Of all the face-ups/customizations you’ve done, do any stand out to you in particular? Howso?
The work I’ve done on DollShe Bermann and Supia Rosy were the breakthrough of finding a style that I enjoyed, so I think those two have been my strongest face ups.
Do you paint/alter other types of dolls, and if so, how does that compare with working on BJDs? If you do other types of art (drawing, painting, etc) does that influence your faceup style?
I draw and paint a lot, in fact the way I do face ups influence the way I draw and paint! I always fall back to the palette I use for my face ups and I focus more on the little details in my work, mainly the eyes and lips.
Have you ever refused a commission? Why? Or if not, can you think of a circumstance where you might?
Yes I have. It is usually when I know I am not confident enough to bring out the character that the client wants me to. I certainly am weak in portraying very bold or fantasy-like face ups.
How important is customer feedback to your creative process?
Very important as I’d like to know how I can improve my work ethics and process, since I struggle at times.
Is there a mold, doll, or company that you prefer to work on?
Dollshe, Supia or Volks.
Do you prefer working on male or female dolls? Why?
I tend to work more on male dolls because I like to balance out the masculinity of the mold with the softness of my pastel and brushwork.
What is your background? Have you had any special schooling (art school, sculpture, painting, etc)?
I took design and photography, but transferred into a different school for my BFA, which I am currently in right now.
When you were a child did you ever work on dolls or create with similar things?
When I was a child, I was obsessed with creating people out of plasticine. My mother would paint little wooden boxes or doll-shaped wood cut outs and sometimes I would attempt to paint them as well.
Do you have any other interests that might have helped you in your development of customizing ABJD (like customizing other dolls, action figures, etc)? Please tell us about them.
Around the age of 12, my brother and I would purchase the little figurines from war hammer and we would paint them. Never played the game in my life though, haha! I think this influenced me to paint such tiny detail.
Do you have any other interests? Collections?
I collect a lot of old art books…I may just be a book hoarder!
What factors do you consider before giving a doll its make-up so it will have the expression you want?
The way the eyes, lips and overall facial structure are shaped before deciding on what kind of eyebrows to draw onto it.
How long does it usually take to do a face-up (or custom alteration job)?
I usually take breaks every other day, but I spend at least an hour planning the base, and a couple hours after that to get the eyebrows shaped, placed and painted correctly on the face. I am guessing a total of 5-6 hours, including the breaks for sealing the doll with MSC and doing alterations.
Can you offer any helpful hints to the amateur face-up artists? Can you recommend a list of supplies including colors, paints & pastels etc?
For painting eyelashes, I highly suggest a liner brush that has long bristles. The size depends on the brand as well though but I’d recommend a 0 on a Raphael brush. I find the soft Rembrandt pastels or Mungyo have the best pigment and seem to be the easiest for the brush to pick up. As for colours…experiment and see which colours compliment each other.
Do you have a favorite medium you like to work with when not creating for BJDs in your spare time?
Simply a sketchbook and a pencil. I love to draw and I always bring it along with me, even when I’m out and about.
How long have you been doing face-ups/customizing BJDs?
On and off for about 2 years.
What is your biggest inspiration for your face-ups and customizations?
Memento mori photographs.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share for people that want to learn how to do what you do or just want to improve? Something that’s helped you a lot or something that you think is important to know when doing a successful customization/face-up?
Take a break if you are frustrated with the face up you are working with and get back to it the next day.
Thanks for the interview, Korisanzu!