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Does a lower Budget Force Creativity?

Jun 14, 2011

    1. Browsing around the discussion and gallery threads I have noticed that those with lower budget dolls are twice as likely to make their own clothes, accessories, furniture, wigs, and modify their dolls. Those with high end budget dolls tend to use their creativity to set up elaborate sets and take intense photographs.

      Does having a lower budget force buyers to do more with their doll?
    2. I think the answer to this one is potentially more complex than it might seem.

      Available budget is going to influence spending, obviously, but I think it happens in different ways. My budget is probably perceived to be considerably larger than it is because I prioritize my spending toward blank, nude dolls -- canvases I can explore later -- because that's something I definitely cannot create myself.

      I will also spend on items that I consider to be a good value for the price asked. A good deal of thought goes into making that evaluation, though. There are a few "high end" garments in this category because I know what amount of work has gone into them, and I would rather spend that amount than do that amount of work which might be quite considerable -- tailored men's suits are a good example of this. I bought one because I wanted something very basic and straightforward but very well made, and knew it wouldn't inspire me enough to make the investment of work required worthwhile. In some instances, what would be required for me to construct the same items at home involves equipment I don't have to make properly, and the ultimate cost would be well above what the company or artist is charging for it. I don't have an overlock machine, for instance -- until I do, I'm more likely to buy knitwear garments than attempt to make them, because I know what I want in a knitwear garment in that respect. Sometimes, it's a factor of time. I have very little of it to spare on hobbies with my work schedule -- sometimes the week it would take to construct something isn't time I can afford to spare in that regard, so the item would end up costing me more in time not spent working. (From home, and pretty much from when I drag myself out of bed to when I collapse at night, so it's not regular hours with regular time off.)

      Sometimes the materials involved are going to mean you're not making a savings in the long run by making things yourself. It's surprising how quickly things start to add up when you begin making things for your dolls (or just in general). What seems like a savings at the outset can often cost you more by the time you assemble supplies to do it, unless you already have the things required. (Sewing machine, etc.)
    3. Force? I'm not so sure about that. Encourage? I would say yes.

      People who are naturally creative are going to be creative no matter what, but they might purchase more tools, equipment, and findings to go along with it. But for those without a lot of discretionary spending, not having access to equipment or tools may encourage them to think outside the box to get a finished result.
    4. not in my case xDD if I don't have money, my doll will have 1 pants, and 2-3 very ugly and cheap shirt. end.
    5. I agree with surreality. In general I like doing stuff myself, but if there's a similar (or better made) item already available for a reasonable price, I'll buy it. Sometimes I end up buying the item simply because the cost of buying materials for just one piece would be larger than buying the item from somewhere else. I haven't always thought that far and I'm currently drowning in all sorts of stuff for handicrafts.. My fondness to learn new techniques has prob increased the clutter as well. ^^'

      Nowadays I'm doing quite a lot myself because I have so much stuff lying around, but as a rule I try to spend my time and money on something that can't be bought.
    6. I just am finding that, more and more, I am loving putting my own stamp on my dolls. I love sewing and painting them and, eventually, I may even make their wigs too. I'm not saying I have disposable income, because I don't, but, whether I have a cheap doll or an expensive doll, I find it's just fun to do something on them myself. Which, to be honest, was not how I figured I would be in this hobby but it seems it turned out that way. But, that aside, there are things I willing to admit are worth the expense and I will buy/save for. There's only so far my skill goes.

