What inspires your doll creations?

Jan 17, 2010

    1. This thought has been with me for a long time now and is bothering me more. I love these dolls and there are so many that I have had and re-homed and so many more that I want to get. I feel like my reason for not having an established collection thus far (and thereby feeling unsettled with some dolls) is the lack of a theme for them.

      I've always been the 'artsy' type, always crafting and making things with not very much since a kid, so it's not lack of imagination, more like a creative block!

      I love all the different sized dolls, realistic and stylized, but not having a 'reason' for them being in my collection other than just for the fact that they are pretty, does bother me some. I see lots of members collections, that just 'work' so well together - like actors on a stage everyone has their part and there is a reason for them being there.

      So here are my questions

      Where do you draw your inspiration from - books, films, real life?
      Is it important for your doll to have a fixed character in a certain era, or to belong to a specific theme - fantasy, victorian etc?
      Do you ever get the doll equivalent of writer's block - And if so, what do you do to get over it?

      I really would love to know! :)
       
    2. Right now, I have so many ideas that I can't decide what to do :XD: I never have a shortage of ideas, but a lot of the time I get a shortage of motivation to make them a reality :sweat

      I def get inspiration from certain periods of fashion - baroque, rococo, English Regency and Victorian - which comes from watching far too much period drama! I've also always loved the Japanese Lolita style so I get a lot of inspiration looking at that type of fashion too. Sometimes fabrics themselves inspire me :D

      I chose my small, cute doll as I wanted to make cute things, because a lot of the plush dolls I make are of modern world characters and almost always adult males, so I wanted something more whimsical to work on too! It is not important for me that she has a 'fixed' era - since she is a fairytale type character I think I have given myself a lot of scope there, and I intend to make her all sorts of things. Plus I don't have the space or budget for a large collection of dolls, so its just not going to be possible to have a separate doll for every era/style I want to work on :sweat
       
    3. For me I would say it can be the doll itself. I don't usually limit on style as far as clothes go.My Souldoll Apple (Emily) her face was inspiration. She has such a sweet young face that it pretty much told me what the face up should be even though I fought it for SO LONG. I finally gave up and put on what really should have been there in the first place.

      Sometimes it is a book,my 55cm Obitsu, May Bird, was inspired by a character in a kids book. Music also inspires me as far as face ups because music can set a mood.

      I did get doll block when it came to my Bobobie Pixie (Alawishus). Just couldn't figure her out. She changes constantly.
       
    4. almaxaquotal - Hi! (waves), thanks for the reply - that's a good point about dolls being kinda multi-functional for practical purposes. I too only have a small amount of space in which to display them - a corner in my bedroom. I've had several biggies before and they do just consume space. I'm loving the tinies right now, as the thought of being able to buy more stuff for them that's in scale is inspiring in itself.

      The motivation thing does apply to me too, but I'm trying to keep telling myself that collections don't just happen overnight, I'm terribly impatient like that! ;)

      weemouse - thanks too for the reply :) I guess what I'm struggling with is having a collection of dolls here, that do this and having a collection of dolls there, that do that if you know what I mean! I realise ultimately, your collection can be whatever you want it to be, but liking so many styles and themes, can they all work together or would the collection just look like a big mess?! ;)
       
    5. It's funny you should use the phrase "actors on a stage" when describing how some collections just seem to fit together.

      For me, that's exactly what my dolls are - actors playing the physical roles of characters who would otherwise exist only in my imagination and my writing. My creations are all driven by my writing.
       
    6. This is really interesting and thanks for the reply. A lack of a genuine storyline is part of my problem and I think it's only a problem because it's something I want and don't yet have......I like fictional characters like Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingells of Little House on the Prairie, but don't want to make a direct replica of someone else's character, though I am planning on using the prairie life style for costumes.

      What kind of writing do you do?
       
    7. Anne of Green Gables is one of my very favorites!:D Love the books, love the PBS shows!!! My mother gave me the book a LONG time ago.

      I like a jumble of different characters it keeps things interesting for me. I have a goth, a demonic sprite, a little girl and so on. I like the dynamics of the group because they are different and have their various stories. I am kind of all over the map.

      Also sometimes I hear or read a name and that alone will inspire me.
       
    8. I (used to... :XD:) do a lot of writing too... but I've never wanted dolls of my characters tbh. I've made plushies of 2 characters which worked out really well, but I've kinda created new characters for my BJDs, which will probably only live in my head and be reflected in photos I take of them!
       
    9. All of my dolls are/will be characters that I have created to go in a made up world of mine. I want to get a physical representation of them, so they're not just stories in my head or drawings on paper, and I think dolls are perfect for that. I only get sculpts that match the character the doll will be, and I'll only get dolls that are part of my fantasy world.

      I could never get a bunch of dolls just to sit there and look pretty. They all have to have established personalities and backstories and relationships with each other.
       
