Today we welcome another creative member of the French bjd artist community. I am very happy to interview Marie from YouplaDolls today. She is the creator of such wonderful dolls as Zopa, Ziya and Vana.
Starting this Sunday she is opening her preorder for Ziya again. Your chance to adopt one of her beautiful dolls and for TBD pretext to learn more about this amazing bjd artist.
First of all:
Welcome to TBD and agreeing on doing this interview!
Marie: Thank you very much, I am happy to share my passion!
Let us start with my favorite introduction question – how did you learn about balljointed dolls? Do you remember the first sculpt that caught your eye?
Hummm.. it started with Limited Edition Disney Dolls. I searched on internet some informations about them and I came across pictures of BJD!
I immediately wanted to know more. I think the first doll that really appealed to me was a Chloe from Fairyland, the mold you see almost everywhere xD
My tastes have changed since then 😉
When did you decide to create your own dolls?
When all the planets aligned themselves! More seriously, when 3D printing began to be accessible at home.
I knew 3D modeling, I was already painting the faces, I thought it was worth trying to make the whole doll!
What was your first sculpt? I think it might have been Zenji, right?
My first model is Zopa, a 35cm little boy !
Oh yes, Zopa – he is such an adorable boy! What inspired you to create his sculpt?
I wanted to do something original that was not found everywhere. A realistic little boy but not a baby.
It started with a picture of a little tibetan monk. I love the aesthetic of the Tibetans and I think to try later to make a face more approaching!
Where do you look for inspiration in general?
Pictures of real people most often! I record the photos that touch me. I have a (big) file of inspiration and it’s from this that I begin a new doll.
Once started, I can quickly switch to something else when I model, but the starting point is there!
Both your boys Zopa and Zenji (a SD head)- are discontinued, will there ever be another male sculpt?
Yes! In reality he is already almost finished ^ – ^ It is an MSD of 45cm, He will be larger than Ziya or Vàna, but they are made to go together.
I hope I will be able to show him very soon! I worked a lot on the joints so that he could take natural positions, I find it very important for a male BJD.
How exciting! Your latest creation was Vàna – after Ziya your second MSD girl. Both of them have a sweet and serious feeling to them – I would describe them even as serene.
Who do you base their looks on?
I like smiling faces, Zopa and Zenji smiled and I knew that Ziya would have a nice smile too. I imagined her with tan skin from the start.
Even if I propose her in normal skin, for me Ziya is tan. When I create a character I always imagine their history, their character at the same time. Ziya is a cheerful but determined person!
For Vana, I knew I wanted to make an elf. So I made her with a more pointed face, an open mouth and dreaming eyes. A somewhat haughty / distant character, because she is not the same race.
According to the make-up, she can really change emotions.
When it comes to the process of creating a new doll, what do you love most, what is the most annoying part?
What I prefer to do is the face and all the details in general. I like to do the face because it’s creating all the background of the character and I like to make the details on the bust, the body in general, because this is what makes the doll as I imagine.
I hate doing the knee joints. It’s really my pet peeve. I always look for something that works well but is also esthetic. I don’t want to change the image of the body I have in mind.
It’s really not easy! And I prefer a knee with a simple joint that works very well, rather than a double joint that works half and that is generally not aesthetic.
What is your artistic background?
I have a graphic designer degree, done in Paris. At the end of my studies, I was hired by a company that realized video games.
There I learned 3D modelling. Alas this company closed and I resumed a job of graphic more ordinary (application, website).
In 2015 I resigned to dedicate myself to YouplaDolls.
Which artist do you like to collaborate with?
Kalcia Workshop made outfits for my girl for the previous Ldoll and other event. I really like to work with her. Her work is beautiful and she is really sweet.
What other companies do you admire?
I really like Merrydollround because I like the ethnic side she brings to each doll. It’s really a beautiful work and her dolls poses very well!
I also like DustOfDolls because their dolls are always very original and I like them all the time, unfortunately for my bank account!
Recently a lot of smaller companies have been victims of recasters – how do you feel about that phenomenon?
It’s terrible. I dare not imagine my condition if one of my dolls were recast.
We put so much of ourselves into this work, that it’s even more painful.
Especially since it’s a difficult, time-consuming and not very profitable work.
Helas even with prevention, I’m afraid that it always exists …
What are your future plans?
Well I have the MSD that is ready (with a human head and an elven head)
And I also have a large 56cm SD, a more mature Ziya (I call her GodZiya, but I think I’ll have to find another name)!
I have several other projects in progress but it’s secret ^^
Thank you for taking your time!
Thank you Elisa for your interest in my work and for the interview !
Preorder Info: Ziya in NS and Tans Skin
For now the preorder for Ziya is open – this is the last time she will be available! So make sure you take the opportunity to adopt that beautiful girl!
From the 13 of August until the 2 of September
Normal skin : 470€
Tan skin : 490€
Default make-up option : 40€
Shoes option : 25€
/!/ Default make-up is the one on the normal skin doll,
if you choose make-up on Ziya tan skin, it’ll be the same make-up than on Normal skin /!/
– full doll assembled & sanded with the bust of your choice
– high heel feet
– Eyes (8mm), random color
– Certificate of Authenticity
– box & cushions or carriage bag
(- Make-up in option
– Shoes in option)