Here's the thing about beginnings--it means something's ended. Or maybe just set on a lower rung. That's probably a better description of where I am at this moment.
After years of drawing, doodling, painting, both digitally and with the "real" stuff, I found myself making dolls and realizing it was what I wanted to do.
It started with St. Mary's Christmas Fair last December. I volunteered to make signs for the Handmade Booth. From the start, I knew I wouldn't be making signs with Sharpies. I had a Cricut and I couldn't wait to churn out signs with it. But then, I chanced upon a stuffed doll on one of the Stampington websites and I couldn't resist. There had to be at least one of those dolls holding a sign! I ended up making two little girls and a cat. The cat was for the Pets section of the Handmade Booth.
After that, I made more to give as Christmas presents. That segued to my looking at all sorts of dolls on Pinterest. I spent quite a number of hours each day just perusing and pinning all sorts of dolls. I learned about Ball Jointed Dolls (BJDs), all sorts of cloth dolls, including the ones that go by a category called Tilda. Then there were the art dolls in porcelain, polymer clay, and paper clay!
Just to be clear, I wasn't new to dolls. I'd made cloth dolls in the past. I even used Creative Paper Clay to do sculpts. As recently as a year or two ago, I'd attempted to sculpt doll heads. I still have the unfinished heads, actually.
But this time, I seemed to have doll on the brain. I kept thinking about making art dolls with Paper Clay so I did. My first attempt was clumsy at best, but I was happy about it. I decided to do one in a traditional Philippine costume.
After that, I tried out clothing the next sculpt in paper clay instead of fabric. It was a fun sculpt, but I decided I preferred fabric.
It didn't take me long to realize how happy and content I was whenever I was working on a sculpt. This is not to say everything went smoothly. There were times when I'd smash up something I'd been working on for hours because at the end of those hours, the lips or the fingers or some fiddly body part just wasn't right. BUT, each day, I couldn't wait to get started.
That's how I knew I was ready to put aside all notions of surface design or illustration glory. I could immerse myself in just making dolls and learning all I can and never mind the glory. When I started posting my work on social media, family and friends were all out with full support even when the sculpts were far from perfect.
Took me a while but today, I scrapped all the contents of the website and redid everything. It took a few seconds of hesitation before I hit the delete button after the "are you sure" message popped up but the need to move forward was stronger than the desire to hang on.
There's so much to learn still, and I've begun a new sculpt. It's scary but mostly exciting. I hope you take the journey with me!