What role do dolls play in your lives?

Jul 9, 2017

    1. I was wondering how relevant dolls are in your lives. For instance, since I have OCD and it's quite an extreme case, they make me sort of tune out and be able to keep busy enough so as not to have to think about the stuff that's bothering me, so we could say they double as some kind of therapy. Also, to what extent do you guys consider them as companions rather than inanimate objects that decorate your shelves? I know a lot of people settle for just displaying them and looking at them but to me they mean so much more, so I was just curious :)
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    2. I find them a lovely distraction and thing to fixate on (perhaps as opposed to other obsessive thoughts patterns I have sometimes). It's effective escapism as any hobby is for me.

      I agree they're more than just eye candy. I quite enjoy picking out dolls to serve as embodiments for original characters which ties into my written and verbal roleplaying hobby with my wife, another creative outlet.

      Down the road I hope to take up wood working so that'll tie in with dolls too as I want to make furniture and build shelves and rooms for them. I look forward to that hobby overlap.
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    3. I've gone from making sock dolls as a kid to admiring larger and larger and more complex dolls to collecting BJDs to building my own and doll art has taken over my life. :XD: couldn't be happier about it.

      I'm also an OCD sufferer, among other things, and working on them has been incredible for improving focus and signal-to-noise. They are my work, my adjunct therapy and my little slice of peace. They're my #1 art form and the best use of my skills as a studier of anatomy and portraiture.

      I don't really consider them alive or "inhabited" or what have you but if that's your thing, go for it. They're definitely a comfort to have around, whatever the nature of it might be. It's always been a dream of mine to have characters I've created or that I love from media in a sizable three-dimensional form and I've never stopped being stoked that I get to do that now.
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    4. Some help me write, others just help me feel good. This hobby is one of many outlets I use creative wise and one of my favorites. (I write, I draw, I take photography, I cook, dolls has added the overall collection my focus of photography changed and most of all it's given me a secondary hobby with sewing) They also make me feel good. I've dealt with some rough stuff. I won't go into details but after some really bad stuff happened, two of my dolls wound up basically being trophies of getting through that time of my life. Promising myself that at the end of that year I'd have two dolls I wanted for a long time and whenever I got really down to a point where even talking it out didn't help, curling up with one of my dolls and having a good cry, or going out and photographing one, or just working on a new outfit helped. Even if I didn't feel up for sewing, I'd browse the discussion threads here, I'd lurk, I'd ask questions, I'd dream out loud of what I'd like for my collection one day. I'd hug my MSD boy and take silly pictures of him or make him outfits that looked ridiculous on him but made me laugh.

      They're a big part of my life and I honestly can't imagine being without them. I've had to deal with rough stuff again recently and the hobby has helped me cope in a healthy way versus drowning myself in fantasies of 'what if'.
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    5. They were the outlet for my imagination. I always wanted to write stories, but writing was hard, not just because of my poor grammar skills, but I would consistently edit and rewrite what I wrote. Then I discovered these dolls 11 years ago and slowly I wrote photo stories. Some were good, some not. I wrote the life story of one doll for seven years. His friends, his loves, his marriage and his role as a dad. Then I found Eddie and he has really opened up my creativity and for two years we have traveled and created. So unlike any dolls before, these have really helped me show what I love to do. Not bad at age 60.
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    6. Mine are a break from reality. I role play them and I usually take a couple of hours out of most days to play their characters with other doll owners online. It gives me a break from all the stuff I have to do in everyday life and lets me play out scenarios that would never really happen to me. It also allows for a lot of creativity in writing.

      I do something with my dolls almost daily, even if it's as simple as just handling one or taking a quick photo. I also do a lot of work on them. I do plenty of other things that don't concern them but the hobby is pretty important to me.
    7. This is a great question.

      I love dolls, and I always have. All kinds of dolls. Barbies, porcelain, Tonner...you name it. In my family, the tradition was that I got a doll every Christmas. That's still the case today, though now it's likely to be a small BJD and not an American Girl. Dolls have always been a part of my life. If you asked me to name the first one I had, I couldn't...because I've always had more than one!

