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Getting back into the hobby after a long hiatus?

Jun 5, 2017

    1. Last year, I moved out of my country and left all my dolls behind, starting a long dolly hiatus that lasted until now. I'm currently trying to motivated myself back into the hobby, before I return home and find all my dolls waiting for me. I'm torn between selling all my dolls and quitting the hobby, starting all over again, or continuing my collection with minor adjustments.

      For people who've experienced a long dolly hiatus; how long was it and how did you get back into the hobby? How did you react to your dolls after such a long break? How did you get yourself back on track with new releases, companies, faceup artists, goals, wishlists, etc.?
      Were you still attached to your dolls after your hiatus, or did you reset your collection? Any tips for people trying to get back into the hobby?

    2. My experience with losing interest in other hobbies is just leave it alone for a while, even if it is a few years.

      Selling things makes you lose too much money, especially if you just re-buy them again.

      Unless you're definitely sure that you're completely and permanently over it, then you might as well recover whatever you can.
      • x 1
    3. Oh boy, I sure did do that! I got my SID back in 2013, and within about 6 months of his arrival my husband and I both just kind of waned in doll-interest. We've been in the hobby since 2005 and met through a meetup, so it had been a very long and consistent part of our lives! We didn't intentionally drop out of the hobby, but the resin collected dust until January of this year with about 2 clothing changes and exactly 0 new purchases of anything or meetups during that whole time. We were essentially out for 4 years.

      Now, I would never even consider selling my dolls. Not one of them, unless it was a dire emergency, and even then I could probably only let go of about half. So I would definitely say no to selling unless you find yourself really unhappy with your current collection--if you're just looking for a refresh, it might be fun to try re-styling a doll or two and see how that feels. It'll be cheaper than re-buying, and still give you something new and interesting to do without losing what's familiar!

      Coming back, the hobby is a very different place! DoA has a lot of good info to browse through, but I found that Facebook groups and the Tumblr tags were a good way to get a really wide variety of photos and discussions very quickly. Investigate the new stuff at your own pace. Personally, I started by checking up on my old favorite companies, then started browsing the doll profiles here to find out the sculpt names and brands of newer dolls I found interesting to look at. Same goes for faceups and clothing brands; find photos you like, and if the info isn't posted with them ask the owners about the origin of the parts you're interested in. I was delighted to find out that making your own wigs has become a really big thing, too, and am having a lot of fun playing around with that!

      At the end of the day, a hobby is something you should have fun with :) I say engage with dolls in the way that brings you the most joy! If that means sticking to what you know, don't feel bad about not knowing new stuff--there's way too much out there for anyone to be familiar with every company these days! But if that means replacing old sculpts with a new style, then I wish you the very best of luck finding the perfect fit. As long as you're enjoying yourself and your dolls, you're doing it right!
      • x 7
    4. How long was it and how did you get back into the hobby?
      I had a long hiatus from this hobby, 6 years to be exact. I just lost all the interest towards it, when I moved to another city and my friends moved all over the country. So I didn't have anyone to meet with or share thoughts, even though I tried to keep in contact to my friends. Because I needed funds, I needed to sell my dolls. I had 6 back then, but decided that I won't ever sell my first doll that I got. I put him to his box and gave to my parents so they could place him somewhere safe.

      I came back to the hobby last fall. I just thought, that now is time for a second chance after I came to visit my parents and took my doll with me. I wanted to continue in this hobby, because I think this gives me so much more room to express myself. Also I wanted to have something else to do besides work and school. I started to take contact to other hobbyists and talked to them. I realized how much I missed the community around it and the joy this hobby brings me.

      How did you react to your dolls after such a long break? How did you get yourself back on track with new releases, companies, faceup artists, goals, wishlists, etc.?
      Oh my, it was so weird to look at my first doll after so many years! O.O But I felt somehow warm inside - there are so many good memories that includes him.

      I started looking through companies that I used to follow, did dolly-ig account, talked to my new friends and found out about new companies, registered here etc. And it just kept rolling from that :'D My wishlist started slowly growing, I send my first doll to a faceup artist to get a new fresh faceup, bought new clothes & eyes him etc. I even redid his story which inspired me even more!

