Which came first for you, the doll or the art? This is a question I have wondered about myself and it just kind of came out in my conversation with another doll owner who "shells" characters from her book in dolls. The other night my husband, who is an underwater photographer, asked me if I would play with the dolls if I didn't take the photographs. I said, "Oh, no, of course not." He gets jealous sometimes because I always have a ready-made subject where-as to get to his he has to have perfect weather, good water conditions, and a full-wetsuit and scuba setup to do any photography. So it kind of made me think.... My dolls only really come to life when I am photographing them. The rest of the time they lounge around, but I don't do anything with them. So do I only have the doll addiction because I have become obsessed with this artform of photographing the dolls? I "was" an artist before I started with the doll thing- worked as a fashion illustrator, had my artwork in galleries and museums, they have toured the country, have sold fairly consistently, did a degree of free-lance work for various publications, held open studios, etc. In this very artistic community (Mendocino County) I am recognized by the major artists around here as a peer, and they have all actually been very supportive of the doll tangent I have gone off on. So would I even have the dolls if I didn't photograph them? On the other hand, I have had a camera for thirty years, and took randoms photos here and there, but didn't really get obsessive about it until I started photographing the dolls. I love my dolls. Photographing them, doing the book, being able to hand out cards and links to my photos online gives me an excuse to have the dolls and to take one with me everywhere I go. Until the dolls came into my life, I really was not a photographer (God knows everyone else in my family is- my daughter went to Brooks Institute and is an amazing photographer, my husband is a fairly-recognized underwater photographer and part of that international community). So do I take the pictures to give me an excuse to play with dolls, which I have always, my entire life, loved? I loved setting up scenes and tableaus with my dolls as a child, and loved miniature items. It's kind of a "chicken or the egg" question. I know a lot of people have dolls as three-dimensional representations of characters they have developed, either in their writing or online or role-playing lives. So do they have the dolls only because of their characters, or at some point do the characters give them an "excuse" to own dolls? So do you have the dolls as a way to develop your character/art, or do you develop characters/art as an excuse to buy another doll, perhaps without even realizing it? Please let me know what you think.