Yes, There Be Dolls is finally back for good!
After a rather long break we are back with a new interview!
Today’s guest is Carmen from LittleRebel Dolls, a Spanish artist and doll maker known for her stunning male SD heads.
(Yeah, yeah I know … I am biased – I tend to interview Spanish doll artists, but the Spanish doll community seems to be amazing XD)
Here we go:
Elisa: Welcome to There Be Dolls, Carmen, and thank you for agreeing to do this interview!
Carmen: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to do this interview and to share my work.
How did you learn about balljointed dolls? Do you remember the first bjd you came across?
I found out about BJD totally by chance in 2003 when I was searching for band pictures. It was a Volks doll, and then I started searching for more info about those dolls and fell in love with them, and I received my first doll later that year. I remember that the first doll that I really wanted was an Hypermaniac Elliot but it was impossible to get him by then.
Your sculpts and face-ups are hauntingly beautiful. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Sometimes I just have the idea of the character in my mind and others times I look at pictures of real people for inspiration.
Do they end up exactly like you envisioned them or do surprises happen too?
Like wow, this is completely different from what I was going for but I like it?
I start with an idea but sometimes I change my mind at the same time that I’m sculpting and I change their face features a lot! If I don’t have a firm idea about what I want to do, the result will be a surprise… and usually those are my best works.
What was your first sculpt and what was the final nudge to start crafting your own dolls?
My first sculpt was Shinji because it was a character I had in mind that didn’t fit with any of the bjd available by then and I really wanted to have him as a doll. Actually I made a few different versions of him because I started making him as a full doll in 2005 but I discarded all the projects I did until 2011.
What is your artistic background?
I graduated in Fine Arts at College in Spain and I also went to Muthesius Kunsthochschule in Germany for a year. I’m the kind of person that likes to learn and try to do many different things: drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, design… and probably I get frustrated at some point because I can’t master any of them, haha.
Are you planning to release MSD heads as well? What about creating bodies too?
Yes! To tell you the truth I should have received my MSD prototype head in January… but the casting company has delayed it a lot, so it is still a secret until I receive it in resin. And about making bodies for the big dolls… I would like to make it for myself but I’m not sure if I would be able to release it because casting costs, shipping and customs fees would be so expensive that it scares me.
How many sculpts have you released so far – which one came to you mostly easily and who gave you a hard time?
I’ve released 12 doll heads and 2 tiny full dolls since 2011, and have some others in process.
I don’t remember any of them coming easily because I doubt too much when I’m working and change things many times but probably Maya was the hardest doll to make. I have a box full of discarded pieces from her body!
When it comes to creating a new sculpt what part of the process do you love best, what part annoys you the most?
My favorite part is when I sculpt the nose (I really enjoy making noses!), and the most annoying part is priming and sanding the surface to make it smooth (it takes more time than to sculpt the whole face).
What are your experiences with casting companies, whom have you worked with together so far?
I wrote about it more detailed in my website because I’ve tried most of the casting companies: Dollshe, Weiju, Fdoll and Haru. All of them have good and bad points, but the one that I prefer and who cast most of my dolls is Fdoll.
The preorder for André has just been opened. I have been hoping to get the chance to adopt him for quite a while! So hooray!
So let me ask some questions about that specific event:
Was André inspired by a special character or person?
Yes, probably André is the sculpt most inspired by a real person that I made (although not in a realistic way). I wanted it to resemble the actor Gijs Blom in the movie Jongens a little, because he really reminded me of one of my characters.
What bodies work well with your SD heads? Which company is going to cast him?
It depends of the doll head but I try that they fit most of the 60~65cm doll bodies, with 10cm neck. The normal color is similar to Luts but it can change slightly from batch to batch.
André is casted by Fdoll (the normal skin matches Fdoll pale-normal, and tan skin is a special color).
Do you accept layaway too?
Of course, since the dolls need to be made I can accept 2 months layway.
Will there be an face-up option as well?
Sadly I can’t offer the faceup option now because I’m not sure if when the dolls arrive in 2 months I will be able to do face-ups or not (because of my surgery – I still have no idea when that will be- but it can’t be later than June).
Last, I started to work on There Be Dolls, so people would learn more about the artists behind those amazing creations. It was a reaction to all that recast problems I came across in the last years.
Have you ever been a victim of recasters? What are your thoughts on that topic?
I’m lucky enough to not have been a victim of recasters, mostly because I’m a very small artist, but it really breaks my heart when I see how other fellow artists and close friends suffer because their work was recasted. It makes me sad to see how much the hobby has changed since the recast issue but I try to focus on people who really love the hobby and support the artists because this hobby is something where you can be creative and original.
Thank you so much for the interview!
Thanks to you for your great work and for helping artists like me to be known by the bjd community. It was a pleasure to do this interview.
If you, dear reader, are interested in adopting André, this is your last chance since this sculpt will be discontinued after the current preorder.
So get him while you still can:
Andrè Preorder Period from April 14th to April the 20th 2018
SD head in normal skin 145,00 EUR
SD head in tan skin 150,00 EUR
Production Time 2-3 months
Includes: blank doll head, certificate of authenticity and box. // *Eyes, wigs, and body are not included.
Head size: 1/3 (22cm circumference), *for 62~70cm bodies with 10cm neck aprox.
Eye size: 12~14mm
You can order André here