Costume Designer Spotlite: Tara (or Kawaii Experience) Part II

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When you were a child did you ever work on dolls or create with similar things? If so, what were they?
Hmm no, I started to create on my dolls when I had BJD.

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.
I loved to made cosplay, but it’s very expensive and I hate wear it (I love sew it, but not wear it), and I didn´t like the world of cosplay contest, but thanks to that I know how sew. Anyway,I like go to the manga conventions to see the cosplays and the work of other people.

Do you have any other interests? Collections?

Hmm not really, I am reading some manga collections and I buy a manga twice on a year maybe… Before BJD I used to buy lots of manga figures but not anymore. I love reading, playing videogames and seeing youtube gameplay channels.

Tell us about your own dolls. Do you have any? If so how many and which ones? Has your collection impacted your fashion business and if so in what way?
Yeah! I have my own dolls, in my house now there are 8 dolls and I am not waiting anymore by now. They are Istvan (a Unoa lusis sleeping male modded), Astharoth (a Unoa lusis akubi male), Jezabel (a Lami of Soom), Sehara (a Juri 2010), Mirka (a Chloe minifee), Saree (a Unoa lusis male) and Mihael (a Daniel of Iplehouse)
Yes, my fashion business have impacted in my doll collection, people are surprised to see that my dolls rarely wears clothes made by me, that’s because I have very little free time for my own dolls.

Why choose clothing design as a form of Self Expression?
I started drawing manga and in the manga is needed a character design, I spent too many hours doing that, it was the funny part for me: the design the outfits and clothes.
My grandmother taught me all of sewing to make cosplay, I only had to apply the character design I liked to do and the knowing of my grandmother to start creating my own designs.

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How long does it take from start to finish on a typical outfit to create and complete?
It depends. There are outfits I can make in two days of work, and outfits I can spend two months or more… there is not a “typical outfit” for me because each one is totally different from the previous. Also depends on the time that I spend to go to buy the fabrics or how much inspired I am when it’s time to work.

How do you like to work best with a custom order for a client? With total freedom to create your vision, or do you like some feedback/interchange with a client who might have an idea or theme they would like to see realized?
The phrase that scares me in a customer is “I do not know, I leave to your choice”. AH NO! Give me guidelines, give me guidance, give me orders! It frightens me deeply that the client let me freedom, there is so much variety of fabrics, trims, colors … I know what I use if the outfit was for me, but the fact is that the outfit is not for me, it´s for the customer! I like that customer gives to me a photo of they want, and I make a search of materials and I usually tell them a few recommendations. But always starting from a photo or a idea.

Are there fashions or styles you would like to make, but haven’t? Why haven’t you?
Yes, I would like to do urban clothing, jeans are a mistery for me! And also I would like to know how to sew a full suit, I love them, but they are very difficult I never had to try them because I have not really time to experiment! I always have orders or projects in mind and do not usually have free time for testing.

How important are fashion trends to you (i.e. what is going on in real life/human wear) and to your doll clothing? Do other doll seamstresses or fashion trends on the board (or even on other boards, etc) influence you at all?
I do not look at the fashion trends in human clothings. But it is true that I have to adapt to fashion trends, which is also influence from the shops which sell fabrics. And about other seamstresses, yes, they really influence me. My best friend Seguchi also sews in a amateur mode and I have being influenced by her simple lines designs and few decorations.

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Do you take on commissions? If so have you ever turned down any? Are there certain commissions you like or dislike?
Yes, most of my store is based on commissions. Yes, sometimes I refused a commission if I do not think I could deal with it, I never liked to make illusions in vain, it is not a dishonor not know do something ^ ^. I like to take commissions, in the stock items maybe they will be exactly that the customer want sor maybe not, but the commission is exactly that the customer wants, there is no doubts ^^

Tell us about your family. What do they think about your dolls and your business?
In the beginning my mother didn´t like the dolls because they are expensive and I had so many. But now I have a reasonable number of dolls and she is happy with them. The rest of my family is not so happy with the dolls, but still my grandmother sometimes helps me to do something when I have lots of work. Luckily my mother thinks that I have to do what I like to do and she enjoys every little step I’m taking as much as me.

How important is customer feedback? Have you had a lot of customer feedback in the past? Do you want more? If so, how would someone contact you?
I like customers to leave me feedback, they are reviews of my work and other customers can go there to consult and take a look at my work. In my case, I have feedback on ebay, etsy, forum, Materiel Celeste forum, and of course the forum Den of Angels. People can contact me at any of the three forums mentioned above, on etsy or on my flickr I’ll be happy to talk with anyone who wants to write me!

What are your newest projects (example new sizes, styles or lines) that you are working on?
I want try made some romantic and pure outfits, in beige and white colour and I would like make better corsets. I was preparing a lot of stock for Expomanga in Madrid, but finally I can´t go T__T, so I have a large months before the next manga convention to make only custom orders ^^

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Are you working on anything that isn’t doll related that you want to share that you think would interest the readers (off topic, however, you think they would be interested in it, like human clothing line, an art show of your work, etc)?
No, now I’m not doing anything out of this.

Over the years you’ve seen a lot of changes, both good and bad. What do you think have been the best and worst changes in the doll community?
I do not write much, but I participate reading a lot and I enjoy the galleries and tutorials.
I think the best of this comnunity is to share your hobby with other people, see their dolls no matter where they come from. What is worse? Nowadays people are living the hobby in private more every day, leaving the forums. Fewer and fewer people are participating in the forums, due to small fights between users, always caused by misunderstandings. It really makes me very sad.

Are there projects that you wish you had more time to work on?
Not really, I have the great fortune of having a really friendly customers. When I really need it, I tell them that I’m going to take the more time to finish the work successfully, so luckily I have never a delivery date.

Closing Comments (anything you’d like to tell us about you or about your business in general)?
Thank you very much for thinking of me for this interview, it’s a great opportunity.
Thanks also to all who have helped me to write it and all customers who have provided their photographs with their dolls so I can show my work.
And those who wish to write me, do not hesitate to do so! I will be happy!

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Thank you, Kawaii Experience, for the interview. Appreciate it!

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