      Overall, I'm not sure it's expense that controls me but inspiration. I've bought faceup AND sewing supplies and, yeah, sometimes it's way cheaper just to buy it already done. But, if I'm inspired, I go with that over bought items/faceups any day. XD
    7. For me it's the opposite, the materials used to create cost a lot as well, when I can't buy the materials I need I feel stifled and all my plans wither away because they aren't able to take shape.
      I like to make my own stuff not because I can't afford to buy the real deal ( I can't afford anything at the moment) but I make things because what I want is either unavailable or doesn't exist yet.
    8. I am sure it varies with each person. Creative people will always be creative, no matter how much money they have. I have a relatively low doll budget any given month, and I absolutely hate making things. I would rather spend the time saving and creatively raising money to have someone else do the work for me because it is that to me. Work. Not fun at all. Coming up with ideas is fine, but I've never been one for implementing them.
    9. I have a pretty limited income, but I still prefer to buy things over making them. Because I know how to sew I could technically make all my dolls clothes, however, because I know how to sew I also understand just how much work and as Surreality mentioned TIME can and probably will go into making something that fits and looks good on my doll. Sure I could probably throw together something in two or three hours but will it look nice and fit well? Probably not. Perhaps someone else could, but not me, I've never been that fast. So buying clothes it is. With faceups I just don't have the skills to do them the way I would want them to look, so again I'll be paying someone else to do that as well.

      So personally I don't think money, or lack there of is going to be the only reason or main reason why someone either buys all their doll things or makes it. I think whether or not someone is willing to do either is also going to be a big factor.
    10. Force implies that they are coerced into creativity ;) I'm not sure if it's a lower budget that encourages creativity or whether it's a person's innate creativity that prefers to choose a blank canvas on which to work, and perhaps a lower-end of the range doll is that perfect canvas because modding wouldn't be so disastrous on the wallet if it went wrong and if it goes right you have added another experience string to your creative bow.

      I enjoy sewing, knitting, and doing my own face-ups, but between my degree, my paid work and my work behind the scenes on DoA, I don't really have much free time to indulge these sides of the hobby...so I channel my hobby budget into buying high-quality (but not necessarily high-price) clothing made by people with more talent and time than myself, and sending my blank heads to customisers with excellent skills. I suppose in a way this is handicapping my own chances to improve my skills, but time, rather than budget, stands in the way of that.

      I agree with Kim in that creative people will find ways to be creative, no matter their budget constraints - I've seen a lovely couch for dolls made from a cigar box, so materials are out there and they don't have to be expensive.
    11. Unless someone directly speaks about their income, and people tend to speak in vague terms about it when they do, it's hard to judge if this is true. In my experience, it seems to have more to do with having a crafts, art, or sewing background. For me, who had disposable income and now has none, I'm still not going to be DIY about things I don't do well or have a specific interest in. Especially with clothing, there are some very simple garments I want to try making to get specifically what I want but wouldn't really be worth getting commissioned, but I'll never make very much because I've gotten pickier about quality and don't want to have to spend years learning to sew really well before getting nice clothing.

      Quite frankly, the dividing factor probably has to do more with how much the individual enjoys making things and coming up with clever solutions. Now that I'm essentially broke, I can't enjoy very much doll shopping, but I am enjoying trying to find props and things at thrift stores. Customization I always wanted to do myself, so that's not a matter of attempted cost savings. I consider myself plenty creative, I'd just rather use that creativity on my writing. And as surreality pointed out, it's not always money at issue. Time and space are also significant factors in how creative people are willing to be, as is what tools and equipment have already been purchased. Just as an example, you'd have to make a fair amount of doll clothing before a sewing machine would pay for itself in savings, but if you're already into sewing, have tonnes of fabric around, have the free time and enjoy doing it, sewing your own clothes becomes a great way to save money and put your personal touch on things.

