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Unexpected Lessons Learned from the Hobby?

Mar 21, 2012

    1. I had been writing on DoA somewhere about how saving for, and then buying my first doll was a big accomplishment for me. It taught me a little bit about money management, as well as sticking with something so you can accomplish something you set out to do. I never thought I'd keep my sanity by saving for a BJD, but I did. When my doll arrived at my home, I felt this surge of pride in myself that I had seen this thing through. I even had enough confidence in myself to do it a second time, and I'm working on getting a third BJD.

      As I was writing about my saving experience, it made me wonder if others learned lessons along the way that transfer to other parts of life.

      Through the BJD hobby, is there any lesson you ended up learning that you've found useful in other aspects of your life?
    2. Patience, patience, patience. My apparently ingrained urge for instant gratification has been tempered by the patience required for the manufacture and eventual arrival of these dolls. It hasn't been easy. I think the hardest thing is postponing the intense interest I have in a doll at the time I order until it actually arrives (sometimes months or even a year later). I think the experience has made me more patient about other random things and in addition, I've become more thoughtful about impulsive buys in general.
    3. I am quite obsessive when it comes to a goal or something I'm saving for, so I've learned about moderation and patience. I can't save a whole paycheck for a doll, and I'll never get a doll if I don't save anything, so I have to find a middle that still allows me to eat. I also have to be patient because nothing good will happen if I spend my whole savings on a limited/rare doll. My final lesson that I've learned is the be happy with what I have. I have a beautiful doll, and instead of planning for the next one, I should be happy playing with and dressing her up. If I focus on this happiness, I won't agonize about this or that limited that I can't ever get in a million years. :lol:
    4. Yes. This hobby has proven to me that, if there's a will, there's a way. And it teaches me a lot on money management :)

      Two years ago I can barely afford one doll. I love to shop, buy things on impulse, and rarely saves. Until I decide to go into this hobby, I have struggle each day to finally able to complete my first boy Rion in half a year. I can only close my eyes towards the expensive limited molds at that time, the one that I always wanted, the new one coming which I like, because I can't afford them. My salary only, definitely will not be able to cover the cost. Thus I decided to quit my current job, search for a new one with more lax pace, and do an extra job (yes, double job!) as a freelance artist. At first, this is scary to me because I'm not an art graduate, but I'm happy because people accept my art ^^ I also learn saving and not buying things on impulse anymore, and now I'm a proud owner of 5 dolls ^^

      *although some of them... are not yet complete, but just like lunarbreeze, I think I decide to be a little bit slower, I'm happy with floating heads so far, but someday I will complete them :) *
    5. I'm not quite sure if this counts, but I'm currently making my own BJD in addition to collecting them for fun... Obviously I've learned how to be a little more patient, and how to save my money more effectively, and not to get in debt, ever, but I expected these kinds of lessons. But here's something I didn't expect to find out:

      Styrofoam DOES NOT go in the toaster oven!

      If this is off topic, feel free to remove my post but I use paperclay, which takes FOREVER to dry, so I usually put it in the toaster oven to speed things up, but when I added styrofoam balls to the mix, I discovered the compressed pellets like to expand and 'bubble' when heated..... OTL Lesson learned.
    6. Because of the custom aspect, I've learned how to fix things around the house and in love with using my dremel.
      Also, 3D animation sculpting and texturing + illustration learning and dollfie hobby surprisingly goes hand in hand. What you learn in one, you can do for the other. O_O

      My biggest lesson learned, how to resist temptation vs pocket. I used to be terrible at it.
      Also how to save money. o3o
    7. I've learned there is always that second chance to find even the rarest doll out there. All it takes is patience and being prepared with finances when it shows up. Now, whenever I see some of the dolls on my wishlist show up on the MP, I don't feel the urge to jump on them. Part of this is that I am content with what I have. I was just crazy over a Soom Dia boy a couple months ago I could barely stand it. Now, I feel that I can wait as long as it takes, even if they are discontinued I will have a chance at owning one someday.
    8. I've learned how to design clothes! It's so cool to know how things fit together, and to be able to create something beautiful. I've also learned better sewing stitches, and that mistakes happen, and it'll be okay if you breathe and have patience and fix them.

      I learned how to use my camera -- at least better than before.

      I've learned to loosen up a bit on my self image. It's amazing what taking a beloved doll to the mall will do for a person... I love my resin kids so much that I don't care when people look at me funny, and that has transferred over to doing other things as well.
    9. I've definitely learned patience as well, along with learning to save all over again. I was never an impulse buyer until I got into this hobby where things sell out and/or are limited. Thankfully my grail girl's got everything she needs for her arrival and my impulsiveness can slow down. XD

      I've also learned that being a painter really helps with faceups! I already had a lot of the materials ready to go, it's just the techniques that are different. I can't explain how much I love doing faceups and I really hope to open commissions soon. I've learned a great deal about business transactions through marketplaces aside from Ebay and Amazon... the list goes on.

