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Custom vs. Company Face-Ups

May 17, 2017

    1. Hello everyone! I was wondering what most members prefer to get for their dolls: custom or the company face-up?
      Once you go custom, do you ever go back?
      Or is getting a custom face-up too much of a pain? Or are you talented enough to make your own face-ups?
      Please let me know what you tend to do!
      (PS, apologizes if this thread is in the wrong spot :XD:)
    2. I prefer to do a custom faceup myself because I find it hard to get the image of my character into someone else's head. The only time I order a doll with a company faceup is if it's a fantasy or animal doll. I'm not so good at non-human details.

      I still want to say there really is no best way to do it, it just depends on what you want. If you love the company faceup and want a doll ready to go the day it arrives, company is great! If you want something very specific, you're better off commissioning and artist or doing it yourself.
      • x 3
    3. I prefer customs.. :)

      Makes my dolls feel a bit more unique and "mine", as I put a lot of research and detail into my custom forms, with lots of reference photos and requests for certain details. I like taking a very active role in deciding how my dolls will look, and custom face ups are really the only way to reliably do that. <3
    4. I started doing face-ups years ago because I was too chicken to send out dolls myself. I also suck at sewing (like, any type of crafting to be honest) and at least wanted to be able to do something myself.

      So I do my own customs, because default was never an option to me. Most of the company face-ups are either not my type, don't do their dolls justice oooor plain doesn't fit my character.

      I also think it helps in being a little less afraid to handle the dolls. I am very careful by default, but my girlfriend for example has dolls with gorgeous custom face-ups from hard to reach artists. I have no desire to pick up those dolls (and she often too) because of the chance to damage something :eek:
      • x 2
    5. I prefer commissioning faceups from artists; Ilya (the doll in my avatar) is a testament to this. :3nodding: I'm really not that great an artist, and, though I'd maybe like to try doing faceups one day, I really couldn't get a lot of my more fantasy dolls to look the way I want. But I really enjoy the process of talking through a commission with an artist and seeing what comes out the other end! Usually (like with Ilya), the finished product is even better than I expected.

      I usually find people to commission through DoA or Etsy, because there are lots of places you can go for feedback and artists usually provide lots of reference photos so you can choose the perfect faceup style for your doll or character. And I'm one of those weirdos that kind of enjoys the wait, so the anticipation of seeing what they'll look like finished is great for me.

      This being said, some company faceups are lovely too! I haven't really ordered one, per se, but the faceup on my KDF Yul, Toshimaru, is a Luts faceup and it's absolutely gorgeous and so well done. (I got him secondhand, which is why I say I haven't really ordered one; if I had gotten him straight from the company, I probably would have still gotten/kept the faceup though.) If a company faceup worked for my character, I'd definitely go for it (if it wasn't too expensive). :lol:
      #5 KiyoshiSenshi, May 17, 2017
      Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
      • x 1
    6. If I like the company face-up and the price is fair for the quality of the painting, I'll go with company face-up. My Delfs and most of my LE/fullset/special-order dolls have company painting, because I like the look as-is.

      If I have something special in mind or if I think the company face-up is not to my style (or too expensive for the quality of the painting), I'll order blank and get a custom face-up done by another artist or myself.

      My current collection is about half custom, half default.
      • x 1
    7. I always buy my dolls blank because I love doing my own faceups. It's almost like a bonding experience for me and my dolls. I guess if I were to get them done any other way I wouldn't feel as attached to them. But this is just my own personal experience! I have plenty of friends who commission me and other artists to help them bring their dolls to life or may go with the company faceup because they like how it looks. :)
      • x 1
    8. I haven't gotten a custom myself, but I can definitely see myself eagerly awaiting what the artist will do. I think if I ever did do my own face up, I wouldn't trust myself with fantasy stuff right away either!

      Oh wow that's amazing! I always wondered if commissioners got attached to a clients doll, I bet it'd be hard to let some of them go.
      #8 Hannah_Hime, May 17, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2017
      • x 1
    9. I like to do my own faceup, it feels like i'm putting my own stamp on them you know? I take a great deal of satisfaction in doing it myself even if it's not perfect, it's special because it's MINE, I can look at them and think "i did that" and feel proud of that achievement. For me the creative aspect is the biggest draw of bjds, I love the whole pouring a character into them and I find that easier if I do their faces.

