This is one of the new dolls I was working on these past two months when the weather outside was icy or snowy or just plain yuck. She is called The Wild Wet Ride. My goal for the past two years was to develop my own doll patterns instead of using those of others. Since I work on a much smaller scale than most doll makers, it was a little harder for me to find something that worked for me since I do intend to cover the doll with beads.
Also, with the finding my own path in the actually designing and sewing of the doll pattern is experimenting with the actually fabrics used in making the doll. I never really sewed on a machine until about 4 years ago, so most of the sewing terms and fabric vocabulary where all foreign to me. I even didn't know you should change the needle in them machine after so many uses. I thought you used it until it broke! Silly me. So this has all been a learning experience for me. I've taken many doll making classes in person and online. I've purchased doll makers patterns, doll making books, and doll making magazines always studying the patterns and how they were all put together. I've sat at my desk drawing patterns always referring to those other doll maker's patterns as a guide. Then I sat at the machine stitching away many times throwing away what I had done. I'm still a long long way before I can easily just draw, sew, stuff & be happy with what I am creating. I always feel like I'm using someone else ideas instead of creating something original. Then I read Lisa the Whimsical Bohemian who created the One World One Heart Blog Event this year, this one post of hers really made me stop and think. I'm going to reprint what really struck me to heart & have to please read this blog post of hers to see why it made me feel so relieved that I'm on the right track:
"Art should be created with your own authentic voice, artistic passion and original thought that comes together to form a piece of art. It could be "inspired by"what they've seen others do BUT.... the end result should be from their own innate ability to bring together various elements to form a finished piece of their own. Even learned technique should have a completely new spin put on it to make it solely their own. "
Isn't this a wonderful idea? I realized while reading her post that even though I am constantly on the road to learning new things from others being inspired by doll makers and bead artist, I am taking all that knowledge and wrapping it into something that is truly mine. My dolls will have faces that I needle sculpt a certain way that I like taking tips from this person and that person until that face being created with my eyes and fingers will be a reflection of what my mind and heart are combined to make. Then of course the beading! It all comes down to the beading doesn't it??
This year, I have decided to go back to my core and concentrate on more beading techniques. I want to feel confident in different bead weaving and other metal and wire techniques. Therefore sometimes I AM just being a copy cat making a necklace, earrings or a bracelet that looks exactly like the one in the class or article I'm learning from. But that is it...I KNOW they are are "homework" and with each turn of the tool or twist of a needle, I'm slowly slowing teaching my mind to "see" a new way to doing something. Meanwhile, my brain is struggling to see how I can incorporate that new learning experience to what I already can do. I will be taking all these lessons, let them percolate inside my Muse, and come back out baked into a way that will be mine. Simple? Not really, but being an Artist (and sometimes I do cringe calling myself that as I struggle with the thought that me, yes me is an Artist) is a road of learning, expanding and creating always looking for the new thought, idea, or process. It is a journey that can be thrilling all the way home.