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Coherent Collection or Motley Crew?

Mar 10, 2011

    1. As I bunched my dolls together last night to take pictures, I realized that my little collection is very mixy-matchy. The head-sculpts are all from different companies, they have a variety of face-up styles, coloring, etc. The only real coherence comes from the outfits I've made for them. My aesthetic has always been catholic, though, so it makes sense my dolls would follow suit.

      However, it also occurred to me that other people might be turned off by my crew, and that other people might prefer a coherent collection. Matchy collections are often easier on the eyes, easier to dress, and are easier to photograph in some ways (try photographing a dark tan doll next to a white doll and you'll see what I mean).

      So, which do you prefer? Matchy or mixy? Do you think it's important to create a doll collection that's aesthetically pleasing as a group? Or do you focus, instead, on individual dolls and not worry too much about how they look next to your other dolls? I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the subject. :)
    2. Mixed for sure! I know that all of my wishlist dolls are scattered in terms of company. My first BJD is a PeaksWoods, but the next one I want is SOOM. And I also have my eyes on Iplehouse and Minifees! If of course I purchase all of the dolls I want, my family would be far from coherent. And I think that's fine! It's a little taste of everything. :aheartbea
      Though I understand why some people may buy similar dolls to create an organized family. But I don't think anyone should limit themselves for the sake of overall aesthecity.
    3. Mixy for me! I tend to collect whatevcer catches my eye. I have Volks, Soom, OrientDoll, Luts, etc. and they're all fine for me :) If someone said they don't look right together, well poo on them! :)
    4. Although I prefer buying from a mix of companies (admittedly DiM is very quickly threatening to consume me however), I absolutely prefer that even from that variety the dolls I bring home still match one another. This does not mean I want them to all have similar hair colors, eyes, skin tones (I actually prefer to vary these things as real people also have a wide variety in such things), or that some can not even have fantasy parts such as wings or horns. The key importance to me is that each doll is similarly sculpted to all the others, that they give off the same 'feel' as everyone else so they feel like a cohesive group. Due to this I will likely not be bringing him a thin-featured, big eye doll or a fashion doll-esque realistic doll. It just wouldn't match well and I'd be too annoyed with that to really enjoy it,
    5. I definitely vote for motley. On one hand, I like the very realistic sculpts, like Supia Rosy, and on the other hand, I like overtly stylized, doll-like sculpts like NotDoll and Soom Rosette. I've noticed that dolls that are relatively similar do tend to photograph better together--when I had my Belladonna, she didn't really match my Resinsoul girls, for example. But I still liked looking at them all together on a shelf.
      I think it's cool when people have a coherent collection--all Dollstown or something. But I don't think I'm going that route.
    6. Coherent collection for me. It is very important my dolls all look good together and fit my vision, and any doll who comes in who doesn't generally gets sold pretty much immediately. The ones who are related have to look related, so there are recurring facial traits and repeated hair and eye colours. And those that aren't in the main family still need to look good with them.

      This means I generally buy from the same few companies, or companies that share similar aesthetics with my main crew that are almost entirely Volks dolls.
    7. I'm definitely one of the motley crew people myself, I adore variation and all that jazz. =P But on the other hand, there can be some problems with it. I've got an Angelheim Luka, which can be considered arguably realistic, and a Minoruworld Leila, who is far more stylised. Despite the obvious height different (~45cm to 33cm), sometimes my Leila can look quite odd next to my Luka. I adore them both nevertheless, but I suppose that is just one of the problems of the motley crew side.
    8. I don't care all that much about having a coherent collection. I vaguely considered how well the minimee heads I had would look with my more stylized dolls, but in the end I sold them for other reasons (how huge they were and how much trouble it would be to find proportionate bodies). There are so many dolls I like from so many different companies that I don't think I could ever just stick to one or two companies. Right now, I have a K-doll head on a Luts body, a Luts head on a B&G body, a Soom SG head on a Resinsoul body, a Soom tiny, a LadySaiyuki tiny, and a Musedoll head on a DOD body. So even among my small-ish crew I have quite a variety of companies represented. :3
    9. I am a bit of both. My dolls generally look alike, as I have a specific taste, but their styles vary by quite a lot. I also think it's a bit obvious my older dolls, versus newer. I know my Beyla twins stick out like a sore thumb, but they were a very special moment for me, so I will never part with them. Plus, I love unicorns, so I can handle them not being like the rest!

      Most of my girls are Volks (or will be, for future) so they do somewhat look alike. I am very fond of chubby, childish faces. Mature dolls don't really 'do it' for me, so they're not really seen in my collection at all!
    10. I have a mixed crew. And, while it may be hard sometimes to get pictures where a DD is next to my Tsukasa because of their completely different look, I don't mind it.

