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Q: Artist or Collector? A: Doll Enthusiast!

Dec 28, 2009

    1. I the original (very long-winded) post I shared my horror at myself for coveting a highly-collectable doll that does not fit into what I consider my "creative narrative," thus making me less of an artist and more of a collector. The questions I posted were:
      Are you an artist? or, are you a collector, who appreciates art as a commodity and investment? Can one be both? Are the two kinds at odds?

      Below is the discussion that followed.
    2. I don't think the two are incompatible. Artists appreciate beautiful things. Andy Warhol had collected so much stuff that it took Sotheby's nine days to auction his estate after his death.
      In Warhol's view, "Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art."
    3. Gosh D: I wana give you a giant uber hug right now. I believe there will be other chances. :3 Everyone has their unhealthy moments, I've had mine but that was more of a kinda going insane, like asylum insane stage o.o and now I'm basing my dolls off of my aulter ego's that I adapted while I went insane xD (tem, a french murderous whore, more to her but its a long story r.r) (and jinx, A mello Party guy who had a reckless relationship with his girlfriend Yvette. ~Jinx is German.)

      Gettin off subject I think ._. I love your insparation for art. I'm an artist but I still think I'm on a very very low lvl of creativity lately eventhough people say I'm one of the best in my school.

      Anyways.. Wish you luck in your future happenings and big hugs all around :]
      ~tem, jinx and me!
    4. I think perhaps the way you are using the word 'collector' to be the same as 'investor' is confusing. I had to think about what exactly you were asking for a bit. Because I consider myself an artist and a collector, but not an investor. I don't look at my collection as adding to my Net Worth, but rather as adding to the joy in my life.

      When i think about it, it reminds me of when I was buying my first house. My realtor told me that she really liked working with me because I wasn't a real estate investor, and almost everyone she works with is a real estate investor. Investors are looking for an entirely different piece of property than a future home owner-who buys because they have to live in it, not because they plan to sell it.

      I'm not sure the two types are totally at odds thou. If you collect beautiful works of art because they make you happy, but then sell a few, in reality you did invest in the art and then sell for (supposedly) a profit.
    5. Artists can improve the value of the commodity - think of faceup artists for example. Smeone with exquisite talent can double and even triple the value of the doll they worked on!

      I am just an artist. I usually buy only secondhand dolls that are already damaged. Love them!
    6. I think people who lean more toward one or the other tend to think about their dolls, and the character assigned to them, differently, but I don't think it's impossible to be both. While I do appreciate the value and investment of my doll purchases, I definitely think more like an artist when it comes to making the decision to buy. Once a sculpt screams a character to me I MUST have it, no matter how much it costs. Of course, I've been lucky enough that none of the SUPER expensive dolls have spoken to my soul...^_^;;
    7. You are making a very good point. I guess, I refer to a PRODUCER of beauty vs CONSUMER of beauty. Again, as I'm thinking the whole issue over and over, I see how the line is blurred.
    8. I am definitely an artistic person, as much as I'd like to pretend my life doesn't revolve around it, but when it comes to my dolls I'm definitely more of a collector; I find that I feel there is little art when it comes to the way I choose what components to use to achieve a certain vision that I have. Often the most I'll do is pick a wig, eyes, get a faceup done, and find a few nice clothes... that does not make me feel particularly artistic. Now, someone who collects BJD and does commissions for clothing or faceups, that is a definite artist.
    9. I think if a doll calls to you that much, and you are able to afford it without putting yourself in financial danger, you should make every attempt to get it. It's calling to you for a reason - a character will probably develop for him when he arrives. Or maybe he'll be a muse, to inspire you to greater creativity. Or maybe he'll just be a gorgeous sculpture to add beauty to your life. Likely he'll be all three.

      I have the collecting gene, but also think I'm somewhat artistic. I adore painting faceups and creating characters and working on their stories and backgrounds. I also adore some dolls who already have faceups. There's still creativity in getting their whole look together and discovering who they are.

      I think "collecting" gets a bad rap around here. There are tons of people on here who I would consider collectors (the definition is a group of similar objects) but who vehemently deny that they collect dolls. You can be a collector, and still be an artist, still be creative, still tell their stories, still play with them and enjoy them.

      If you have wanted that doll for that long, and feel THAT strongly about it, you should get him the next chance you get. I'd bet it'll be wonderful and rewarding and inspiring. And if it's not, you can sell him on to someone else who will love him.
    10. I think I'm an artist with a big group of dolls. Is it a collection? I certainly didn't buy them to stand around and look pretty, and I didn't buy them as investments. I bought them to play with, and I too have felt ill when the doll I wanted was no longer being made. I was lucky in that a bunch of them were re-released and I was able to buy one. I can understand people buying art as an investment, but that sort of thing doesn't appeal to me. I would rather invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate and buy art (and dolls) that I love.
    11. First off, I have a certification from an art school because I took a three-year metalworking program at night. I like to draw, sculpt things, play with dolls, make crafts, and sometimes write creative stuff. All for fun. I also have had a couple of day careers, for pay, that also involved schooling and such. Does this make me an "artist?" I don't know. I don't care. I do what I enjoy, you can decide how to label it.

