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How do you bond with your dolls?

Jan 5, 2011

    1. Hello! Sorry if this is a repeat thread. If it is, mods please defeat ^_^

      I've seen a lot of threads about what you do if you don't bond with a doll and it got me wondering how our doll's personalities are developed for each owner. In other words what do you do to help yourself bond with each doll? Is there anything special you do to help yourself discover what kind of clothes, wigs, faceups and eyes work best with each doll?
    2. Part of the bonding process for me is working on the doll -- it could be giving it a faceup, trying to find just the right wig/clothes/eyes, finding the right combination of hybrid parts. It can also come from writing about their characters, or even just spending time holding them. For me, the important part is taking them off the shelf and doing something with them.
    3. I have to find that doll's personality and show it through wig, eyes, face-up, and clothing. If I can't get the doll to be who they seem to be, I won't bond. If a doll sits too long without being discovered, I sell it.

      For the longest time, I had a doll that didn't speak to me. I didn't know how to dress her. I didn't know what her hair or eyes were like. Then I found the right combination that just made her click. I had considered selling her before, but now that she has found herself, I've bonded.

      I have to spend time with the doll and create that character. I don't usually work from existing characters like many others do. I like to let the doll tell me who they are. It sometimes take time, but once it's found, it's done. We've bonded.
    4. I will strip a doll down and sit it beside me on my computer desk. He just....sits there....until I either fall hopelessly in love with him or I don't. I find clothes and wigs interfere with my initial attachment - I'm looking for the face, the aesthetics of the body/jointing to "speak" to me and then it's even more fun when I do wig and change out the eyes and dress them!
    5. That's interesting, I do the same thing (mostly because I procrastinate on getting clothing/wigs for them) :) But in the past it's really helped me decide which dolls I do and don't like. If I don't like them naked I generally don't like them ever in my experience.
    6. I usually have their character laid out in advance (85% of the time) and usually I have what I need to make them look more or less right waiting for them since I knew they'd be coming home eventually. Then once I have cobbled together their initial look I rearrange the doll crew to give them context, look at them in relation to their most significant others and give them time. Sometimes it's an immediate yes or no. Sometimes it takes a few weeks. Sometimes after a few years I'll feel that my initial interpretation of the character was off and I reshell. Painting them myself is crucial for some dolls but not all. Photographing them can really bring out the love.

      I know I have an easier time "bonding" with large male dolls, so for example my LLT Roderich unpainted head got put on a temp body with temp eyes and wig and he FIT just right. I keep that in mind when trying to bond with girl dolls and anything smaller than 60cm, they take more time before I can be sure. I have to make changes to their look several times before it seems right.

      On the side of this are the three sculpts I fell head over heels with at the first glance of promo picture. Two of them I broke the rules and had no preset character. For them there is no "bonding" procedure to go through, like they were always my dolls and I just had to get them home.
    7. Bonding comes from doing face ups, picking out or making clothes, setting up photoshoots, but really, the main thing for me is that I just sit around with my doll. I watch TV, hang out with my girlfriend and her dolls, drag them around the house.

      Really though, for me, bonding will happen or it won't. If it doesn't, I don't grieve, I just let them move on :)
    8. Hm, I only have two dolls, so my own experience isn't exactly extensive. But I have to say that the likliest reason why I was able to bond with my dolls was because I knew what I wanted from each one, and I wouldn't settle for less. The fact that both fullfill their purposes, exactly, simply filled me with nothing but satisfaction and happiness. So, maybe knowing what you want from a doll you buy will help with the bonding process? If you know the doll is doing exactly what it's supposed to, then it'll probably be easier to bond with him or her.
    9. I need first a character and then a doll that fits to it.
      I can`t bind with dolls without pre-existing characters. I really like them, but I don`t know what I should do with them... so my first three dolls and two heads are sold because of it.
      The box opening and a face up that fits to the character helps too.
    10. Re stringing for me helps a lot. There is something about getting close and personal with a dolls makeup that gets past a lot of things. Also trying wigs etc, I wasn't sure Emma would work, but as soon asa her wig came *bam* there she was.
    11. Everyone's experiences are very interesting to read. For me I love my doll, Allen, but I'd no idea why I love him. I seem to love him more and more the better I get at doing things for him, like his faceups or cleaning him and dressing him. I also like it just when I'm carrying him around the house to go watch TV with me, which is actually something I'd never done with a doll before. I know I've bonded with him, because I feel happy when I'm holding him, but I'd never noticed it happening.

      Though it seems how you bond with your doll also depends on whether or not you create dolls for your characters or you create characters for your dolls. What do you all think?
    12. I understand that completely. I think that's the way I feel with my Allen, even though he's my first doll. I origionally had a character set out for him though, and I've been trying to go that way with his styling but I don't know if I'm going to keep it that way. He seems to have a style of his own, separate of the original design.
    13. I simply handle them. I'm fascinated by the different jointing systems different companies have, and I find that while I'm handling them - even something as simple as posing them and testing their movement, staring at them and moving them, seeing how they look from different angles... it draws me to them more. There are certain dolls that have arrived that have bonded with me for very different reasons though.