      I hope to learn how to sew one day, and get better at restringing. I can do faceups, body blushing, tattoos... but the basic stuff like restringing still eludes me! *_*
    10. I must agree with those saying patience, money management and saving! I've got my "dolly savings" can set up on one of my book shelves. I put all my higher value coins plus any bills left over from my week's allowance! If I don't spend every bit of my money I have some to put in my can~
    11. I have learned how to sew - before I got into BJDs I couldn't even fix a button by myself...
      Also I have learned to keep my room more tidy, the time before BJDs joined my family, I was surrounded by creative chaos :sweat

      I cannot say I have learned to be more patient, I'm still nervous when waiting times are getting too long, and always tend to buy some new dolls in the meantime. And sadly I definitely cannot say I have learned money management, but I'm currently working on this issue.
    12. I've had to learn new ways to get along with people. I have socializing "issues" and the hobby has given me a common ground to practice talking to total strangers and getting to know people.

      I have realized I can be pleasant with some people I would otherwise find terribly disagreeable as long as we stay on the subject we both love- Dolls. It's been a lesson in diplomacy.
    13. I've learned to not, underestimate dolls.

      While i'm newer here. still this is the biggest lesson learned. I had in mine specific goals for my dolls, and what i have now? Is NO where near that.... i had this perfect image of little "couples" either romantic or family.. what i got is nothing Near that.. I have a BB apollo, who adopts all the " odd dolls" like my naga as his.. a GRUMPY little elf wizard who is grumpy about everything. A eccentric girl who was going to be a tom boy, and boy did she sure refuse that... a floating head, ONE couple, my dragon dolls, one cute lonely mermaid....

      So I have been taught, not to "expect" what is going to strike my eye. Also..

      I have learned if i am meant to have a doll.... i will have the funds for it. If i don't.. there is always later. So i don't panic with "limited editions" anymore. Not sure it has taught me to SAVE per say, atleast not yet...lol
    14. Lol. Not to sound like a negative nancy. But I learned that just because a big group of people share a common, really weird, obscure interest with you (in this case BJDs), it doesn't mean they're at all like you in the slightest bit. Man I felt awkward as hell at the first and only doll meet I've been to. Then again I live in Nova Scotia.

      On a more positive note, BJDS certainly helped me appreciate what I have in life. I mean, being lucky enough to have such a luxury, it sort of makes you realize you're lucky to have other things too. That and the whole patience thing, I would say the hobby certainly redefines it in ways.
    15. The hobby taught me patience. While I was a patient person to begin with, waiting months for an item I bought was definitely not on the list! XD
      It also taught me the various laws concerning import and export. How much would I have to pay for an item marked at X$, then convert into euros, how much should I tell ppl to mark things, etc.
    16. It's making me realize how weird I am, reading all of you talk about you learned how to save. I actually in a way learned the opposite. XD See, I've long had issues making myself spend money, even on things that I need. Having to take my saved money and just take the several-hundred plunge (carpe dollem?) has brought that into perspective. Somehow spending all that money at once on something that makes me happy helped me loosen up a bit on the stuff I actually need, so buying groceries for instance doesn't stress me out quite as much anymore.

      I'm also a person who learned how to sew thanks to this hobby! I'd been wanting to literally for years, but without a machine or experience making something human-size was too daunting for me to want to take on. With my penny pinching ways and my unusually curvy first girl, I kind of got cornered into sewing for her. Making stuff for her made me jump into pattern drafting with both feet, and while sewing for Boobsy McBoobsalot the DDDy body is sometimes a feat of engineering, I've learned tons about how patterns fit together, how different fabrics behave, and to stick a spare hand into a pile of fabric before I sew to know whether or not it stains.

      I've been learning a bit about photography too, but not quite as much as with the sewing thanks to having a point-and-shoot with no manual override. Still, since I do stories, I think I've learned a lot about things like continuity, lighting, staging, and shot composition specifically for narrative. Oh, and I've picked up tricks on improvising some of the weirder props my plots sometimes entail. It took me a while to realize that a lot of the time something only needs to look good for the duration of that one shoot!
    17. I've learned that I'm simultaneously too open and specific about my doll tastes. I'm tired of selling dolls I don't bond with. I need to be more selective about the ones I decide to buy.
    18. The biggest lesson I learned in the hobby was that just because you can't get something at one point in your life, doesn't mean you can never acquire it in your life. I actually learned nothing about saving or patience here that I didn't already know, those are skills I oddly acquired at a very early age from the upbringing my parents gave me.

      I learned about BJDs years and years ago when I was a minor without a penny to her name. I thought I'd never be able to afford a BJD and should just give up on them. Fast forward 5 years and I've owned a handful of BJDs and am currently saving for a couple $1,600+ dolls. This is a point in my life I never could have imagined back at that age, but because of it I've learned things that seem impossible are possible with time and age. :)

      It's also helped me really stick in my career path, too. I learned from this that just because college isn't an option now, doesn't mean it won't be in a few years. Only time will tell and it is far too early to be calling things "impossible.".
    19. Like others have said, moderation and patience. I also need to be more selective in my choice of dolls, clothes, wigs, and eyes. I tend to jump on what I think is a good idea or, basically, a cute face. :3
      I don't need to buy every good deal or cute doll I see. There will always be others.

    20. I think this is a GREAT lesson!! And I've learned through you! :)