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no BJDs - thoughts?

Jan 17, 2012

    1. There are many people here on DoA who don't own BJDs. I was wondering how they see themselves and how they are seen.
      (short version taken from debate topic suggestion thread)

      So my questions for the debate are for

      1. doll owners and their view on non-BJD owners

      (General view? How much do you think a person not owning a BJD can even know about them? How do you feel about getting advice from a user who doesn't own a BJD? Do you think that not taking non-owners seriously is a form of elitist thinking? Any meet-up experiences? Anything else?)

      as well as

      2. non-BJD owner experiences

      (General view and experiences on DoA/real life? Do you think you shouldn't give advice to someone when you don't own a BJD? If yes, what kinds of advices wouldn't you be willing to give? Do you feel like you're not part of the community, because you don't own a BJD? Has this made you reconsider the hobby? Anything else?).
    2. this is an interesting topic, thank you for raising it

      non-BJD owner experiences
      I had an interest in bjds for several years before I actually took the step of purchasing a doll. I attended my first few meetups before I purchased any dolls, and I have to say I did not feel in any way as though I wasn't part of the community. All doll owners I met were friendly and helpful, showing me their dolls (first time I had seen them "in the flesh" as it were) and engaging with me even though I was shy. The welcoming and friendly nature of the bjd community online and offline, as well as the firsthand experience of being able to see and touch other people's dolls, is what persuaded me to take the next big step and buy my own first bjd.

      doll owners and their view on non-BJD owners
      As a bjd owner now, I would extend the same friendship to any new-joiners of the hobby. I do not consider myself an expert on all things resin, so I would gladly accept any relevant advice people could give me regarding care, maintenance and customisation of my dolls.

      Personally, I believe that the best forms of advice are based in first-hand experience. For example, if I want advice on how to restore a yellowed doll, I would ask someone who has already done this for their own dolls, or for someone else's. This person is more likely to be a bjd owner themselves if they have such experience. Advice on stringing would probably have to come from a bjd owner, or at least someone who is familiar with handling bjds and has restrung several dolls themselves.

      However, if I want advice on respiratory protection when modding, I will ask someone who works in that industry (in fact I have done). Whether or not this person owns bjds is irrelevant - they can still provide safe and useful advice if they are aware of the chemicals/substances I am wishing to protect myself from. In cases such as this, I'm less likely to ask a bjd owner for advice because a frightening number of people in this hobby use inadequate protection when sanding resin or spraying sealant.
    3. There was a discussion like this on another forum I go to, which was mainly focused on whether or not someone who doesn't own a doll can be called a collector. That's a whole nother story, but what came out of it was that even though you don't have a doll, you can still be deeply involved in the hobby.
      There's quite a few people that are still saving for their doll, or waiting or whatever, but are doing all the research they can.
      When it comes to meetups I started out as someone who didn't have a doll. I thought people would treat me differently, but they were very accessible and explained things to me and let me hold their doll. I try to do the same now whenever I go to meetups. I have never been to a meetup where there was a dollless person who wasn't genuinely interested in dolls, so why not share my knowledge?
      I do think there's a bit of elitism surrounding this subject, but I don't see it often luckily. Personally I just think back of when I first started. No-one starts with a full collection and a brain full of doll knowledge. It doesn't make them any less people.
      When it comes to taking advice though, it completely depends on what. It could be that someone has been doing a lot of research on a company I'm not familiar with, and then yeah, I probably would take advice, but when it's someone who has no hands-on experience and I'd need practical advice, I would most likely look for someone else. I believe there's just some things you can't know about unless you've done it.
    4. I didn't join a forum on bjds until after I got into the hobby. I joined the first forum after getting my first bjd (who is OT here but on topic on the other forum), and joined here about a year and a half after getting my first resin bjd.

      I know there are quite a few members here who do not have a doll. I think its a really good thing for them to learn and explore and hopefully prevent some of the mistakes less dolly-educated people have made with their first. I think you can learn a lot about a doll before owning one, but there are some things you just really can't know until you have one or at the very least are around one enough to get familiar with it (like say, if a roommate or partner has one). I think there are some things a non-owner can know, but other advice I would not want to take from one, such as modding, restringing, face-ups, etc. Lots of things work in theory but holding resin in your hand can quickly make you realize that some of your amazing ideas might actually not be such a good plan. I do not think this is elitism at all! Nobody knows it all, and you go to the person that knows for advice.