      I do, however, tend to be attracted to a certain type of doll (in resin, anyway). I like dolls that have a "Mona Lisa" appeal; A hint of some secret hidden beneath the exterior - CP El, DM Zinna, IH Akando, RD Sol, etc... They may not have the smile of Mona Lisa, but there's a hint of something else there. I think that's why I like dolls that look more like adults than children. Children with a secret just look evil LOL!
    11. Motley, definitely. I like too many companies to keep everything coherent, and my dolls come from different worlds/eras/universes (some mine, some fan dolls). Based just on who's at home and who's on layaway and not taking the rest of my planned doll family into account, I've got two companies represented, and while my two boys on layaway 'go together' both in terms of being from the same company and their characters going together, Vince just kind of *is*, and Maurice has three different character incarnations.

      Being diverse in companies means I don't have to pick just one aesthetic when I love several, and being diverse in characters means I can do anything in terms of costuming, wigs, face-ups, and dios/photostories.

    12. Hard to say! I think that after a while, the mix-matched look eventually blends together and makes something uniquely whole. Almost all of my dolls are from different companies but when I put doll friends or doll relatives together, it just looks fantastically diverse. Like you don't know which one your eyes are drawn to! Then again my dolls dress similarly (coats and business casual type things) so I find a sense of aesthetic unity pretty easy.
    13. Motley, for sure! Proceeding in an orderly fashion in any way shape or form is wholly against my nature! XD I buy when funds allow, caprice dictates and the dolliverse provides, so there's no rhyme nor reason, and that's how I prefer it.

      Once many years ago, I read in a Mildred Seeley book to always collect mindfully (she didn't use that word; I'm recalling the gist of her advice to novice antique doll collectors circa early 1980s), lest you end up with an "accumulation of dolls rather than a collection". For years I felt like some inferior being for not following that creed, but I find I value serendipity above all, and when something wonderful comes to me, I cannot say no just because it doesn't "fit in". Some of my best dolls (bjd and otherwise) have happened that way.

    14. Mixed for me. I like so many different sculpts that if I were to try to be coherent it would never happen! I do, however, like to keep similar dolls next to each other (So my more childish looking dolls to one side, more mature looking dolls to the other).. I also don't ever dress them all the same. One of my girls is wearing a Baby the Stars shine bright dress.. The other is covered in tattoos and wearing leather.
    15. I'm definitely going to say coherent. I like when things are orderly and have some sort of uniting factor. whether it's brand, faceup style, skin color, etc. I have several groups: the Fairyland group (all white skin, all default faceup), the cat group (all Pipos, similar faceup style), the Souldoll group (both MSD, both normal skin), and then there's the ones who stick out: the normal skin Puki Poseidon and the Soom Iv. Iv tends to stay in his box a lot because he sticks out and it bothers the obsessive side of me that likes things to be thoroughly coherent. :) I started out with a motley collection but my collection changed over time. It'll probably end up changing back to a motley crew one day since these things happen in cycles, I think.
    16. Motley, most definitely. I seem to have a lot of Luts/ Fairyland (MFN El, SD Chiwoo, MNF Shiwoo, SD Dark Elf Soo) but I didn't really buy any of them to match anyone else. I love the fact I have two tans (my El and my Dollmore Asha) and two elves (my Chiwoo and DES) but I wasn't really thinking about that when I adopted any of them. I just really loved their molds.
    17. Right now, coherent. In fact they will all be from the same company (DoD). I have characters set for all of them for a story I'm in the process of writing. I've tried to look around at other companies (I have a ton of BJD bookmarks), but none have really grabbed me to fit the characters and style that I'm looking for as much as DoD has. The most recent being I was in need of a kinda uptight, spoiled rich girl... and Calla just seemed to fit that perfectly. :)

      Maybe if I need characters for another story I may get molds from a different company.
    18. Turned off by your crew? I've seen your dolls here and at DA and they're a lovely bunch. I'm still wondering about Gang in tan and whether he'd fit in with my crew. I think he would. As for mine, I think HZ and Soom go together, it's my little Mei that's the odd one out, partly because of her size. I might get more RS MSDs at some point, at least one or two. I do tend to give some thought to whether dolls go together, but I think if you really love a doll and you can afford it, you should probably just get it.
    19. While I don't pick dolls based on how they would fit into my collection, there is a very specific type of dolls that I like so my crew tends to look very good together. I only like MSDs and I only like mature dolls. This doesn't mean that my dolls are all from the same company, not at all. I have dolls from three different companies so far and plan on getting dolls from several other companies in the future.
    20. I lean mostly toward the coherent collection, all in the same size range with a similar degree of realism - they have to look good together! But as I expand their wardrobes I hope to make their styles more motley.