    10. I wanted a doll that looked like a ghost, so I got a white skin doll gave him white pupil-less eyes and white hair. That is about as far as I got inspiration-wise. It was a purely visual concept. I'm getting a Minimee of Balthier because he is my favorite video game character and I am a geek. Suffice to say they won't look all that great together as a unit. But that's ok by me. My dolls don't really need to be a cohesive group.

      I'm also thinking of turning some of my characters into dolls, but they won't look good together as a group either because they mostly come from my tabletop gaming, not from written stories, so I have a high fantasy half-elf, an assassin from a dark religion dominated future, a Victorian widow woman, and the list goes on.

      I think the main reason I'm ok with this is that I don't plan on using my dolls to tell stories, just as artistic projects for myself, so as long as they end up looking the way I want them to, I'm happy.
       
    11. well, I lurk alot on DoA, so I see a lot of things, and sometimes movies, rp's music and other stuff..
      And books i read, stories i write myself, and sometimes i just start doing stuff, and it turns out cool.. (or really bad)..
       
    12. At first I really wanted all of them to fit in the same sort of universe. I went from making my doll a character from a video game, to making them original characters from part of a different video game universe and then to creating my own universe, which I did. But every time I made a decision like that I'd just be unhappy with it. I could go through it in my head and think it was a good idea but I just kept getting a twingy feeling because it didn't feel right.

      Plus I started off with an MSD then fell in love with an SD. I managed to get them to fit together in the same universe but the whole thing just felt so restricting. Now I've just decided to have whatever race, whatever size and from whatever world they want to be from and they can all work together anyway. It's much more interesting too. I enjoy the hobby much more now I've dropped all of my limitations and I just do whatever I want.

      As for where I get my inspiration from... just my imagination. There's nothing from the outside world that really inspires me to alter my doll in any way, I just base the doll's personalities from what I find interesting.
       
    13. Where do you draw your inspiration from - books, films, real life?
      I draw my inspiration from the world around me. Sights, sounds, even smells ignite and enthuse me to create new and interesting clothing for my dolls.

      Is it important for your doll to have a fixed character in a certain era, or to belong to a specific theme - fantasy, victorian etc?
      I think of my dolls as personalities rather than characters and create for them to suit their various moods. My doll collecting goes hand in hand with my sewing hobby. So the dolls in my home are modelling a lot.

      Do you ever get the doll equivalent of writer's block - And if so, what do you do to get over it?
      I've felt this way a couple of times when I've purchased a doll with a specific look and for whatever reason, I haven't been able to feel inspired by the doll's look or personality. When this has happened I've put the doll back in it's box and given myself a set period of time (usually 1 month) to see if things change. If I'm still feeling 'blah' about the doll, then I go onto resell the doll. On the odd occassion, I've opened up the box again and felt an instant connection.
       
    14. This kind. I write in a variety of genres, but my main areas in fiction are spy-fi with a cyberpunk/sci-fi twist (I refer to it as "speculative spy-fi"), gaslight fantasy, and straight cyberpunk.
       
    15. While my dolls don't have an exact storyline I do have a theme: Greek Myth. I am slowly acquiring characters to represent my favorite goddess. So I suppose that this is each dolls archetype (like the book Goddess in Everywoman, I love that book).

      Me and my boyfriend also have created personalities for each doll as if they were a doll living with us, they go on silly adventures and have relationships just like a roommate would. It is just fun to play around and tell stories about what they did or would do before we go to bed.

      I eventually plan to make some photo stories when I have a better camera and more dolls, to show their adventures.
       
    16. Where do you draw your inspiration from - books, films, real life?
      I like the personifications of a theme. Mainly I take inspiration from deities, spirits, characters from dreams and my own personification of themes I am drawn to. My Soom Super Gem Dia is the Greek Eris but modernised, and this reflects in her dress as a mixture of riot grrrl punk and golden themes that tie into the apple story of Eris.
      Soom Lazule is a character from a dream I had once, and my Soulkid Mayu ties into this story too. They are kind of inventing their own mythology.
      My Soom Chrom is a manifestation of themes I love involving dark paganism mixed with my own interpretations of pagan characters and kind of mixed up with modern pagan stories...Sounds a bit complicated putting it that way!
      I also plan on making my next doll one of the Vodou Lwa.
      So I guess personifications of ideas inspire me.

      Is it important for your doll to have a fixed character in a certain era, or to belong to a specific theme - fantasy, victorian etc?

      I am drawn to modernising characters and stories, so theyre not stuck in any era.

      Do you ever get the doll equivalent of writer's block - And if so, what do you do to get over it?

      Read about different mythologys.
       
    17. As I don't have backstories for characters, I don't have things like that as a plan for them, but I find that when I have an idea for a look for them, they take on a sort of character.
      Most of my dolls have a Steampunk or Victorian theme to them so they are based on that look, but with others I get an idea for a look I want for them in my head and try to recreate that and put it into reality.
      My favourite doll is 'The Doll' and her inspiration came directly from Abney Park's song Herr Drosslemeyer's doll.
       