      On the other hand, there are non-owners that are former owners. Either some financial issues came up that required them to sell their dolls or they may be in the process of a complete overhaul, clearing out the crew and starting over or something. In that case, they could be very experienced and know a lot, just don't have a doll on hand atm.
    5. I don't own a BJD just yet (I'm hoping this summer for my birthday I will finally get my first one), so this is coming from a non-dollie owner. I've been interested in the hobby for a little over a year, and only joined this year when I decided that I would be actually taking the plunge sometime in 2011 or 2012. I've been using this site to do everything possible research wise to learn about my doll. I'm constantly looking at how people do face-ups and what they use. I'm always making sure there aren't any more pictures of owner's dolls in the sculpt I like. And if there are, I'm looking at them hard thinking, "Do I want this sculpt, or do I want another one?" While I do give advice occasionally, it's usually basic stuff and usually answers some question that would be easy for both a non-owner and an owner to answer. I'm not going to go up to someone modding their doll and tell them to do this or that (because obviously I have no experience). Instead, I will ask questions or subscribe to a thread because I want to see more later on and am interested in it. Before I buy my doll, I plan on going to at least one convention. And if not then, I will go after I buy my doll. Of course, I would also like to take a trip down to Mint on Card since I live in Michigan, but that might have to wait. :sweat At times, I do feel a little excluded because I don't have a doll, but I'm hoping that I will be included once I have my doll (who I've been waiting for, for what feels like a long time now). DoA has definitely helped me with this hobby and makes me want to buy a doll now more than ever.
    6. My grandmother's protection was 'take it out in the backyard and spray it there!' (She didn't have any BJDs but she loved ceramics.)

      More seriously, there are definitely times when non-BJD owners can contribute knowledge, and definitely times when 'being an owner' isn't really much of a help (I'm so new to the hobby my only 'owner' help is when I can take the doll in my hand and check something, for example). I like that everyone's welcome here.
    7. I think it's fine to be deeply interested in BJDs and the hobby in general without actually owning one. You don't need to own art to appreciate its beauty. Sadly for me, I don't own any Rossetti artworks, but I still think they're beautiful and am very interested in them!

      As far as help and advice goes, it depends more on that person's level of expertise. Whether that comes from owning a doll is secondary. You can learn about respiratory protection with modding from working with other resin objects, not just BJDs. You can learn about making wigs from working with different types of dolls or humans. And although I don't cosplay, I'm often very impressed with the seamstresses who can make their own costumes! All of these things can relate to working with BJDs. There are a lot of inter-related skills out there.

      But, that said, I do take advice more seriously if I respect the giver's work themselves. If a talented faceup artist gives me advice on how to draw symmetrical eyebrows, I'll pay more attention to them than I would someone whose eyebrows are as wonky as my own. These people do tend to own their own dolls as they do plenty of work on them themselves. It's not necessary, but it just often works out that way.
    8. Re: non-doll owners: I bought a doll before I found DOA, so I was never a member without a doll, but I don't think you have to have a doll to have a keen interest in them. I'm interested in historical reenactment costumes and belong to a forum where these are discussed although I have never made one myself. I just chat with people in various threads and usually have no idea what dolls they have or don't have unless they choose to share that information. I've noticed there are some people here who have lots of dolls who seem to be clueless about them, judging from their faceups and general appearance, so I don't think it matters one way or the other.
    9. There are lots of hobbies involving "knowledge about" rather than "possession of"-- for example, fans of music groups. I could imagine a case where someone was a BJD expert without ever owning one. However, I assume most non-doll owners at DoA or meetups are there because they want to research one of their own.

