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BJDS: A hobby... or *way of life*?

May 7, 2010

    1. The usual disclaimer -- I used Search, and skimmed over the first three pages of topics here. Nothing like this came up, but, if there is and I missed it, feel free to delete/merge as necessary.

      Usually, this is referred to as "the BJD hobby." People will say things like, "Yeah, I collect BJDs, it's my hobby." It's never referred to as something deeper -- it's a hobby. Something fun, light, that usually serves to make your free time more fun.

      But... is BJD collecting "just a hobby", or a "way of life"?

      I've noticed that some people are very passionate and enthusiastic about their BJD love. They are proud to showcase their dolls. Everyone who knows them, whether they also share in the hobby or not, know they collect these dolls. Maintaining their dolly budget is a priority. Some even have made plans to include their dolls in their weddings somehow, since the big day won't feel complete for them without them presents.

      Basically, these people have incorporated BJDs into their lives. In a more passionate way than most people go about hobbies -- in an enthusiast way.

      Does this mean BJDs can be a "way of life"? Is there such a thing as "the resin life", where BJD collecting is a major part of what defines you? Or are BJDs always "just a hobby"? Do you think being this passionate is alright? Which is it for you? Share your thoughts! :)
       
    2. Hobby. I enjoy it immensely and I am very enthusiastic about dolls, but it is a hobby that I do for fun, not as my lifestyle. I've had lots of hobbies during my lifetime and this is just the latest one. If other people are more emotionally involved with their dolls, I find it curious, but it's really none of my business.
       
    3. It depends on the perception of the individual. Some hobbies like star wars crosses over into weddings too, but many would still consider it just a hobby. Others may not.
       
    4. uh yeah, to me it is just a hobby. i don't think one should let a hobby become such an important part of their life. i mean if you want your dolls in your wedding then go ahead, but if you make that hobby your entire life then i think it is borderline unhealthy. but that's just me .-.
       
    5. I think it depends on what a person needs in thier life. some people don't have much family or many friends or a job or much of a reason to leave the house. So these people need something special to fill the void. My dolls are so important to me that I think it is my way of life, along side my other hobbies (anime, mostly). I would not have my dolls at a wedding, but I do bring them on trips with me and when I'm in the house with them, I usually keep them near by. And doll meet ups are very important to me because they're one of the few times I get to hang out with people.
      So, it's not like my doll life style is getting in the way of me leading a normal life, rather they help keep me happy.
       
    6. Hobby- definitely! I go through periods where if one of my dolls was missing I probably wouldn't even notice. It goes up and down. As more interesting things happen, I sometimes completely ignore this hobby in favour of others. That said, it also happens the other way, like right now I'm on a 'Yaaaay dollies!' kick. I have no idea how long it'll last this time, but I'm in the mood to dedicate at least some time towards customizing my dolls, and hanging out on here. I certainly wouldn't have my dolls at my wedding or any major event, and I never take them on trips with me because they'd end up being a bother, and when I go on trips, I like to pay more attention to the scenery in front of me than the stuff I've got at home. I do love my dolls, but not enough to where they replace anything that happens in my day to day life. They're just a small part of all the things I like doing.
       
    7. Hobby. My way of life, right now, is probably live-roleplaying, since I'm at one every other weekend and enjoying it tremendously. But I also do know that my interests seem to come and go in cycles. Was Star Trek, then New Avengers, then Lord of the Rings, then Babylon 5, then cycled back to Trek, New Avengers, etc. So there's a fair chance my interest will shift towards dolls at some point. I'm just not sure how enthusiastic I'm gonna be about them, i.e. if it can be called a way of life when it happens. Probably not - not the way I'm kinda breathing, living and constantly thinking about live-roleplay right now, hanging out with live-roleplay buddies online and offline ...
       
    8. Well, collectors are usually considered an odd bunch. And I say that with love xD For most it's definitely a hobby. To me it is a hobby just like gaming, reading and playing music is. I spend just as much time on all these things.

      But, I do know people who have only one hobby, and pour their heart and soul into it. BJDs can easily become that hobby. It's art, basically. People spend lots of money, time, tears and laughter perfecting these visual ideas in form of BJDs. I know hobbyists who wants to include other art they do (or musicians with the music they have made etc.) in their wedding or other important gatherings/settings.

      It's still mostly a hobby though, but it's a grey-zone, definitely. If you parallel it with a different lifestyle, let's say goth, you have meetings, forums, huge gatherings, general opinions on how things work, freedom of expression, cliques, stigma and in-group acceptance. You have all of this in both the BJD hobby and in the goth lifestyle. So, for someone who invest that much in a hobby, yes, it can turn into a lifestyle, easily. For others; not so much.
       
