Saturday, August 29, 2020

Things I Am Good At and Things That I'm Not

          Back in June I did an interview with Emily Martin for her YouTube series Artist Unlocked. It was a fun experience and really got me thinking about certain things having to do my doll making. Not everything from our very long conversation ended up in the final video, but some things did. It is tricky to say that you know your work has value without sounding full of yourself. At least, that is the way artists are often made to feel. In the same interview I offered some advice to people that might want to get started as doll makers, though it applies to any art. Don't take commissions too early. Don't take on projects that you are not comfortable with. There are definitely things that we can't know if we can do them unless we try them. And then there are things that we might be willing to try, even though it is way out of our comfort zone. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

       Recently I found out a couple of things about myself. While I can and do make patterns, I am not able to exactly replicate someone else's pattern. I also can't work well in gloves. So I guess it comes down to I can make a new pattern, potentially from altering one of my existing patterns as needed, but I can't necessarily take apart something someone else made, make a new workable pattern, and then duplicate the original garment. And the gloves thing was a weird discovery. I had no idea I had to be able to feel the material to work properly. I felt incredibly clumsy. It took awhile, and a lot of trial and error, but I figured out I was not going to be able to come up with a finished shirt that was exactly like the original. There are just some things I am not good at. 

     No matter how carefully I worked to dissect the original shirt, I was not able to make anything I could work from. It was frustrating. I don't like to give up on things.
     But on the other hand, I recently I finished up this working western lady. Her chaps are removable, but nothing else is. This is definitely something I know I can do. 
        I also finished up this Arabian rider. The trick with this one was finding material that looked good with the costume, just by using the DMC floss colors. I have not seen the doll with the costume yet, but I think this should work out. 
     I also finished up this fantasy doll. None of her clothing is removable, though most of my dolls do not have removable clothing, and I would not even be able to begin to think about how to make this dress removable. There is some sewing on it, every outfit has at least some sewing. But there are also layers and glue tricks. I know some people feel that "glue" can be sort of a dirty word when it comes to doll making, but clearly if it is used well you can come up with some lovely results. I'll share some of the magic tomorrow. 

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