      I would take advice from a non-owner, depending on the subject matter. Sometimes people inside a hobby get locked into a way of doing things, where an outsider will come along and suggest something you never thought of. And as other people have mentioned, expertise in other fields can apply to the BJD hobby.
    10. I was actually really nervous upon getting into the hobby, because I do not have my own doll yet. I thought maybe I should wait until I did get one before attending a meet up or even joining here. However, I've been pleasantly surprised to find that the BJD owners I've met so far are actually really welcoming, even though I don't have a doll. Of course, I ask questions rather than try to give advice, but everyone has seemed pretty open and willing to help and are excited to get me further into the hobby. So it's been really nice. I hope that this is a common response for my fellow future owners!
    11. Like others have said, there are a few things about dolls that you learn from actually handling one but there is a lot you can learn and be knowlegeable about without ever having one of your own. Common sense, inquisitiveness, and even just getting to handle some can get you pretty far. :)
    12. I found Den of Angels before I purhcased my first BJD, and I must say it was an excellent source of information and research material. From user posted pictures to discussions about joints, posability, and problem companies, there is a plethora of usefulness waiting to be discovered here. I am glad I found DoA before purchasing my first BJD as it helped me find exactly what I wanted without all the hassles of trial and error. I still find it very useful, especially just seeing the pictures and hearing horror stories about limpy dolls and sub-par resins and which companies to avoid.
    13. BJD Owner Experience
      (I got my BJD before I even joined this forum)

      General view?
      I view DoA as an appreciation and information forum. Those who have them can share them, and everyone, even non-bjd owners, can appreciate them.

      How much do you think a person not owning a BJD can even know about them?
      A LOT. A person could have been on these forums for a good amount of time and read everything and did tons of research. I can guarantee you that tons of non-bjd owners know a hellishly larger amount of information than I do. I'm still, and will forever be, a noob.

      How do you feel about getting advice from a user who doesn't own a BJD?
      Depends on the advice. If's its aesthetics (her eyebrows looks unsymmetrical) or just critiquing a photo or something, then by all means, sure. But when it gets to really oddly specific things, it irks me somewhat. Sometimes it's harder than it seems, so getting advice from a person who has never done it themselves is not exactly helpful, but I will always read it, take it seriously, and take it into consideration.

      Do you think that not taking non-owners seriously is a form of elitist thinking?
      Absolutely. I think non-bjd owners are just future-bjd owners. Everyone should be treated the same, because we're all here for the same reason: loving bjds.
    14. As a doll owner:

      How much do you think a person not owning a BJD can even know about them?
      From personal experiences (I waited a bit before purchasing my first doll), I know that a non-bjd owner can learn a lot, especially on DoA.

      How do you feel about getting advice from a user who doesn't own a BJD?
      It depends... Opinions and most advice I'd take very wholeheartedly. But there are some things that I feel you have to have had some first-hand experience with, such as face-ups, restringing, sanding, etc. There's a limit from what you can learn by just watching videos.

      Do you think that not taking non-owners seriously is a form of elitist thinking?
      Yes, it would be. If we're all doing our research and have a passion for the same subject, we should treat each other seriously, like a community.
    15. non-BJD owner experiences

      I joined this forum before I got a doll to do my due diligence and research. I also attended a few doll-meets, and both were good resources to learn about BJDs. Back then, the local community was fairly friendly and helpful, but some more recent experiences with newer doll owners here... let's just say I'm developing an irrational strong dislike of noobs. I didn't give out advice while I was doll-less, but I do remember thinking somet things like, 'restringing is so basic, why would you need to send it out and pay someone to do it?' That was a good many years ago. Many, many years ago...

      doll owners and their view on non-BJD owners

      From my own experience as a non-doll owner, I do think that people can build up a lot of knowledge if they make the effort to lurk more and read up. In fact, there are some owners who seem less knowledgeable than a well-researched newbie. If the advice is well reasoned and sound, it doesn't matter whether it came from an owner or a non-owner.

      Some of my experiences over the years has made me rather biased against non-owners, or new owners, or young owners, or new young local owners who are noobs. Yes, I do suppose it's rather elitist to tar them all with the same brush, but I can't help being a bit wary sometimes. There are some non-owners who obviously do their research and think things through, but they don't stand out as much as the ones who don't, I guess.
    16. While I wouldn't call a non-BJD owner a collector, per se, I see no reason to view them differently just because they don't have a doll (yet or ever). Let's face it, BJDs are an expensive hobby and some doll enthusiasts may never have the money or justify spending the money, if it's best served elsewhere. Doesn't mean they can't find enjoyment in looking at the dolls, following their favorite doll's adventures here on DoA, or even go to doll meets to gain first hand experience with them. That's why it's important as an owner to be welcoming to everyone who shows a legitimate interest. I absolutely think that to treat non-owners as somehow lacking is taking a big step into elitism and that's just reprehensible.