      Yet I think, that I have missed so much over the past years when I wasn't in it. So many cute dolls, awesome limited edition releases etc that now have an extremely high 2nd hand prices. Kind of wish that I had found away to continue in this hobby by myself. By now I could have the most awesome grew ever! But I'm happy even though there was a long hiatus.

      Were you still attached to your dolls after your hiatus, or did you reset your collection? Any tips for people trying to get back into the hobby?
      I still love my first doll. He's very special to me. I reset my collection and started buying new dolls because I had sold the other ones 6 years ago - now I have 3 completed + 1 floating head at home, 1 doll is on the way! I think it's better this way. Since my taste of dolls has definitely changed compared to younger me. These new dolls fit better for my taste and the characters that I have in my mind.

      I agree with wolfie! Hobby should be something you can have fun with and it should make you feel better and good about yourself. If this hobby someday doesn't bring the joy for me, I don't think I'm able to continue in this hobby.
      I would say, that don't be harsh on yourself if you don't now "this company & that artist". Just give yourself some time to do research - like you did with excitement when you started the hobby. To me this feels exactly like starting the hobby again and learning so many new things makes me happy :'D
      • x 4
    5. I took more than year off the hobby, it started because we were going through renovations and everything was packed up. After the reno I did'nt feel like sewing or playing with my dolls at all, and time just flew by. Just recently I opened up some of their boxes and fell in love all over again and started sewing up a storm. I never considered selling any.
      • x 1
    6. @Wolfie I never thought of going through the tumblr tags but that's a great idea! I've actually been having a great time getting back into the hobby and your comment really encouraged me to just go at my own pace and have fun. Oh gosh, I remember trying to make my own wig over a year ago and failing miserably, but for some reason I'm really excited to try again! :lol: You're right, we're in the hobby to enjoy and express ourselves. Thanks a bunch (:
      Also it's so amazing you met your husband in a meetup!!

      @Tuulen Hearing your hobby story I find it so similar to what I'm going through. My tastes in dolls has matured a lot compared to before and what I'm liking now is just so different from what I own back home, it's confusing. Maybe I'll end up resetting my collection and keeping only those that reflect my new style like you did :) Comments like yours make me so happy to be back on DoA! :dance
      • x 1
    7. I was on a hiatus for a few years! I got my "first" collection between 2008 and 2011 and then my "second" collection from 2014 onwards. My first collection was mainly in 1/3 scale, the couple 1/4 scaled ones were child characters. That was during my anime phase, and the dolls reflected that with their huge eyes and soft features and in the end I didn't really like any of them... I packed them away when I moved and never took them out. Then in the beginning of 2014 I ended up getting a great idea for a backstory. My dolls always need to be a part of a story and I have serious problems with bonding if there's no story and/or a character for a doll. After the new story idea, I started playing with the idea of getting the characters as dolls. At first I wanted to get them in 1/3 scale, but I had little income so it would have taken forever to save for them. At the same time, mature minis were something relatively new so I decided to see if I could find suitable sculpts for my characters in 1/4 scale. I did, and I decided to sell the old collection as I really had no interest in them anymore. I only kept one of them, my MNF Chloe, but she had to go through a complete makeover - face up, style, wig, eyes - before I was happy with her.

