BJD but not only !

In my previous article on the beginnings of my activity, i mainly talk about my BJD creations, but i also had a lot of orders for small creatures, which allowed me to test other materials such as Prosculpt, Fimo or non-firing plolymers (like milliput or magic sculpt).

I really enjoyed working on these kinds of orders because it allowed me to play with materials and finishes and invent all kinds of weird creatures without the stress of symmetry or resemblance to an existing being! It was a very pleasant space of freedom, with a very nice recreational side. What’s more, it was around this time that i got an airbrush, so i was able to test new ways of painting my creatures that have changed my life! I mostly painted with a brush or used dry pastels, but the airbrush is a must for making pretty gradients or even colors across an entire figure.

I was able to create all kinds of creatures, static, semi-articulated, or with a wire body, then i also tested the creatures on bases with small decorations, which was also very interesting to do. I like miniatures a lot, so making small dioramas has always pleased me and i still enjoy it very much. It’s totally different from the BJD creation process! Indeed, when you create unique pieces, you don’t need to think about the fact that each piece has to be molded or any other technical concern, so it’s not the same approach or the same way of working

It also requires having a lot of things and odds that end in stock in many boxes!… I collected and stored a lot of small things like nut shells, dried plants, feathers, pebbles and other small things. objects of all kinds, which very quickly take a lot of space up!… But all these small orders allowed me to go on creating and developping my skills.

Bactro’s journey

Despite the very creative side of dioramas, i devoted more and more time to BJD. Following my first experience at Ldoll festival, i was really motivated and reboosted to work on another doll project. I thought it would be great to be able to present a brand new model for the next Ldoll, knowing that within a year it was doable. I started to think about a few ideas that i had written down in my notebooks, but after seeing a tv documentary on dinosaurs, and in particular some sequences on the bactrosaurus, which i found really adorable, i got stuck on this idea. By refining the features a bit and seeing what it could look like on a whole doll, i found it held up. I was really happy with this design because it represented my world quite well.

The most difficult part was finding the right balance: keeping the doll graceful with the appearance of a reptilian creature.

Bactro’s final appearence came pretty quickly, i didn’t have too much troubles to define her as she was completely in the spirit of what i was doing with small creatures at this time. On the other hand for the realization, it turned out to be a little more complicated !…

I couldn’t have a global vision of my work because the scale was too big!

Working on a large format changes everything! On all my other dolls, the sculpt part was quite fast, in the sense that, as soon as i came to remove or add volume, i had the result very quickly in front of me. On a 40cm tall doll, changes took hours, time for the paste to dry on larger areas so i could sand or sculpt! In the end, the realization of the doll took me much longer than expected and i ended up accumulating a lot of delay on my schedule…

And if that wasn’t enough, in the home stretch, i had a big panic attack, telling myself that in fact this doll was way too different from what was done at the time, that i was screwing up completely and that no one would ever want to buy that! … I had nevertheless received good feedback on the internet by sharing my progress on forums, but the stress was too intense. I had to reason with myself to continue and not drop everything! (ahah I spent too much time on it to stop so close to the goal!) I also had in parallel, entrusted a few copies to other artists who did a very good job and highlighted the mold, thanks to their superb make up work!

Final verdict!

Despite all these troubles, i managed to finish all the Bactros, not without difficulties, and prepare my booth. (Also, i won’t talk about the fear of putting a price on your work … !!) Fortunately, Bactro was warmly and kindly welcomed, which was a real relief! I met a lot of enthusiastic and passionate people, and i was not alone at my stand! (thanks to my co-stander <3) Unfortunately i was sick as bad as possible due to a virus and nervous fatigue, so i did not enjoy as i would, but it was a good moment anyway.

Finally the good news was that all the Bactros had found buyers, and that i even had orders after the show! I was really happy and relieved but i was exhausted when i got home: it took me more than two weeks to get over it all!

Here we go 2013 !

After a little rest, i was already starting to plan for the coming year. I wanted to participate in the Paris Fashion Doll in March, then the following Ldoll in October. It was a bit too much in hindsight, but i was very motivated!

I first created a little character named Kamut. I wanted to offer an articulated creature, but simpler than a BJD, and in a more affordable budget. I had drawn quite a few little creatures in his style on my notebooks, so he was relatively easy to sculpt. I made the prototype in Prosculpt paste because it was faster for this kind of format. And after molding and printing, it was available in a whole bunch of colors! Each make up gave him a different style: i found him very cute!

Then, as i didn’t want to work on a big scale like Bactro at all (that had really cooled me off!), i started creating two small dolls! (just that) I had already worked well on their designs on paper, i had the two characters in mind, so their realization was faster than Bactro. I was able to work a little faster on Feldspathe because she was really smaller, but Ambroise gave me a hard time! Indeed, the problem when working on small scales or too thin parts is that it breaks more easily (especially if the prototype is made of Ladoll!) … I had to be very careful during drilling and sanding the parts because the prototype was very fragile.

The schedule quickly became busy because i also had to work on my Bactro post Ldoll orders …!

2013 was a very busy year in terms of work!

I also wanted to make a nice booth decoration because for the next Ldoll, i had reserved a full booth! So i had to think about a little staging or a nice way to show my work. Thanks to my friend Miss Taku, it was a success: indeed, she was able to make felted wool creatures for the booth, but also very elaborated wigs for the Ambroise full sets! I owe him a debt of gratitude! I also called on the talented Cachoou to make the clothes for Feldspathes and Ambroises: the result was incredible considering the size of the models!

This is the end of this article on the beginnings of Creatures Dolls, thanks for reading to the end !!