      As for how much a non-owner can know about them...same reason we have experts on the Titanic, or the War of 1812, or the Dark Ages. You don't have to own or touch or experience something to be knowledgeable about it.
    17. Non-BJD owner experiences

      I was on doa before I had my first doll, and because I was a student on meagre allowance saving up for a doll, it took me around a year before I actually got my first doll. In that period of time, I went around doa's many threads, especially the customisation ones to read up on doing faceups (like what materials I'll need to stock up, some tips and techniques etc) and restringing. I didn't feel like I was ...out of the hobby per se, even if I didn't have a doll, since I could answer some pretty basic questions about them, and mostly people don't really discriminate whether you actually own a doll or not. I didn't go to meetups before I had my doll though, but that's mostly because I was busy. (I still don't really go to meetups no, actually). As for giving advice, I knew obviously that when it comes to things like specifics (say, how to solve xxx problem for restringing etc), I couldn't give a good answer if I've never even handled a doll, so I usually didn't give advice. Besides, doa has many helpful people who are probably more experienced than I was, so I felt that they'll answer the questions better. Haha.

      As a doll owner and my view on non-BJD owners

      Seeing as how I started as a member without a doll, I don't treat non-doll owners differently. Usually they're saving to get their first doll, or waiting for it to arrive, or just doing research to make sure they're ready to get into the hobby, so they have their fair share of knowledge on bjd, or as much as you can get, at any rate, without owning a doll first, to be truthful. I thought I knew quite a bit about bjds before I got my doll, but boy, was I wrong. Having my doll itself taught me a lot of things I couldn't have learnt just by reading up on the forums, but at the same time, there's a lot of things you learn on the forums from other people's experiences that you'll never get just by having your own dolls. As for taking advice, as mentioned by most, it depends on what type. But generally I take all advice with a pinch of salt, so I'll probably try anything that seems to work anyway. ^^
    18. I still consider myself a newbie and I own two dolls- that having been said, I did do quite a bit of research before purchasing my first doll, and knew the basics of care, proper materials, etc. I did not, however, know squat about how to modify dolls or do face-ups, even though I already knew what materials to use and have an artistic background. I personally did not give anyone advice on BJDs (and still haven't) especially when it's not asked for. I will say as well that there are certain things that you can only learn by seeing and handling a BJD in person- and then, there are still some things you won't know.
    19. doll owners and their view on non-BJD owners

      How much do you think a person not owning a BJD can even know about them?
      A lot. Before I bought my first, I wasn't part of the community... even after I bought my first, I needed quite some time to have the courage to join the community ^^ But I already knew a lot. Not everything, but a lot. There is plenty of information floating around the net about these beauties, and I was able to learn almost everything from restringing to how to do face-ups to what can be dangerous to my doll to which companies are there etc. Sure, one only feels secure about one's knowledge about the dolls once one tried certain things out, but theoretically, it is possible to become an expert without even ever touching a doll. So I think a person not owning a BJD can still know almost everything about them.

      How do you feel about getting advice from a user who doesn't own a BJD?
      It depends on the sensibility and quality of advice, but usually I feel exactly like in the cases where I get advice from a doll-owner. Like I said, information.

      Do you think that not taking non-owners seriously is a form of elitist thinking?
      Yes, I would consider this somewhat elitist. Why should someone not take a person seriously, if the person didn't do anything wrong and silly? Not taking them seriously merely based on the fact that they don't own a doll (yet) would be short-sighted in my opinion. But I have never seen much of this kind of thinking here. Most doll-owners do take non-owners seriously - after all, non-owners are mostly doll-owners in spe, or at least fans of these beautiful dolls, and hence just fellow hobbyists.
    20. Doll owner and my view on non-BJD owners: I don't think any less of them, that would be pretty silly. A good portion are just watching for the right doll for them or are saving up (hey, times are tough!). They add variety to the forum and variety is the spice of life! :D