      It's funny because I honestly find when buying dolls secondhand it puts me off if they already have a faceup because it feels like one of the main bits I look forward to has already been done and it's like buying a colouring in book that's precoloured.
      Of course, everyone gets something different out of dolls, but for me personally, doing the faceup is part of my bonding process and part of infusing their character into them.
      It also means I handle them and get used to them, and through just handling them a lot personality shines through. (like one of my dolls who's jerkish personality is completely a result of him constantly kicking me, refusing to stand up straight and making me restring him 3 times. He also hurled his S hook under the sofa at one point. He's difficult rargh)
      I play with my dolls heh. So not being scared to handle them or touch their faces is important for how I interact with them too. I'm not careful, at all.
      • x 2
    10. I've never sent a doll out for a custom face-up. I've either had company face-ups or did them myself. I will have the company do it if I like the way their pictures are. I don't feel that I can do as good of a job as many of the company artists do. I have ordered a couple of blank dolls recently, partly to save a little money, partly to play with some different looks that I'd like the dolls to have. I know that if I practice, I will get better at doing face-ups, so I will keep practicing and maybe eventually I'll do all my own face-ups and be as happy with them as I am with company face-ups.
    11. I prefer custom makeup. Always surprised you with completely fresh looks.
    12. It happens sometimes, actually! There's times where I've actually added dolls to my own wishlist after working on a client's dolls. ><
      • x 1
    13. I am not very good in doing faceups and I'm afraid my faceups won't do justice to my boys so I usually prefer to get the bigger/LE boys with company faceups if I like those faceups! Out of all my big boys (60cm up), only one has a custom faceup done by me, one with a custom faceup commissioned from a faceup artist, two were semi-custom faceups done by the company themselves (basically, I just requested to add a small mole and some slight modifications to the default faceups). I do wish more companies would accommodate minor requests to add on to the default faceups like moles but sadly many don't. There is one boy who has a company faceup but I had to add a small scar to the default faceup myself and it was nerve-wrecking because I only had one try to get it right lmao. Luckily it worked out well. The rest of the bigger boys come with the original company faceups. :D

      For the smaller dolls and floating heads, only a few (usually LEs) has the company faceups. I usually tend to get the smaller ones or floating heads blank and work on their faceups on my own if I can. Usually I have to redo them a couple of times but I think it gives me the chance to get some practice on doing faceups, but I'm just not too confident with the bigger sculpts. Sometimes, I think of getting faceups commissioned from more artists but I've realized that I am not very good at being apart from my boys once I've gotten my hands on them LOL. :lol:
      • x 1
    14. I do my own for all my dolls. It's definitely a learning process-- Vince has had two faceups, and neither of them has been very good (and his second one, despite being more recent, was my least favorite of all my own work), but I was very happy with how Pete and Billy came out... I have a little fine arts background, which does help. I'm familiar with the tools and materials, but it's definitely very different to paint on a doll than it is to paint on a flat surface. It's... like doing a full face of makeup with contouring, but with the fine arts tools and materials, really. (luckily I also have some background doing theatrical makeup!)

      I do sometimes look at company faceups and think they look beautiful, and I definitely have looked with awe and desire at the custom work that other artists do. If I got a limited doll, I would certainly keep the company faceup until it needed to be redone due to chipping/wear. But I'm happy to do my own. Even if I can't match the picture in my head, I can build my skills up and keep learning new tips and techniques for improving. And it means if I'm not happy with something, I can wipe it and change it myself when the weather permits, instead of having to send a head off...
    15. I haven't gotten in my first bjds yet but, If i like the companys face up and it's not a bad price then I would go for it. The two girls im getting from Doll Leaves soon both have their face ups done by the company and im hopeing that they turn out great. I am also going to be playing around with faceups with the free gift I get just incase I mess somthing up I wont feel as bad because it was free lol. I have trust issues when it comes to people and my belongings so i dont thing getting them done by someone i don't know is an option for me. I guess it's just a matter of what option you think will get your charater across better.
    16. That is so true about trusting someone with an expensive belonging at that. I haven't personally gotten a custom yet, but I really want to do I'll be sure to look closely their past works and reviews first.
      • x 1
    17. I like both! But I only buy finished dolls. I will never buy a blank doll to send to an artist because I don't know if I will fall in love with my custom girl. I need to fall in love right away to buy :kitty1
    18. I don't pay for default faceups anymore, though I do have a couple of dolls that came with them as a fullset right now that I haven't gotten around to repainting yet. When I first joined the hobby I would pay for the default faceup most of the time even if I planned to send the doll out for a new one just because I was afraid I wouldn't bond with them without it. Now I mostly paint my dolls myself (barring a few oldies that still get sent to a friend who's painted them fabulously since before I was able to do it myself), and I actually have a hard time bonding with a doll unless I can see its sculpting blank without a faceup obscuring details. I've done a complete 180 over time.
    19. I always send mine out to artists for painting. Or they came with an artist face up when I bought a floating head. I have no talent to do a face up myself. And shudder to think what a face up by myself would even look like...Part of the fun for me is looking at pictures of heads done by artists and then finding the right one for a particular sculpt.
    20. I prefer custom faceups unless it's a pretty limited edition faceup or if the faceup is similar to what I would have done or commissioned. I am still not very confident in my faceup skills and have painted a few of my dolls to improve my skill, but I think other artists' work is so much prettier so I tend to enjoy commissioning faceups for my dollies :)