What's Your Hobby Newbie Timeframe?

Sep 25, 2019

    1. I find myself responding to a lot of threads with mentions of me being a hobby newbie (just incase I say something not as informed...or that seems to be general knowledge but not to me because..learning!). At what point do you feel the newbie label is abandoned and you've graduated on to be a full fledged hobbyist?

      Is this timeframe over a year? When you've collected five or more dolls? When you can sew items for your dolls? When you do your first faceup? I'm curious of what everyone else's opinion is on the newbie period.

      This is a personal preference type question, not to be confused with DoA's official new member posting rules, etc.
      • x 4
    2. This is a really interesting question I find myself asking since I’m rather new to the hobby as well (see? I did it too!)

      From experience with my other hobbies, I think it was at the point that I felt confident and knowledgeable enough that I could guide someone else through the hobby. Such as how to make purchases, which companies are better, what materials were higher quality, the different pricing, when something would be released. (I collect figures btw).

      I could do this a little at a time so I didn’t even realize it but at some point I transitioned from newbie to mentor. I’m not sure if I’ll have the same experience with bjds but I’d like to hope so. I think it’s different for everyone though and I don’t think it’s quantifiable by how many dolls you have or what skills you have but more about exposure to the information.
      • x 6
    3. I think it's a difficult question. Perhaps it's a matter of time spent studying and learning, experience with every aspect of owning/playing with your dolls and confidence that you know what you are talking about with the BJDs that you love and collect? I don't think it's any one time period finish line. For instance, I've spent more than 20 years painting in the fine arts and I still take it upon myself to learn new things on a regular basis. I don't think I will ever feel comfortable calling myself a master artist, while others with less skill and experience have no issues with labeling themselves this way. I feel confident in my abilities and in teaching others and I'm happy with that. I guess what I'm trying to say is that other than being confident, does it matter what the label of hobbyist vs newbie is?

      There's so much out there in this hobby that it would probably take forever to learn it all. Have fun learning and enjoy the process of discovery!
      • x 4
    4. I’ve been in the hobby for over a year now and I still feel like a newbie to many things, ahaha ^^

      I think I stopped considering myself a newbie to dolls when I started being able to ID sculpts/bodies - Perhaps not as well as others, but enough to know what company they come from. Or if someone wanted sculpt suggestions, I could fire off quite a few. Along with that, understanding all the terminology, how dolls function (I know trying to wrap my head around them being held together by elastic was hard at first!), knowing the best dealers to buy from, knowing at least the bigger doll company names and their features (wait time, sculpt style, pricing), being able to not be super overwhelmed when you visit a dealer’s website by all the different dolls and companies there are (that was me for months lol!), I think that’s when one can consider themselves no longer a newbie to the dolls aspect of the hobby.

      Sewing on the other hand...I think one can definitely be a newbie to sewing but still have an understanding of the dolls in the hobby. There’re little subsections to the hobby you can still be new to - and that’s okay!
      • x 2
    5. I don’t think it’s a timeframe, as some people learn and experience things faster. I think it’s more about knowing the basics, such as:

      -how to string a doll
      -how to do a faceup (even if you don’t do them yourself)
      -how to put in eyes and choose the right size
      -how to find wig size
      -knowing the various doll size categories
      -knowing the basics of how dolls are made and why they’re expensive
      -owning at least one doll so you understand what they’re like first hand
      -being familiar with a variety of companies

      There may be more, but I think mostly it’s just being able to answer basic questions people may have about the hobby and the dolls.
      • x 8
    6. In a nutshell, I'd say you know you're no longer a newbie when the ratio of having questions to having answers reverses. No timeframe for that, though - everyone learns at their own pace, and it probably has a lot to do with how much time one devotes to the hobby.
      • x 15
    7. Hmm I've never thought about it. I suppose it's different for each person and depends on how that person feels. I don't remember when that period ended for me :O
      • x 1
    8. I think being a 'newbie' has two different meanings. You can be a newbie due to time you've been into the hobby and/or a newbie based on your actual knowledge of the hobby you're into (even if you've technically been 'into' the hobby for a while) Once you've passed a year of doll ownership you're surely no longer a 'newbie doll owner' and once you learn the basics about BJD's (what they're made of, that you can change their eyes and hair as well as clothes, restringing, faceup as a concept and maybe how it's done, a few companies that make BJD, where to buy legit, terminologies etc) you're not a newbie any longer, surely!

      Of course, there will be stuff you don't know and there will always be people that know much more than you - but you shouldn't feel down about that! Just keep on in the community, look up what you don't know and don't feel shy to ask questions whether they're 'newbie style' questions or not! I've owned dolls for quite a while now but still don't know everything and likely I never will. I consider myself a full hobbyist still ^^ I just have gaps in my knowledge sometimes!
      • x 2
    9. Oh, jeez, I felt like a newbie for ten years. :eek:
      • x 5
    10. You're not alone there!! :hug:
      With such a wide variety of doll companies, sculpts and sizes, and with new additions continually arriving, it's difficult to keep up with it all. There's not a day goes by that I don't ask questions about something or other, so while I still feel like there is more to learn, I'll always feel somewhat like a newbie. ;)
      • x 1
    11. Well, I'm a self proclaimed eternal newbie. :wiggle I always think there is something new to learn even if I have the basics completely down pat. As time changes and technology progresses, there's always going to be newer, easier ways to do things. So the things I learned when I first started the hobby might be completely obsolete in ten more years.