      I guess that one of the reasons I got bored with my first collection was because I didn't want to change them. My "main character" had blond hair and she wore lolita. In retrospect, I should have put a red wig on her head and dress her in a hoodie and jeans or something and I probably would have ended up liking her again. Nowadays, if I notice that I'm starting to get bored with one of my dolls, I immediately make them new clothes/face up/change their eyes or something. That always helps me.
      • x 1
    8. Glad I could help :D I've made 5 wigs so far, and while not all of them look great it's been a blast to play around with! Have fun, and good luck with wig making take 2 :)
      • x 1
    9. I was on a hiatus for a few years now.
      I got my bjd collection between 2005/2006. I got the fashion doll first. Then I got my luts.
      I stopped my hobby because of my lousy breakup and financial problems. Now I just started my hobby again. I got bored with my luts.
      Now I am moving to the fashion doll again .
      We just have to find friends who enjoy the same hobby. Then we will be motivated and excited again.
    10. I had about a three year hiatus, although not on purpose; I just sort of ended up not taking the dolls out or doing anything with them. I'm not sure there was a specific point when I just started back into the hobby, but once I ordered a new shell for an long sold doll the spark seemed to come back. I will say it's different now for me, if only because I don't really have the same kind of interaction with fellow dolly owners/friends that I did years ago, but that's on me for being a lazy introvert lol
    11. I have been on hiatus twice with my dolls. The first was because my job required more time than I had and the second was moving and packing them all up. When I settled into the new place I couldn't bring myself to open them up and start playing again. A convention was my catalyst for renewed interest. I agree also with staying online and looking at others photos. I believe there is nothing wrong with taking a break. When I went back I had a renewed interest in my collection. I was ready to purge some dolls and accessories that didn't speak to me. Now I enjoy all aspects of my collection and do not berate myself if all i do is look at them on display. Good luck with your decision.
    12. I was having problems from the start with the hobby. I had purchased 6 new dolls from dollzone, by the time they arrived I couldn't find the things I wanted for them. My plans kept changing And I was really discouraged I gave up and put them away for prolly a year. I did finally get back into the hobby because I was bored with other hobbies I had (Rc cars). This time around I didn't have plans and just had a whatever attitude and everything worked out better. For me this is just a hobby I have to take my time and be patient with and It all eventually works out.
    13. When I first started the hobby, I started with MSDs and a story that I wasn't that passionate about but I thought "fit in" more with the bjd hobby. Because I wasn't too passionate about it, I got bored. This ended with me selling my dolls. Cut to about a year and a half later, and I saw an SD. My interest was back and soon I had a story and characters that I was passionate about.
    14. Hey there,
      I went on a hiatus as well. Still kind of on it actually.
      However, today I was thinking about being creative. I like to design clothes and draw. I have been on a total creative hiatus.
      I guess it had to do with just being plain lazy. lol I tend to get lazy and ignore all of my hobbies.

      Then I looked at facebook today. I realized that today is the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
      All of those lives lost over hate. It made me think how lucky I am as a gay man to be surrounded by people that accept me and
      encourage my work.

      So it inspired me to start looking at things in my life that makes me happy. All of my hobbies that I have stopped doing.
      So today I am going to start creating again.

      So I signed back into this site after a long 4 year hiatus. lol It's not much but it's a start.
      Going to get my dolls out of their boxes and set them out on display.
      That will bring more inspiration.

      • x 3
    15. I've done this twice. The first time for about 2 years. I was living with my ex and he hated my doll. We ended up being super strapped for cash so I made the decision to sell my first doll. Still kind of regret it, I truly loved that doll but honestly I don't think I'll ever buy that sculpt again. It wouldn't feel right. After I sold the doll I wasn't going to meets or anything anymore so I just sort of fell out of the hobby. It wasn't intentional, just life got in the way.

      Two years later I decided I missed the hobby so I bought a new doll. Then my family ended up moving out of state and I was trying to make new friends in this new place and I thought, "Hey I have this super niche hobby I wonder if anyone around here shares this interest." So I came back to DoA and lo and behold there was this fledgingly BJD group that was just about to hold its first Meetup in the area, so I went! I actually did make a lot of good friends there. Sadly, the dreaded doll drama found its way to the group and I decided to jump ship and stopped going to Meetups. It was sad because I still have a lot of fond memories of them tbh. Without a group to meet up with on the regular my interest waned and my (now two) dolls got packed up and stayed in their boxes for a few years.

      Now nearly 7 years later I've moved again and I'm kind of in the same situation where I don't know anyone here so I'm trying to make friends in my new city the same way I did before, and in doing so, I have honestly rekindled my love for the hobby and while I still haven't met a lot of people here, I have gotten back into the hobby. I've resolved that even if it stays just something I enjoy by myself I love the artistry and the creativity of the hobby so that alone is what's currently driving me, although I do hope I can manage to make some doll friends around here too.

