I wanted to take you through the interesting parts of artistry, when creating dolls. Not too much details to bore you with you, but just the a little of the artistic process that happens. I want to say that art has a process in creating it. Whether it is music, writing or doll making. The concept is, that with in the process, there is a slow form of interpretation. Interpretation of a thought, of an idea; And colors, fabrics and techniques are used to express in creating dolls of art. Here I want to take you a little behind the scenes of making a custom doll for a customer.
This doll was custom made from Lizjul, for a customer . The customer wanted a doll that represented healing. She wanted to give it to a friend who had a terminal illness. The customer wanted to have the doll represent healing but also for the doll to represent hope, strength, resilience. The customer didn’t describe how the doll should look like, but that the doll was to have those same aspects that were just mentioned. As the customer gave me the coordinates, I began to construct images, within my mind’s eye. I then asked the customer a few particulars, like hair color preference, fabric color. After that, I conjured some ideas to create this doll of healing.
The making of the doll began with some research. When thinking of hope, strength and resilience, nature is the best place to go for inspiration. Because nature can withstand every single change that life can possibly endure and what we could possible imagine. I specifically looked at the animals in nature. Mostly small creatures, that you would never think would survive or withstand against the changes of the world and it’s environment. I thought of the wing creatures, that move about so quickly, as their wings wave with a great amount of speed; and with that speed, the wings look like they are moving very slowly. I thought of the dragon fly.
The doll was called the Anisoptera. which is a species of dragonfly. In some Native American tribes, the dragonfly represents transformation. Transformation was a relevant term, a concept used in making the doll. I will explain how, momentarily.
I used fabrics that looked delicate, but that also had a heft. That heft was the strength. You couldn’t tell from the fabric, in the looking at the photo, but you can feel it, you could sense it, from the imagery. I choose silk and sateen fabrics, because these fabrics had a bit of sheen to them. I wanted a glistening glow and effect about the doll, like that of dragonfly. In colors, I chose white, as in a soft cloud and a bronze color, as in earth. I think of a cloud, as a symbol to lift you up from the pain, in order to heal. Then with the bronze color, it was to be seen as a new beginning of walking on the earth, with a renew feeling of wellness.
To create the strength and resilience, I created a curled and twined gold crown. If you look upon it, it is delicate, but as you look closer, there are twirls and curls, which is meant to symbolize the resilience, as well as the strength. The body maybe delicate, in the state of illness, but it also has resilience, in spirit, and the quest for hope, strength and to heal. The gold crown was made to carry those words. I added a gold jewel wire design, around the top part of the dress. It is the dragonfly. Notice the wings at the neck.
Last but not least, we added the harp. The harp, is known to induce restfulness, peacefulness. And that, can call on healing.
As transformation was key in the symbolisms of a dragonfly; with the use of the fabrics made from silk and sateen, with colors of a cloud and earth (of white and bronze), the textures with heft, and yet have a look that is feather light, all these aspects, are what the doll was made into and what this doll was made for. For hope, resilience, strength, for healing.
It’s a wonderful process. Having the opportunity to make a customer happy, and making a difference in someone’s life, brings full meaning to being an artist. And in this case, a doll artist.