So many interesting layers to this hobby....

Nov 18, 2020

    1. I was just thinking yesterday about how much I've learned in just a couple months of diving into this hobby... It's brought me a ton of joy, and it's also just super inspiring to realize how many layers there are that one could possibly learn about, from the moment someone decides to design and sculpt a doll, through the whole process of selling, ownership, crafting, reselling, and anything else that is done with the doll in the course of it's lifetime.

      When it comes to crafting, I've learned about how dolls are made, how the faces are painted, how wigs are made and sized, tips and tricks for making crafting work more durable for handling, where to find tiny clothing notions....

      I've always been interested in the back end of things too, so I've really been enjoying learning connections between dolls makers and dealers, resin coloring and costs associated with that and other production details, why certain companies may carry certain kinds of products due to supply chain, and even things like what is included in certain types of sets and why....

      And also just at a person level, seeing how having a focused topic/product to use as a central point of reference for crafting - to share and give feedback - is very energizing. Seeing how this can bolster a community is inspiring to me.

      I'm really curious to find out.... What do you all think is the coolest fact, or thing you've found/learned/enjoyed from being a part of this hobby?

      It could be anything from skills you've learned due to being a part of it, to how shipping works, to how manufacturers make some small detail... anything!

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    2. I have learned so much about my own creativity. I've always made doll clothes ever since I had dolls (we're talking single digits here), but I've started making wigs and shoes and even doing my own faceups and body blushing--and the results aren't that bad at all!
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    3. I was looking for a wig for a 50's grocery store doll when I stumbled on ball jointed dolls and was fascinated by their beauty and articulation and customization. I explored how they were made and many of the things you mentioned. I went to a BJD convention about 4 months after discovering them and talked to all the artists and vendors. I wanted to sew for them and the more human shaped body styles. I have tried many of the aspects of this hobby and have grown as a creative artist and doll collector. I am not exclusively resin in my collecting. I have dolls of all types from many eras and still enjoy making cloth dolls as well. Some day I may try to sculpt one myself. The idea fascinates me.
    4. I've learned a ton about this hobby when I still did lectures during cons about this hobby. Now maybe 5years ago that I had my last one?

      So I think I kinda got all of the bases covered (how are they made, why the high prices, stringing, second hand market, face-ups and tools, modding and tools, dying and tools, ...) only thing I'm not up to date with anymore are all the (new) companies and sculpts. Because... Djeezes! So much new stuff weekly allready.

      Then again, I mostly got the bases of this hobby covered. Theoretically. Because I can make 'wig-making' sound easy peasy, knowing all the tools and steps one by one, but boy! My own handmade wigs are a disaster.

      Edit to note that it took me about a year or two to learn about all the different things this hobby brings. Because there sure is a lot to learn. And talking with others during cons and my lectures has brought me so much more extra knowledge.

      Extra edit: not directly linked to the dolls itself, but now I'm making traditional Chinese clothing for my dolls and I have learned SOOOOO much about hanfu these last 3months or so. I probably only know about 10% there is to know about them. But my knowledge of them increased significantly all because of these BJD and me wanting to dress them.

      I've learned bits and pieces about other cultures and styles too, because of trying to recreate looks etc with my dolls.
      #4 CherryBlossom, Nov 18, 2020
      Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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    5. I collect art dolls and it eventually led me to BJD's. What really inspired me to buy one was when my husband and I took a trip to Japan last year, and I had a chance to see the Volks store in Akihabara located in Tokyo. Seeing those dolls up close made me really want one. I've been in the hobby for a little over a year and have learned so much! There's definitely a big learning curve to BJD's. I also love to make things. I think for me, the crafting of things for dolls interests me the most. Whether it's wig making, sewing clothes, construction of armor, 3D printing items, jewelry making etc. I find it all very fascinating and it inspires me for my own projects.

      One skill that I never thought I would have, but am now starting to develop is sewing. For the 4th of July I made my Smart Doll a shirt and pair of pants (pattern provided by Danny Choo for free). It was frustrating as hell, but I was proud of myself with the finished product.

      Another skill I would like to develop is customizing a doll myself by dyeing it. I'm really thankful that Den of Angels exists. There are lots of tutorials here for practically anything to do with BJD's.
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    6. This hobby has helped me improve on so many skills, it's unreal! Painting (faceups and blushing/tattoos), sewing, writing, roleplaying. I've gotten better at photography, but still have a long way to go with that. I've even met some of my closest friends through doll meets and RP! I have learned so much about how dolls are made and all of the work that goes into them, and have really come to appreciate the artists so much. I also really respect people who make their own eyes and wigs. I've tried both and they are so hard to do right! I'm not sure if I'll keep trying on those, I think I'd rather just buy them than deal with the frustration.
    7. I feel like once you are in this hobby you never stop learning.
      I fell in love with the aesthetic beauty of bjds, and owning a few has become a focal point for inspiration and joy. They truly bring out more of my creativity then before.
      There are so many things I've learned this year alone, from making clothing to using doll to channel my art and writing.
      In a very stressful world having them makes such a difference :)
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    8. I used to love playing with dolls when I was young cause it would fuel my creativity. I stopped because I thought being an adult and owning dolls was wrong. I got into the hobby and immediately felt like I had found the thing I have been missing for so many years. It's the feeling of nostalgia, from being young and getting excited about finding a doll under the Christmas tree but also discovering new ways of being creative. I started sewing and am learning and improving wig making and I love how welcome I feel in the community. It's not about how I look or what job I have. It is About my creativity and my characters. That is what I love.
    9. I made a simple ball-jointed figure out of polymer clay, which greatly increased my respect for the artists that make them. Mine was a gargoyle like creature with single joints and clunky hands and feet, and just getting the joints to work was challenging. Realistic dolls with double joints are pretty amazing from a craftsman's perspective. I'm still a total novice at face-ups, but that's a skill I'd like to learn.

      I've improved immensely at sewing and tailoring making clothes for my dolls. I spend far less time ripping out seams than I used to, and have even drafted a few basic patterns.
      I have no interest in making eyes myself, and haven't yet tried wig making, though I might in the future since finding good fitting wigs for dolls with tiny heads in such a pain.
      #9 Leo Pheonix, Nov 19, 2020
      Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
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    10. I feel that the coolest thing I've learned from my own BJD, is very personal and kind of hard learned lessons. I've been a traditional trained artist all my life, had I not attempted painting my own dolls, I would have never guessed I sucked so profusely at painting miniatures. I always thought the first time I re-paint a doll it'll look exactly as I see them in my minds' eye -- not necessary the standard of beauty, but not like a two year-old-with-crayons either. And yet, when I first painted my first blank BJD, I wanted to cry! I learned that I'm pretty thick skinned as well (due to outside feedback I never asked for), and stubborn too. I could always search the depths of the internet for a face up artist I could commission, but I far prefer torturing myself and my own dolls, I still do all my own face ups and re-paints. That goes for sewing as well; I am pleasantly amused (or maybe I've just gone insane) at how much I don't improve, at any of the skills I keep trying to practice, regardless of how hard I try every time (I laugh at myself, and that's what matters in the end, I guess). DX
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