      Second, I have a bunch of nice art objects including dolls, paintings on my walls, sculptures, jewelry art, pottery and other stuff that I've been lucky enough to be able to find and afford. I have this stuff around because I like having it. Was it expensive? Well, some was, some wasn't and it depends on what you think is "expensive" probably. Was it an investment? Heck no. An investment is a stock or a bond or a 401K plan. I don't plan on reselling any of my art unless it's a matter of me running out of room or not liking it any more, and in that case I don't really expect to get back what I paid for it in most cases. I bought it because I liked having it around, not because I wanted to make a buck on it as an "investment". In this economy it would be especially ridiculous to just assume that anything, including a resin doll, could make back what you paid for it much less appreciate. It's likely that some of my paintings are worth more now because the artists involved worked very hard to market themselves, but that's a total crap shoot as to which artists' work will go up in price and how much, and I don't spend enough on art for it to matter (i.e. I'm not in the class of super rich people who gets a tax benefit or something out of spending megabucks on art). Does this make me a collector? I don't know. I don't care. You decide.

      I find the definition of a "collector" as someone who's into "commodity and investment" to be way off the mark. People collect for all kinds of reasons. I know many collectors who are not at all interested in how much things are worth or would resell for or any of that. They just like having whatever it is around them, because it makes them feel happy.

      Of course someone can be an artist and a collector at the same time. And really, these are definitions that other people thrust on folks to classify their behavior or judge them. I don't feel I have to categorize myself as anything in order to enjoy myself. I don't run around calling myself an artist, or a collector, or any other hooha, I just have a good time.

      Aside from that, your post is very typical of somebody who's upset because they didn't win some rare doll they really liked, on eBay or on a DoA auction or wherever. People always go on about how they would have really valued the thing and it probably went to some cold heartless soulless jerk who just happened to have more money. The reality is that I've spent way more on some things than I could ever make back because emotionally they meant something TO ME, regardless of what the person I outbid thought about it (I don't usually call them up and discuss it with them, yanno?) If the new owner doesn't value the item, the odds are it will be back on the market someplace for you to have a chance at buying. And if not that one, a similar one will come up. I've had my share of "dolls that got away" but there's always another one coming over the next hill.
    12. This part here. A collection is a group of objects. I collect dolls - not as investments, but because I love and enjoy them. I collected keychains for years also, and never once thought "oooh, that one will be valuable!" I thought "oooh, that one's pretty! I'll add that to the collection." Of course many collectors want to find the one thing that will go up in value, but that's not the point of the collection. Investing and collecting are very different things.
    13. This whole conversation is very therapeutic for me, so my thanks to all who's contributing. I was horrified with myself for feeling a certain way - specifically, for succumbing to a possessive desire (well, not really succumbing, I didn't bid after all, but still, the emotion was there). Hearing a different take on the issue makes me feel much better. :)
    14. Yes, I believe so! Not only do I love creating art, i love to appreciate other's artistic endeavors as well! There are multiple forms of art- it just depends on what one thinks art to be.
    15. Rest assured that it's normal as pie for you to feel that way. People do get emotionally invested in dolls and other beautiful and desirable things and it's a letdown sometimes when the item doesn't go home with you, but just think, someday one will, and that will be really wonderful :) :candycane
    16. He he... I guess, this was my loss of innocence moment. Isn't it amazing, how these little (or not so little) chunks of plastic force us to face something profound within us? Talk about the abyss staring back... ;)

      Thanks, everyone! I officially declare my questions answered, so, dear Mods, feel free to close the thread.
    17. i guess iam a collector hmmmmmmmmmm.......................
    18. A person can definitely be both. I am an artist and I also like to collect things--just because someone likes to collect doesn't mean they can't be artistic themselves. Plus, if you're serious about a collection, you probably also appreciate the artistry that goes into the pieces. When it comes to actual investing (which isn't necessarily the same thing as collecting), collectibles aren't something I would invest in--it's too difficult to guess what is going to be popular and increase in value years down the road (plus I'm much to attached to my dolls to sell any of them, lol). Possible resale value never crosses my mind, but some people will take that into consideration if they think they might need to resell at some point.

      But the thing about abjds is that they can appeal to people on so many different levels. They appeal to me as a creative outlet, they appeal to me because I do like to collect various things, they appeal to me because they have a quality about them that encourages an emotional attachment.
    19. I'm both, but I'm more of an artist than a collector by your definitions I suppose.

      I just buy the things that bring me joy to have around, not to make a statement with the amount that I have or to raise my net worth.
    20. I can certainly say that I am both. I've always loved arts even long before deciding to make a living out of art and dolls have always been an obsession for me too. Of course when I found out about BJDs I was in heaven!

      It still took me 3 good years before deciding to get my first doll. But then again I found out about BJDs when I was 16, with no possible way to afford them and with parents who would have understood the hobby but wouldn't have bought me a doll because money was needed elsewere. Now I do art and plush toys to fund my doll hobby, and my first and second dolls are on their way.

      My first doll, a Soom Ai, is going to be my collector BJD. I'm way too scared to do any modding to her since she's a limited. But my second doll, a customhouse Hani, was bought for my artist side to mod, paint, play around with and so on. So I guess that my collector and artist sides balance out ^^