I find it terribly important to respect original work). Then again, it would seem a bit sad if a face up artist won't fix it him/herself and doesn't want anyone else to do it either... It's a tough question!
       
    18. Well, I'd say that taken that the artist is asked to redo/repair a worn faceup(whoever it's originally from), I'd take it as an art restoration job. The choice of the artist should be taken with care and the choice of an artist not to restore faceups should be, at all times, respected. On the other hand, if someone orders a blank doll and asks an artist to copy a company faceup, I'd ask myself"what is the point? Isn't the whole point of commisionning a faceup to have unique piece done by and artist you like?