      My Custom House Marco is the perfect example. He wasn't the doll I'd ordered, and I felt incredibly bad for the first while because I knew that someone must be missing a doll that they wanted. I tried very hard not to handle him or grow accustomed to him at all but there's this thing about this particular sculpt... as a blank doll a marco, especially one you know you didn't order, looks like it knows that you're going to hate it. It's such a sad, lost and lonely looking blank sculpt that I couldn't help but want to "make it feel better", and the company wasn't helping by taking so long to respond to me. In the end the company told me to keep him, and I went ahead and "let" him find a character. He surprised me in such a delightful way that I can't possibly be displeased with him, much less let him go anywhere. He'd already laid claim to a wig that suited his face perfectly, and once he returned from a dear friend who gave him an absolutely perfect faceup, his expression did a 180 degree turn. No more is he lost and sad, but a welcome addition amongst my doll family.
    14. I was stoked about my doll before I had her, but once she arrived, I just kept taking pictures. Emma by the terrace, Emma with her arms in the air... dumb stuff like that because she's my first. I also am an avid participant in DoA's 'Games' section, which allows me to get creative with some of my shots, and gives me an excuse to take more pics. I like prompts for things like pictures or writing, because it tends to make me think outside the box.

      It also gives me a look at what her body is capable of doing - how well she posed, pro's/con's of this and that. (Could she keep her arms at her side? Did she kick? Was she floppy here or there? Can she sit on her heels?) <- all of those questions were answered in doing shoots around my home.
    15. That's such a cute story! It made me happy just reading it ^-^ because I have experienced a similar thing, in a completely different way. I bought my AS cain Allen second hand, the only one in my list I could afford but he wasn't the one I'd wanted right then. I'd wanted a smirking sculpt with narrow eyes and in the pictures I'd seen from the previous owner he was a more wide eyed sculpt with a neutral expression... but I bought him anyways. The previous owner hadn't handled him much and when I opened his box he had a very frowny face but the more I started working with him the more he turned into what I really wanted. I even have pictures of him smirking at the camera before I changed his face-up (which was really bad, andin the pictures he looks like he laughing at me for putting such silly makeup on him). By now though I've finally given him the face-up that's perfect for what I wanted... now I just need to get the right clothes and wig ^_^
    16. Hmm, I should try that, it sounds fun ^-^
    17. Well, regarding finding personality and what looks best on them, that is purely a visual thing to me. So I just try a few different things until I find a look I like, that is only about appearance for me. But for the actual bonding, I find I do it in the same way I do pets. When I'd get a new pet, I'd set it in my lap and slowly and calmly pet it, then after a while it relaxes to the point it falls asleep and there's this calm bonding between us.

      That's kind of how I am with dolls, I'll put them in my lap or on a table in front of me and brush their hair, it helps me get a 'feel' for how well that wig works with that doll and it works as a way for me to mirror a calm fondness back at myself, I guess you could say. After a while of brushing their hair I just kind of get this feeling of "I'm fonder of you now than I was before". Redressing them also seems to help with this for me. So for me, maybe it's just a matter of handling them more to get an attachment to them. I'm not really sure myself lol.
    18. I play with them. Mess with their wigs, their faceup, eyes... I had trouble bonding with my SD until I put a blonde wig on him. I change their appearance until they really click with me. Right now, I'm messing around with my first doll. Trying to reconnect with her, so to speak.
    19. I do most of that when I search for a sculpt, when I choose one..I usually take a pretty long time to settle on a doll for a character(meaning..2-3 years sometimes?)and when I've finally ordered them, often I have bonded already. When the doll itself is here, it's fun to see how he develops and making clothes and getting wigs and eyes and shoes(shoooooeeees)really helps, but that's more playing, because when the doll comes out of the box, 9 out of 10 times I know if it was the right choice or not and bonding is no problem. If it's the wrong choice, usually I'm still giddy because omg new doll! But somewhere in the back of my mind I already know, it's not the right one. Luckily this hasn't happened very often yet, and mainly with impulse buys.
    20. For me, it starts with the face-up; it has to be one I've done myself. If the doll arrives already with a face-up, I find it incredibly hard to bond with it until I've wiped it and done it afresh myself, because I often find that the doll "speaks" to me as I'm working on it so by the time the face-up is completed, I have a pretty good idea of the character's personality and name. Experimenting with different eyes and wigs usually completes that process; I've got a big box of eyes and a large bag with an assortment of wigs so it's very unusual if I can't find something to suit at least temporarily.

      If that doesn't work, I'll do several photoshoots and maybe take the doll to a meet or somewhere out of the house. Sometimes even after all that, I find I have to go back to the beginning again, wipe the face-up and start over. I've had to do that with a couple of dolls, and there's one doll I'm currently considering doing that with right now - and putting the head on a different body; it's not working as a boy, so I'm thinking of putting it on a girl body with a completely different face-up.

      It's pretty rare that I've had to give up completely on a character; there've only been maybe 3 dolls out of the 20+ dolls I've owned over the past 5 years that I had to sell because I couldn't bond with them.