      In short: I have a lower budget, and am not particularly more creative in terms of BJD activities than I was when I had a decent income. Both situations had different kinds of constraints. In my opinion, it has more to do with the individual's habits, tastes, how they grew up, what skills they already have, and what skills they're interested in learning. I notice more than one poster has mentioned they make what they can't buy. That's not necessarily because they can't afford it - it's as likely to be because it just doesn't exist, or they want it a very specific way. Perhaps it's not a matter of budget, but ANY factor that makes the desired result hard to attain.
    12. Although I consider myself pretty creative, I get discouraged making things for my dolls because they usually go so badly! :lol: I enjoy doing faceups, so that's one way I save money and use my creativity, but sewing... I find time-consuming, difficult, boring and unrewarding, so I'd rather spend money on clothes even if it means being less creative. Wigs too: I see no need to make my own wigs when I can find beautiful, unique webs on the marketplace, made by people who possess talents and patience I don't! Same with shoes and eyes. Basically, I only make things when I really can't find them to buy. For example, I'm planning on sculpting some small props that I can't find elsewhere.
      So, personally speaking, the main things that stop me making my own stuff is lack of skill, and pure laziness ;) I'd just rather buy stuff than do things I don't enjoy.
    13. Depends completely on the person to me, Some of my dolls are more high budget but the reason I dont make clothes and such is because I cant sew ^trust me on this^. I am very picky what I want them to wear and there is no way I could make anything good enough. Accesories sometimes ill convert things for them, furniture id just rather buy same with wigs as I cant make them. I will pay others to do mods or customizations if I feel the need cause again im a perfectionist and its not my talent that I could make it good enough. As for the sets I did start making dolly rooms cause its easier to organize my dolls that way and get into most of my drawers XP
    14. ((Decided to edit this to reword it))

      I personally enjoy making or doing things myself, especially with my dolls. You might say I'm possessive, but to me that's what the hobby is about. I do all my own face-ups and mods, make my own clothes, build sets out of whatever I can find and old doll stuff that's been laying around. My goal is to make my collection look as nice as possible, (because I enjoy them that way) and get the kinds of photos and interactions out of it that I want. I can't afford to simply purchase what I'd need to make that happen, so yes, my budget does restrain me just a little- but it more reigns in my creativity then forces it to come out. If I could afford it, there'd be no end to what I'd buy and do with my dolls. My space is extremely limited right now, so there'd be no where to store any of it, but money not being an issue, I'd be up to my neck in doll stuff. Because money is an issue (and a big one at that) I can just about manage to buy the dolls themselves once in a while.

      For me though, I've always loved making things- I've been making clothes, houses and props for my dolls since I was old enough to hold a pair of children's safety scissors. It's no big deal to me to go buy a sewing machine (mine was refurbished and cost about the same as a really nice set from Dollheart, so it's already paid for itself) and sit down and learn to machine sew. (I've been hand sewing since I was 8). I love picking up new hobbies, so learning to work within my budget to create the beautiful doll world of my dreams is simply something that I'm doing- the result will be the same whether I have a big budget or a small one: that's the whole point.
    15. I find when I am having money problems I am less creative because to much time is spent worrying about bills and my mind is preoccupied. When money was tight I worked extra hours and did not any time to spend with my dolls. Times in my life when I was not as worried about the bills my mind was free and I was much more creative.
    16. You can't really be creative without the materials to be creative with. It's hard to make miniature buttons for clothes. You would have to buy them. The amount of time you spend making something means you're not making money. Obviously you can try to make everything for your dolls from found objects, but then where are you going to find good light fabrics for doll clothes. You're more likely to find old dirty curtains and table clothes than silk scarves. Will your dolls have shoes? Are you going to make the shoes. Do you have the materials to make the shoes? What about the wig? I guess you might be limited to unraveling old sweaters to make yarn wigs and then only in the colors you can find. The amount of time it would take to find the right materials for free or for the right price isn't worth it.
    17. I think it really depends -- because it doesn't just come down to price, but also what the owner is interested in and comfortable doing in terms of creative projects. Does hobbyist A sew lots of outfits because she can't afford to buy them, or does she just like to sew? Making things isn't always cheap either, depending on what kind of materials you're using. My budget for doll stuff is not what it used to be, yet my sewing hasn't increased at all, because it's not something that I enjoy that much. However, I've done my own faceups both when I had more money and when I had less, because it's something I do like to do.
    18. My dad says what I buy online and what I don't... So I make the clothes myself. Honesly, I like doing it and learning stuff. I also decided to do the face-ups myself, because I wanted to learn. I'm learning to take better photos too. For now, no shoes and wigs though ^^; Those I buy. Maybe I'll make them too, someday.
      I'm kind of competitive with BJDs. I want to be good. I actually want to make people go "wow!" over my face-ups (though that's FAR from what I do now). That doesn't have anything to do with money really; I have money. I just rather spend it on fabrics than on ready clothes. That's the choice one makes ^^