    9. I'd argue that there's no distinction between something being a "hobby" and being "part of someone's way of life." For most people, hobbies ARE what they are passionate about, and can take many different forms. Sports, religion, martial arts, collections, creative pursuits - they're all tapping into the same parts of the human psyche, in essentially the same ways. It's just the details and what we call them that are different.
       
    10. My hobbies are painting (face-up), modding, furniture making (upholstery), sewing and embroidery.
      I'm hoping to start a new hobby, photography, soon.

      My dolls are the medium to do all these crafts.
       
    11. It is disconcerting that the opinion "a hobby shouldn't become a way of life" is out there. What about artists? When the desire to turn something we love turns in to a way of life - and infact a way to even earn income - was that wrong?

      This hobby is a part of my life but it is not my way of life. It is an indulgence but also a great new medium to explore in terms of art. Through it I have learned to not only crochet but to knit and more recently to sew. I didn't even know chalk pastels existed before discovering face-ups and because of this hobby I have a great new camera which has lead to a new hobby - photography! Interestingly I have more photographs of my city and flowers and bugs then I do of my dolls!
       
    12. I consider them a hobby, for sure. But they fit neatly into my way of life, in the sense that I've always been a) arty and b) into dolls. I already sewed and did photography when I got into BJDs, so it was very organic for me.
       
    13. Hobby. I don't take my dolls with me places, I don't talk about them all the time, they in no way influence my life in anyway that would 'change' it greatly, so I don't consider it a way of life.
       
    14. Alright, I'm not the kind of person who would incorporate my dolls into a functioning part of my wedding (If I were to have one) But I would have them there.
      Really, I wouldn't call anything I have a 'Hobby' in the sense most people seem to. Everything I do is incorporated into my way of life, and shapes some major part of who I am. Art, Roleplaying, movies, dollies... all of these are incredibly important to shaping my personal culture (yeah, I couldn't think of a less hoity-toity way to say it). When people ask me about myself, I tell them the things that I 'do'... I don't think I've ever really defined it as 'Hobbies'.
      So I guess the big part of my opinion here comes down to the fact that I don't really have the same definition for hobby. Everyone seems to see 'Hobby' as less important than 'Job/if you make money at it' or anything else they use to define who they are... like Hobbies are a footnote to life rather than an important part of it. I would see a Hobby as something I do because I want to, whether I get paid for it or not; it's a passion. Everything else falls under Job or 'things I do because I have to', and thus is far less a part of who I am.
      What everyone else calls 'Hobbies' are my reason for living. They are my passions; And though I have many, yes, Dollies do fall into that category.

      It seems like most people are afraid to call it anything other than a hobby, because they think they'll be labeled 'crazy' or 'obsessive'. Don't be so afraid of being associated with something you love.

      So I'd like to add a Discussion question to this: If you do not consider BJD's a way of life, what do you consider your 'way of life'? Help us learn about what defines you ^.^
       
    15. I agree with many that it is just a hobby, however, it is a hobby that has become intrinsic to myself and an integral part of my personailty. I liked the comparison to star wars I think that's a very accurate similie.
       
    16. I think what you're describing above about a "way of life" is just basically a person who is really... -trying to think of a word for it...-

      I guess, outspoken about their hobby? I don't know. I just think it's an obsessive hobby that gets us all addicted! But still just a hobby, not a way of life. That makes it sound like a weird resin-cult ;)
       
    17. For me it's a hobby, but I can see where it can be a way of life for someone. I say it can be a way of life for someone if they make money by sewing clothes for them or by painting faceups ect. I guess if the person is making money or has made a small business out of them it would/could be a way of life, but for me it's simply a hobby. It's a hobby since it's more a collection and I don't make any money from them. They are simply a beautiful piece of art that I like to play with
       
    18. I'll be an oddball and go with "way of life" for me personally. I only say this now that I am a distributor and have sunk $10k+ into a doll business. If you had asked me a year ago it would have just been a hobby though.

      Edit: this kind of reminds me of the lifestyle lolita debates on Live Journal...only more polite lol XD
       
    19. Most of those, whom I know well enough, have many other interests and hobbies. BJD is "one from others" - art, handcraft or anything. I really can't imagine such a way of life. Even if someone spend a lot of time and so on, it is only part... well, at least, I think so.
      :)
       
    20. Hobby. "Way of life" is something I would attach more to my marriage, spirituality, profession.

      I can see BJDs being a "way of life" if your primary career is sculpting or styling BJDs, as in some artist who does that for a living and has a workshop and spends most of their time in there working with the BJDs. There are some doll artists who fit this category. But I didn't get into dolls so they could be a "way of life", I just want them to be a fun diversion from life.