    18. Yes, this is basically the way I feel as well. My dolls embody the characters for a graphic novella I've been working on for a while - the photography and creating the dolls sets and clothing is just another aspect of the project. The way I build my collection is to branch out and add more of the characters from my story. Sometimes that means I get a very pretty doll that just doesn't fit with the other actors, and I don't keep them, because its just not part of my plan.
       
    19. Ahahaha, woops, I got away from myself here. And I've gotten so good at avoiding that lately... Oh well, I'm not deleting it now =P . I just talk a lot, my bad.

      Where do you draw your inspiration from - books, films, real life?

      A big reason for wanting BJDs is because of how I could dress them up and make them pretty. Unlike myself, who likes looking at cosplay and lolita and such but doesn't really like wearing such things, I can have a doll do all that and fulfill my wish for cute things. Not just outfits though; I got into henna (like a temp tattoo/body art) sometime back, but it's not convenient for me to do full-body art or anything, but a doll is the perfect canvas.

      So, my 'inspiration' I guess is to have my dolls be as enabling for my purposes as possible XD . All those amazing outfits I could never wear or own in real life, from cosplay to lolita to fantasy outfits to Victorian dresses to kimonos, I want my doll to be able to have all those things and still look good, still be 'in-character' somehow. But still be able to connect to me on a personal level, not just be a dress dummy!


      Oh, someone before me said that they enjoy creating 'personifications of a theme'. I'm totally that too XD ! The characters I design are spirits representing Chaos, Order, Harmony, Yin, and Yang reincarnated in the forms in dolls =P . I preferred this method to making them, say, individual characters from a story I'm writing or favorite characters from an anime because I find those options too restricting for what I'm looking for in a doll.

      For example, as a personification of Chaos, my doll Dawn can incorporate lots of the themes I apply to Chaos such as warmth, life, vibrancy, temper, flightiness, etc.. It makes it really easy to figure out both her personal character and how to coordinate her outfits (despite not having a 'style' restriction, I give her lots of warm colors, light colors, vibrant designs) . I can make her background as simple or as complicated as I want by developing past lives or just concentrating on her 'current life', and add fun fantasy/spiritual elements whenever the heck I feel like it.

      Is it important for your doll to have a fixed character in a certain era, or to belong to a specific theme - fantasy, victorian etc?
      Ehm, yes and no. My doll, and the dolls I plan to own, have names, backstories, set personalities, and belong solidly in the present. I like that kind of stability, to keep it all consistent, and it helps me to connect better to think of the doll as a 'fixed entity'.

      But again, that versatility I want, it's what ultimately effected how I crafted their characters. Their 'backstory' is basically a long line of past lives from reincarnation, so that they may dress in whatever era or culture or style they want, and it would just be a consequence of residual memory/experiences from their past lives! One of them will even have multiple personalities and identity issues as part of its character (it's a hermaphrodite) , so it's like being able to have however many characters I want stuffed in one XD .

      Do you ever get the doll equivalent of writer's block - And if so, what do you do to get over it?
      Hmm... for the most part, everything snapped together pretty well for me doll-wise. I feel free to do whatever I want within the confines that I've made in their characters. And really, the 'confines' are a lot more enabling than anything else, because they inspire me to work around the themes I've created. I delight in how all the outfits I've chosen for Dawn are suited to the color themes I chose for her, how they all seem to suit her in different but beautiful ways and yet she's still 'Dawn'. Even if I decide to dress her in a bunch of mismatched clothes and a different wig just experiment and it looks totally crappy, I'm still happy with her XD . Since that's just how she's dressing for today, so it's 'just a bad hair day' or whatever =P .

      When I get Dusk ('Order') , I'll have tons of fun trying to get him matching outfits to the ones Dawn already has, while still keeping his personal tastes intact, and I'm excited about how it'll be 10X FUN to see how much more awesome they make each other look. And this is how I feel about all the characters, because they all sort of work off each other to complement like that. It makes me look forward to the future X3 .

      It's more like I have so many ideas and things I want to try out, I'm not sure what to do first! Should I buy this frilly lolita dress now, or the cool military-style uniform? Should I make her next faceup and tattoos more yellow and have lots of flowers, or should I try something brown and tribal? Do I want to try adding some rhinestones or glitter, should I modify her wig or add clip-on extensions, maybe I should pick up sewing soon, etc..


      <3 ali
       
    20. My inspiration comes from a variety of sources, books, spiritual studies, my address, mythology & the dolls themselves. I have a universe for my SDs & a seperate one for my tinies. While I don't have set characters that I try to acquire dolls for, my dolls do develop characters which I often learn more about over time. Almost none of my dolls have a set look, they change clothes, wigs & eyes at my whim without changing their characters. As my worlds are fantasy & magical, I have no problem with the chameleon like appearance of my dolls.

      A big part of my attraction to these dolls is the ability to so easily change their looks. That being the case, I'm limited only by my own imagination.