      With the BJDs, it's just an extension of my life-long love for dolls.
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    8. They are an artistic outlet for me. Sometimes I have an overwhelming need to craft no idea why. But before I only had cosplay drawing and some video games to help. Now I have bjds and theres endless possibilities for them. I absolutely love it and I love seeing what others make to inspire me to do more. I also use them to inspire my dad to work on his 3d printers by giving them voices and making them lecture him but that's a story for another day.
    9. Well this may sound weird but dolls help me feel girly and cute when 99% of the time I'm not cute and a huge tom boy. I also have always loved miniatures and dolls give my miniatures more of a purpose other then sitting on a shelf. This hobby has often helped with my depression. Whenever I get depressed I will play with my dolls to feel better. Oh, and making stuff for my dolls is a great distraction and creative outlet! <3
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    10. I've always wanted a BJD because I've been a doll collector and avid beauty lover all my life. Dolls just seemed like the merging of all the things I seek beauty in: fashion, makeup, design, cosplay etc. But now that I have one, I realize in some ways he's a comfort blanket. I feel like he's a solid part of my life, something that's not just an idea but a real thing I can point to and touch and talk about in concrete terms. I've been depressed for a long time and having something that's not just a figment of my imagination, but something I can make in my life, it means more than words can express.
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    11. I came across bjd by accident, pay an attention to them just as a masterpieces, later I was curious more and more, so I bought a body, without particular bounding with it, bacause all I wanted was to sew clothes for bjd. Soon my husband started to make furniture to BJD and I ordered a head to make it complete. Still, my bjd had a nickname: "Haruko Yurikichi" as we both like Japan. We also like Dungeons and dragons, where I play elven batllemage named Viki, so I started to slowly think how to express how does Viki looks like and - here it was! I finally did this bounding thing with my bjd and now it´s not just an object for clothes making. She has her backstory and I´m satisfied, because my imagination can work properly. :D So this is what my bjd Viki means to me - she is expression of my fantasy, of mine and my husband fantasy world :)
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    12. For me dolls are a creative outlet: sewing, designing, planning, and mostly dreaming. They also give me something to look forward to. I don't go out much, so having something to work on helps. I also just like looking at my doll Family and thinking, yep, they are mine!
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    13. My crew are just entertaining objects... I'm very fond of my little resin minions and value them pretty highly, but I don't consider them more than inanimate playthings. They're toys, not a lifestyle. :lol:
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    14. My dolls simply make me happy. I've always had dolls of some sort, but bjds are by far the most beautiful dolls that I've had. I simply love the way they look.
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    15. Dolls are important to me, and always have been. I used to play with barbies with my sisters when I was little, and loved it. I always felt my dolls were alive. I felt guilty for forgetting them as I got older, and began collecting BJD's, reigniting my love for detailed dolls. I go everywhere I can with them, taking photos in public, at home, wherever. Every time I go shopping I look for things my dolls could use. they are my precious children. I talk about BJD's often, annoying my family. Please note I have mental disorders, including obsessive disorders, so maybe I would not be so obsessively in love with my dollies had I not been born weird. They are everything I wish I was. Perfection, flawless, beautiful. I can give them the stories and personalities I wish I had. They seem to change with time, like humans, and really they give me their story more then I give it to them. They make me really happy, which is hard to do due to my depressive disorders. I started with J-dolls, tiny tiny ball jointed dolls. Now I love Luts and Volks and Withdoll and Fairyland and etc etc.... Sorry for the long post, but your question really hit me. :D
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    16. As with many others, mine are a creative outlet for me and my stories. They are also props I use to take pictures of my scorpion. They have started to also be somewhat of a distraction from working all the time, as I come here to chat and look online for clothes.
    17. As several have said, dolls are a creative outlet for me - I can make clothes, have them cosplay, do dioramas & take photos to make stories. Then there's the fact that I have always loved miniature things - and these dolls are the ultimate expression of that!
    18. I think for me they're a bit of an artistic outlet; something for me to use a little creativity on! I spend most of the time that I dote over them painting their faceups or dressing and redressing them! For me, my dolls are somewhere in between an inanimate object and a companion...I definitely consider them to be an object that I own, but I also appreciate that they're something more than that also? I don't have stories for them, or backstories, but they definitely do have attitudes unique to each doll! :)
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    19. I have always loved playing with dolls - but BJDs are something more... And that's because they are customisable. I got my first BJDs because I could turn them into people that exist only in my head. I was already drawing my imaginary friends, to be sure - but to have a small, 3D version of these characters... There is something special about that. I love to draw or work while one of my characters is sitting on my desk in doll form.

      In the meantime, I am so enamoured of BJDs in general that I have added several dolls to my crew just because I love them as dolls; but I don't think I would have started collecting if I hadn't come across that first ... magical ... doll in which I recognised one of my characters <3.
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    20. I use dolls for multiple things--I think that's why BJDs appealed to me in the first place: they're a multimedia and multifunction kind of doll, and I'm a multi-media kind of person.

      1) I use dolls to practice different crafting techniques on a small scale. Dolls have gotten me into soldering, sewing and tailoring (I started sewing for Barbie), crochet, knitting, dremeling and carving, sculpting, weaving, lace wig making, plug wig making, leatherwork and sewing, embroidery, beading, casting and molding, dyeing, and woodworking.

      I get distracted by different projects easily, and sometimes I feel like one type of project versus another, so BJDs (with the small projects that you can stop and start at will--even on the same doll) are kind of perfect for me.

      2) I use dolls to force myself to develop the appearance and characteristics of a particular character.

      I've mentioned this on other threads, but I have a really hard time developing a mental image of people--even one of myself or of my parents. It's not an issue with recognizing people--I can recognize myself and others just fine (although I'm a bit slow because I don't have a conscious mental image to draw from).

      For me, trying to picture a person is a bit like trying to see something in your peripheral vision. If you think about it too hard, or look too hard, you've lost it.

      As a result, my stories are lacking. It takes a lot of my brain energy just to hold two distinct facial features like a cleft chin or beaked nose together, so I kind of avoid the process entirely. I have a hard time determining how a character's face would look in a particular situation, what they are wearing, etc.

      Having a physical representation of a character helps me determine how they would look, dress, and act (their body language and facial expressions, etc.).

      I have no idea if others are better at this than I, but I assume so (how else do illustrators draw the same character in different poses?). My sister can paint herself from memory, and then uses a mirror to fix the details later, whereas I wouldn't even know how to draw the basic head shape.

      3) I view them as works of art. I love looking at their sculpting and improving it and their poseability. They're the best kind of art--something to interact with and change.

      4) They keep me company.

      When I'm stressed, one sits with me while I do my work. When I need a distraction, I have something to craft with.
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