      Materials change, the UV sealants can change, the way you clean a doll can become easier, even the joints that are standardized among all dolls are different now than just five years ago. (Like, remember when people had to use S hooks to keep head caps in place? The good ol' finger-skin-ripping days :mwahaha)
      • x 1
    12. I feel like a newbie all the time... and I have quite a few dolls accumulated over years. There is always another company to learn, technique to practice and so on.
    13. Maybe you can consider me seasoned, and I have shared one or the other crazy idea here. However, if this hobby has taught anything, it is to always stay flexible in your thoughts. There are so many different methods to do things. Sure it carries in itself the possibility of failing, but that is, at least for me, part of the game.

      Having collected some experience over the years, I feel more competent to judge what is worth trying and what not. It keeps me fascinated each and every day. You simply never stop learning
      • x 1
    14. Honestly I've been in the hobby since April and I don't feel that new anymore. I own two full dolls with another on the way + 2 floating heads (practice heads for faceups). I don't think quantity of dolls matters, I think that what you've learned about the hobby is what makes you no longer a newbie.

      When I got my first SD, I dove into learning how to do doll modification, and once I crossed that line is when I really felt like I belonged. I did a ftm chest mod, dyed a body, made scars, and did my first few faceups. Now I feel rather confident in most of my skills, and I'm comfortable giving some advice about not only mods, but companies, hybriding, etc.
      • x 1
    15. There are a lot of levels to newbiedom. I was an admirer of BJDs before I even set virtual foot in DoA, and I have been here for over a decade, and I still can't string a doll without an extra pair of hands and written instructions. Yet I could hardly be called a newbie. I've done faceups and sewn a ton of clothes and drafted patterns and even made shoes and wigs. Yet I can barely tell a Minifee from a Minigem because of my sucktacular facial recognition skills. So "newbie" is definitely a relative term.

      At the end of the day, I think you graduate from newbie school when you feel comfortable about your specific field of interest in the BJD community--be it sewing, crafting, faceups, the relative merits of this body's articulation over another company's, or just general knowledge about customization and maintenance. There is no entrance exam, and you will not be judged by a jury of your peers. Just relax, observe, participate and learn. And, most importantly, have fun with it.
      • x 1
    16. Thanks for asking this question. I am very new (few than two weeks here) and I feel like I will be in Newbieland forever as there is so much to learn.
      I stay in the General Discussion folder mostly because I don't have specific knowledge. I only have one BJD so I am definitely not an expert in anything.
      I feel that I am a "student of life" so that I will be learning as I go, forever. I will revisit this question in my mind in March 2021 and see how I feel then. Hopefully by then I will have at least one more BJD.
      • x 1
    17. Random connection, but in my spiritual tradition the three levels are Seeker, Journeyman, Wayfinder.

      You've got Seeker status first, which is when you're exploring options and learning and trying things out. Then Journeyman is when you've made a commitment or decision, and are focusing on honing your focus and ability at that. Finally, Wayfinder is when you are pushing forward the boundaries of knowledge and skill.

      So based on that framework, I would say once your primary engagement with the hobby stops being doing research and considering which dolls to buy and learning basic facts, and begins being an ongoing project you are working on and slowly developing.

      It's a good question for sure :)
    18. It took 7 years for me to get a doll. I was 12 when I fell in love with kid Delfs and I was 19 when I bought them. I bought 3 within a 3 week time span. I now am at max capacity with 5. I just went all out but one must know it took me years to finally fulfill this dream. Owning them is even more exhilarating than I had ever imagined it to be. I think that’s all I can say.
    19. For me, it's when I started answering questions instead of asking them. Oh, I still ask questions now and then, but they tend to be a lot more specific. There's always more to learn. But instead of asking 'I have X head, which body will it fit on', I'm asking 'I have X head and Y body's measurements show it to work. Does anyone have this hybrid, and if so, any pictures?' Instead of asking others about restringing, I'm teaching others how to restring. Things like that.

      Though I think the framework is going to be different for everyone. No one goes into the hobby at the same pace.
    20. I think it's like being a grownup; when you're a kid you look at grownups and think "wow, they're so confident and smart, I can't wait to be that age so I can like them!", but then when you actually grow up you realize it's not that simple.

      You can be in the hobby for years and still not know some of the basic stuff, you can be in the hobby for a few months and have gathered enough knowledge to understand most of the stuff that's going on, you can be considered a pro at something and still not feel like you're an expert...it's not really the kind of thing that has a timeframe.