      ...Plus I can't buy stuff online XD
    19. I think it's part of the fun of these dolls to make them things and I love doing it, but I am a bit lazy and probably would not bother if I could afford to buy the things I like or commission them to be made. I rarely see the kinds of clothes and especially props I want for my dolls, so if I don't make them, they go naked. It happens that I've collected little odds and ends all my life; bits of fabric and lace, boxes of costume jewelry, snippets of silk and velvet, so I have more raw material than I can probably use in my lifetime. I am using these to make things for my dolls because I need to use them for something and if not now, then when? I try to only buy things I don't think I could make very well, like tailored clothes for the guys. I don't think a lack of money or having it necessarily promotes creativity, but as someone has said, "necessity is the mother of invention".
    20. If a person is determined to make things and is on a low budget, they'll figure out how/where to get materials inexpensively. If they don't have the money for even a dollar piece of clothing from a thrift store, then they probably wouldn't be in the hobby. Low/limited budget does not equal no money at all, just a smaller amount of money than others might have, which actually isn't that hard to work with for someone who's creative. For example, just what I can think of reading your post:
      1.Tree branches. No, seriously. I have friend who makes the buttons for her knitted sweaters out of tiny branches that she slices up and drills tiny holes in. It's really not difficult if you have a jeweller's saw or an xacto and some sandpaper. 2. Old clothes. Dolls are not that big, even 70 or 80cm dolls. One shirt/skirt/scarf from a human will make a doll shirt. A tablecloth could be a pair or two of trousers or shorts or a jacket. Thrift stores/charity shops/yard or garage sales/boot sales are not hard to find nor expensive to purchase things from. 3.People make shoes all the time. It really isn't difficult to do if you find a pattern and cheap materials. Again, thrift stores/ charity shops are a great place to find cheap materials like pleather for the body of the shoes. Soles could come from dollar store flip-flops/thongs or be cardboard or craftfoam glued in a stack. 4. Yarn is cheap. Really cheap if you aren't buying something like top quality hand-dyed mohair. Craft stores have it for maybe a dollar or two for huge skeins, and a wig doesn't really use a huge amount, depending on the size. Maybe they use more if you're making a brushed-out, normal-ish wig instead of, say, a dread wig, but still, you probably won't use a whole skein even on an SD wig. Sometimes you could even get skeins free, if you look and find someone who's getting rid of yarn they don't want anymore. If someone wants to make things themself rather than just buy everything, the time it takes to make/find the materials and make the things they want is totally worth it.

      Honestly, I think it is up to the individual and their inclinations/abilities when it comes to the hobby rather than the amount of money they have. People who want to make things will make them, people who'd rather buy things will buy them. I won't say that budget doesn't affect the decision at all, but depending on the individual, it probably has less of an imapct than one would think. Budget might affecthe kinds or grade of materials an already creative person has to work with and what they will do with them, but it seems unlikely to suddenly make a person who has no interest in making things attempt to do so
      I personally like making things for my dolls, so I do. I don't have a massive budget, but even if I did, I'd still make the things I want for my boys. Why pay someone else to sew a hoodie or sculpt a gasmask or paint my doll when I can do it myself? There are things I would/do buy or commission, but only because those specific things are easier for me to buy than make and I am admittedly lazy/unskilled when it comes to working with certain materials or attempting to put together a complicated piece. I know people who make some of the things I want, so I get them to make those things. An awesome knitted sweater? I go to the person who makes really gorgeous mohair ones. PVC bondage skirt covered in buckles and straps? For that, I go to the one who makes amazing doll fetishwear.