      (Oh gosh, Sorry for the novel. I guess I'm feeling kind of chatty)
      • x 2
    16. How long was it and how did you get back into the hobby?
      I think the last time I opened my giant box of doll things was at least 5 years ago. It's sad really as I still love doing faceup and creating characters for the dolls but I'm forced to put them away due to space constraints and time issues. Recently I started packing up my house in a bid to clear out all the junk and WALAH... Doll things. Now I'm torn between selling off the dolls and items or starting to find space for them.

      How did you react to your dolls after such a long break? How did you get yourself back on track with new releases, companies, faceup artists, goals, wishlists, etc.?
      Sad, I felt sad because they were just lying there the whole time. Broke my heart. I'm still trying to sort out some space at the moment and I'm still not sure if i'll be able to continue the hobby. I'm looking through DOA again hoping to find some inspiration. Iplehouse, Granado and all the realistic sculpt companies always make me happy.

      Were you still attached to your dolls after your hiatus, or did you reset your collection? Any tips for people trying to get back into the hobby?
      I'm totally resetting. I sold off all my full dolls and most of the items. Im choosing to start this hobby new if I do decide to. Don't want to feel sad that I didn't have time for these dolls. I want to start doing faceups again.
      • x 1
    17. When I first joined the hobby, it was actually rather briefly. I was extremely excited when my first MSD girl, but eventually lost interest in her. I tried selling her a couple times, but to no avail. I ended up putting her away for several years. I got more heavily interested in building up my custom Pullip/Taeyang collection, and spent several years doing that instead.

      A couple moves halfway across the country and several years later, I regained interest in BJDs. I got back into the hobby about a year and a half ago, and jumped in with a SD craze. I'd started a long time ago with the MSD, but found I didn't like that size. Plus, I was gathering together ideas for graphic novel characters and needed physical shells for them. SD turned out to have the best range of size, sculpt options and mature features I was looking for. Since then, my crew has evolved some from a more stylized beginning to more realistic sculpts.

      I've decided to keep my MSD, but she's now surrounded by a crew of giants twice her size:XD:
    18. It happened just one time to me when I went into a hiatus between 2014 and 2016 because of money issues. Also, I lost part of the interest in my dolls, it was like I needed that time to breathe and comeback later.

      I live in Brazil, and the difference between real and dollar are high now, around like 3,50 reais to 1 dolar, and comeback to the hobby wasn't easy, but I moved on and now I'm here again.
    19. I regularly go on long hiatuses. I bought my first doll 8 or 9 years ago, but only in the last 3 years have I really delved into the hobby. I have a lot of other non-doll related artsy projects that I work on, so I flip-flop between all of them every few months. I think my longest hiatus was about 2 years long, mostly for monetary reasons, but also because sometimes life gets in the way.
    20. I want on a long 8 year hiatus where I pretty much quit the hobby cold turkey due to financial crisis (which was completely my fault due to fiscal irresponsibility). I sold all of my dolls except three, which got packed away for a very long time. I didn't look at or think about dolls for a long time because I was so embarrassed at the mess I had gotten myself into.
      I slowly worked myself out of the hole, paying off all debts, and now have a great job and a house. And I am now rather cautiously getting back into the hobby.
      Re-entering the hobby is strange but also really wonderful. I can't believe all the new companies and resources out there! My tastes are gradually changing . . . I still love old school bjds but am starting to admire more "realistic" molds. I was especially pleased to see how many companies accept layaway, which didnt seem to be as available back in the early 2000's. I still have the three dolls I had kept, and have re-purchased the heads of a couple that I had sold. I haven't reset my collection, although I am open to more variety. One major change is that I am more interested in creating hybrids, again due to the incredible amount of bodies and parts available today, often at much more reasonable prices (thank you Mirodoll in particular). I also tend to be less tentative when customizing hybrids due to the cheaper cost than I was with my former, pricey limited dolls. Anyway, just as obsessed as ever, but hopefully I won't over do it this time around:).
      • x 2