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First time sending a doll out for a face-up...

May 30, 2019

    1. Hi everyone!

      So I usually prefer to buy dolls with a company face-up but at the end of last year I purchased a DollZone YoSD in-stock who was blank.

      I'm usually super protective of my dolls and I'm not normally comfortable enough asking for commissions for things from people - so with these combined I've been putting off sending him out for a face-up.
      But at the same time I don't feel like I'm able to bond with him properly while he's blank.

      I also have a hard time picking a artist, deciding what I want him to look like etc.
      (Are artists usually okay with only having a couple of rough ideas and the rest being left up to them?)

      I was just wondering if there was others this worried the first time they sent a doll out for a face-up and how they overcame it?

      Also tips on how to go about the whole commission process would be a great help :)

      Thank you so much in advance!
    2. I believe every face up artists featured here on DoA (if you have MP access) are a safe bet.

      I was just like you, but lately I thought about giving some of the heads I own a different look.

      You just have to find pictures of the face up you have in mind and send them to the artist. (I use pinterest for this)
    3. I’ve commissioned 5 heads from the same faceup artist. I look a lot of pictures and once I found one I really felt in love with the work, I trusted all my dolls to her.
    4. I am also very nervous about sending my dolls out, especially internationally, because they would be very hard (if not impossible) to replace! I painted my smallest doll myself, but I am a harsh critic for myself and couldn't manage to do a faceup I really loved on my larger MSD sized dolls.

      When I sent out one of my MSD sized dolls for a faceup two years ago, I ended up hating the faceup the artist did. Her policy was to charge for a repaint and I did not want to pay again, so I had her send my doll back. I tried to like the faceup, but I hated it, so I wiped her after a few weeks and she sat for a long time while I decided what to do.

      Recently, I sent her out again to another artist. I made sure that I love every faceup the artist has done (not just some of them) and that her style is right for what I want. Rather than doing a mockup, I sent pictures of other faceups she has done and asked for a faceup inspired by faceups she has already worked on, so I know she is capable of doing those things.

      Based on my experiences, the best advice I can give is make sure that you love 90% of the faceups your chosen artist has done! If they have done "a few" that you like, but there are many you don't like, I would choose another artist. Remember that the artist is going to paint your doll like they paint most of their dolls, so if you are going to pay a lot of money, you want to make sure you love most of their dolls.

      Other than that, look at artists on DoA or instagram using #bjdfaceup! I love looking at faceups on Instagram and this is usually how I choose my artists. Once you've chosen an artist, find their website or rules (if they are listed on a thread or on instagram). Make sure you read everything very closely so you know what to expect and what the timeline is. Artists will also tell you how to best contact them in their rules! Some artists have a form on their website, some may have you email, and some may informally want you to just ping them here or on another social media platform.

      When you reach out, send just a couple pictures ('lips like this' or 'eyes like this'). Remember that you don't want to overload the artist with too much information or detail. :) If you have a few ideas, try combining each one into a single image (use something like Layout on your phone) so you aren't sending a ton of pictures. You can also hold off on sending photos and tell the artist; 'I have a few ideas, would it be okay if I send them to you and you can choose which idea you like best?'

      From there, as long as you've chosen a professional artist, they will guide you. :)
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    5. I totally understand how you feel, I was kind of in this same boat last year when I decided to send my girl off for a faceup for the first time. One thing that personally reassured me was deciding that I wouldn't commission someone that lived internationally, since there was a slightly smaller chance of the head getting lost in the mail. But that could just be my own paranoia haha.

      As demiurgo said before, any of the faceup artists featured here on DoA are probably a safe bet. Another good resource is https://www.thebjdplace.com/ They have a whole page dedicated to faceup artists from all sorts of places. I also second what RainbowsHaven said about liking the artist's work. If you don't love the work that they do, then you likely won't love the work they do on your doll.

      As for the design itself, if you aren't sure on exactly what you want, most faceup artists are good with having some reference images and then working off of that to create a look for your doll. Pinterest is a good place for references, though I mostly just use google haha. And if you're really not sure, most artist's have an "artist's choice" option which allows them to have pretty much total creative control over the look, which can be really fun!

      As for the process, most artists have their own way of going through it. Whether it be filling out a form on their website, emailing them, or messaging them on social media. If you're unsure of their process, asking them questions is totally fine, and I'd actually encourage it (asking questions is the only way you'll ever know for sure).

      Also, I second everything that RainbowsHaven said, they gave some really good advice.
    6. If you're struggling with ideas, there are a few artists out there who are willing to work with less or even no direction. Take a look at the Customizing Services in the Marketplace for someone who's work you like (or the other suggestions!), and especially at the dolls most similar to yours - like other tinies - to see if you like what they do.

      I've only ever sent one doll out to receive a face-up from someone other than myself. The artist did an amazing job (shout out to DoA user meanae) and I love what she did. But my anxiety didn't handle it well. The entire time my doll was shipping, I was in a state of low-key panic all the time. I fretted tremendously over the fact that, far from not really knowing what I wanted, I was too hyper-specific. To reiterate, the artist was amazing to work with and did nothing wrong and if not for surprise!anxiety, it would have been a very good experience.

      If that becomes the case with you (and I hope it doesn't), I would first suggest tacking insurance and tracking on your shipping to and from the artist (preferably local, to avoid any surprise fees). That way, you have a good idea of where your doll is at any given moment. Also, if anything were to happen, you can at least be reimbursed the appropriate amount. Shipping was my biggest hurdle, and I checked tracking obsessively until my doll reached his destination.

      Think of what the worst-case scenario would be, then think of what the best-case scenario would be. The reality is likely somewhere between. It's an exercise to help those who experience anxiety re-contextualize the situation that's effecting them. Also, tea. Lots and lots of tea. And for me, breathing exercises helped.
    7. Always check the artist's feedback. Personally, if they have any problem transactions or drama, I won't sent my doll to them. It's not worth the risk. (Unless of course it's just one problem and I feel it was unjustified. Sometimes people start drama for no reason.) Also check their estimated turn around time. I think around a month is good. Some people are okay with 6 month waits. Decide what is acceptable for you, and choose an artist in that range. Just be realistic--most artists won't finish in a week, as their regular lives, weather, availability of materials and taking time to do it right can all add time to it.

      When I send mine out, I always make sure to have multiple ways to contact the artist. DoA, Instagram, phone number, email, whatever, plus you have their address.
      • x 1