Today we have the pleasure to introduce Ana from GoblinTalesBJD and her wonderful world of forest beings.
Welcome to There Be Dolls, Ana.
You have just opened the preorder for your newest creation – Willow, a dreamy looking goblin girl.
So far you have relased, Erin (a sassy looking goblin girl with a charming smile) and the mosslings.
When meeting your dolls one immediate finds themselves transported into the land of fairytales and folklore.
Where do you draw your main inspiration for your dolls from? What is their backstory?
Ana: My family is from Sanabria, a beautiful area of Spain, between Galicia, Zamora and Portugal. It is a place full of forests that has nothing to envy to Ireland, and the Galician traditions (witches, goblins, nymphs…) are very present in their popular culture. I was lucky to spend the summers of my childhood there, and I live in love with all that folklore, which has always inspired me.
Erin, Willow, Shawn, North -and other goblins- are some characters that I imagined as the incarnation of the seasons and the natural phenomena. Each goblin has its own personality depending on how I feel the seasons (Erin is the Spring, the beginning, the joy of life; Shawn, still not sculpted, would be the Summer, Willow would be the peaceful and somnolent Autumn, and North, the cold and sober Winter. Other goblins would be the rain, the wind, etc.). Forests are full of life, and I wanted Nature to be reflected on my creatures, and also, on my magical pets (the tiny naughty mosslings are pieces of the soul of the trees, which want to move and explore the world too).
Erin seems to have been your first sculpt. When did you start to work on ball jointed dolls as a sculptor?
I began as a miniature collector and painter when I was thirteen, and because of that, I discovered that I loved to sculpt. The joints were just the next step. Once you’ve tried to do pictures with poseable dolls, static figurines aren’t enough! I tried at first with traditional sculpting, and left several projects unfinished because of a mix between frustration and health (I am allergic to some clays). Then I discovered 3D sculpting, back in 2016, and I didn’t stop since then. I spent several months from the early morning to dead at night practising, until my Erin –and other goblins- finally came to life.
Most artists seem to complain about the sanding part – what do you like best about sculpting, what is the most tedious part of your work?
I agree about the sanding step! When you’re working on a head, sanding and priming, and sanding again and again, you have to be very careful if you don’t want to ruin the doll expression –specially if the doll has realistic facial features-. Just a milimeter more tan you should, and the expression changes. I usually spend most of the time sanding and re-sculpting the mess that I make on the face.
Also, when I tried to sculpt with clay the traditional way, I was always frustrated with the symmetry problem. I think that for traditional sculptors, it must be really annoying.
What advice would you give a newbie on sculpting their first doll?
Don’t give up. It’s that simple. If you have something in your head that you need to share with the rest of the doll community, keep practising. I can assure to you that the second try is WAY better than the first one, and so. Even when you don’t get exactly what you planned, it can be another beautiful doll too, or at least, you can learn a lot from that piece (how the clay feels and works, how to solve problems that you can face with your 3D program). We always tell ourselves that our work is not worth it, that the other’s work is better. There will ALWAYS be someone better than you. They have been practising for years! Keep practising, keep improving.
What is your artistic background?
Leaving aside a couple of years in an Art academy when I was a child, I am a self-taught sculptress, beginning with busts and conversions in miniatures for some years. It is true that you learn much faster when you have the experience and the guidance of a teacher. You can avoid to get stuck, or to make lots of silly mistakes, and you can learn things that you wouldn’t imagine that exist, from their knowledge and own experience. But if you work hard, you can also learn lots of things by yourself – specially, nowadays, when the Internet is full of tutorials and master classes.
How did you learn about ball jointed dolls? And what was their main attraction? (Do you remember the first bjd you ever saw?)
Like many of us, I first found a picture on the Internet, many years ago when I was a teenager, without even knowing what it was (I don’t remember which one it was, because I didn’t know any molds at that moment). I never liked playing with dolls when I was a little child, and for some years, I didn’t try to find more info. But some years later (back in 2013) a friend of mine showed me her doll, one that she had customized as an elf. She had made her clothes with a lot of detail. I have always been very crafty, I was at that moment into roleplaying games too, and I was amazed with how a doll could represent a full character. I immediatly fell in love with that possibility. And it is still their main attraction to me: these dolls are a blank canvas on which you can develop almost any artistic discipline. You can sculpt, paint, sew, make wigs, eyes, accessories, jewellry, photography, and write stories. You can express yourself in so many ways!
Are there any other artist you admire?
Lots of them, actually. Sther Vivi (Mishi’s doll) has a very cute and personal style (her Murphy is awesome). Sandra Lòcre (Little Cosmos Dolls) has adorable sculpts (Robin is my favourite). Culur Theory, Orange Tea, Dreamhigh Studio, Peach Day Dreams and Pammdolls are some of my favourite houses. There are also “art doll” makers, such as Ignis (Fuego fatuo) and Lisa Toms, whose work is a huge inspiration for me.
Since the preorder for Willow is running right now let us focus on this beautiful goblin girl
She will be available in 3 beautiful colors – two of them fantasy ones!
Yes! She will be available in Pastel blue, pastel violet and Tan. She is sweeter and more magical than my naughty Erin, and I want that her fantasy colors represent that. But I also sculpted her with the main idea of a Tan little girl.
1st of May to 20th of May
Height (including head): 24cm (with mature curves)
Wig: 5-6 inches
Double-jointed elbows and knees
The colors available for this pre-order, according to the color chart from Haru Casting, are:
Blue white: 305€
Violet white: 305€
Light Tan: 355€
These prices include insured shipping.
Rest of the world: 55€
For more information and if you love to adopt Willow please visit: GoblinTalesBJD
Who is going to cast your dolls?
Haru Casting Company.
Is it possible to ask for an original faceup as well?
I am afraid not. My dolls will go without a faceup, although I will always take some fullset to the events.
Are you going to offer layaway?
Yes, I always offer at least 2 month layaways, and it can be extended in some cases if it’s needed.
Will there be fullset available too?
No, as I said, I will take fullsets only to events. But after the events, the remaining stock will go to my online shop, including the fullset dolls!
What clothes do fit Willow’s body best?
Willow and Erin have the same body size and their own measurements, but Magic Mirror’s Keira outfits can suit them. “Eternal Dolls” (a fantasy and steampunk BJD seamstress) is currently making some clothes for my goblin girls and she accepts orders 😉
Are we allowed to have a look at your working space?
I actually work in my boyfriend’s attic, so I am afraid I will have to keep the privacy of his house.
What are your future plans as a bjd artist?
I want to focus my dolls on the love towards Nature and life. I want that my characters tell the message that Nature is almost magical and deserves to be loved and protected. My plans are to keep developing my goblin “main” line –also, with goblin boys-, and, given the success of the mosslings, I will keep releasing magical pets for the goblins, too, and some personal projects on which I am already working, with some new materials. In a future I would like to be able to donate a percentage of the money of my sales to environmental preservation projects, but there is still a long way to walk until then.
Thank you for the interview!
Thanks to you!
If you have any questions about stock etc. send an mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit her Tictail shop: https://tictail.com/goblintalesbjd
Thank you for reading and spread your love for BJDs by supporting the artists behind our amazing hobby!