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Hey hey folks!

I’ve got some news to share with you about my friend and fellow artist Camilla d’Errico. She’ll be releasing a new fine art print “Eenie Meenie Miny & Mo” this upcoming Friday, May 8th. It is a timed release, meaning it will only be available for 72 hours, starting at 9am PST on May 8th.

Those of you who own the third edition of the Enchanted Doll book, have already been introduced to Camilla d’Errico, as she wrote the lovely foreword. If you aren’t familiar with her work, she is a very talented painter and illustrator, and an inspiration to me. To find out more info about this beautiful new print and learn about her artwork, head on over to Camilla’s page. And don’t forget, the 72 hour timed release starts at 9am PST, on Friday, May 8th!

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Prrr-prrr, meew-meew!

2 weeks, 4 days ago 2
Posted in: Link

It will surprise absolutely no one to hear that being an artist gives one existential angst. Or perhaps having existential angst is the reason one becomes an artist. It’s a chicken vs egg dilemma, but whichever came first, sometimes seemingly mundane things trigger it, such as organizing my art supplies.

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I really like keeping things tidy around my home studio, but my collection of fabrics for doll costuming is starting to spill out of my bathroom closet. I need to keep my toilet paper somewhere!

I have a policy of buying only the fabrics I require for an immediate project, so as to not accumulate vast amount of it in my home. However, this minimalist practice conflicts with being a maker, simply because fabric to a doll artist, is what paint is to a painter! There is only so much of hypothetical painting a painter can do without having an instant access to a full palette of paint colours, ready to paint on a moment’s notice! I mean, it would be ludicrous to suggest that a painter only has enough paint in the closet for just 1 painting at a time, right?

Then why do I feel so conflicted about having a closet-full of different fabrics? Is it because fabrics take up more space than tubes of paint? Is it because there is infinitely more different fabric in the world than there are paint colours?

So, how does an artist live minimally, exactly? I think about this all the time. If it wasn’t for my art practice and all the art supplies and equipment related to it, I think I’d hardly have any possessions at all. Just some furniture to sit on. But does my art truly justify the environmental footprint I’m leaving on this planet? After all, aren’t I just contributing to the clutter problem by having ‘clutter’ to make more ‘clutter’ with? Sometimes I wonder if I’m better off not having anything and not making anything.

Artist are makers. We are compelled to create objects with our hands for some reason. We make stuff from other stuff, therefore we need to buy and have stuff to create our stuff from. Why? It’s some sort of a pathological compulsion, I think, and I sure am thankful that doll-making is my particular pathology. I could have had it worse – I could have had a criminal compulsion, that compelled me to do bad things because they made me feel good. Instead I lucked out with a need to make dolls. Whew!

And that’s the kind of stuff that goes through my head when I clean. Organizing sure is an intense activity, full of angst and nihilism. I think I’m gonna stop now and go do something else, before I conclude that nothing whatsoever matters and everything is hopeless.

Guess I’ll go make a doll. It almost always makes me feel better. Takes my mind of things.

 

1 month ago 12
Posted in: Uncategorized

My next doll is near completion! This is a little preview of her tattoo. Once it’s fully engraved, I’m going to try something different with it and see if it works the way I’m hoping. This doll has been an ongoing project for the last year and I’m pretty excited to finally reveal her to you within a month, along with a few other interesting things. Wink-wink.

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1 month, 1 week ago 14
Posted in: Uncategorized

Exciting news guys!
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The Chinese edition of the Enchanted Doll book is almost ready! There will be 999 signed books available. That may sound like a large number, but an even bigger number is 1,357,000,000 which is roughly the population of China. Another number is 21,196, which is the size of the Great Wall of China in kilometres. Numbers are fun.

Pre-sales have started, you can order the book here: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=43715713846&

If you need any help navigating that site and ordering, please contact yuanmuhe@qq.com, they will be able to help you with ordering even if you don’t know Chinese.

The book is expected to be ready to ship by May 2015

1 month, 1 week ago 5
Posted in: Book

I made a set of silver combs for my dolls earlier this year, and then realized that I wanted to wear them too – as jewellery! The smallest comb was my favourite of the set, so I converted the design into a pair of human earrings and a pendant, thus killing two birds with one stone. Disclaimer – no birds were harmed in the production of this jewelry. I love birds.

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This comb design was loosely inspired by an antique French Ivory comb I had seen in Paris a few years ago. I longed to wear it in my long hair, but as a recent art school graduate I couldn’t even imagine being able to afford such luxury. Perhaps it’s still out there and I’ll find it again one day.

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The full set of different doll combs, from which this jewelry was made, hasn’t been photographed yet, but will be very soon. I’m very excited to show you!

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In the meantime, email me if you’re interested in having these little Haircomb Jewels for yourself. They are available in sterling silver as a set of three or separately. Each comb weighs 2.4 grams. Hooks are hypoallergenic surgical steel, chain is not included. Pendant is $190 CAD, Earring set is $380 CAD. A full set of all three is $550 CAD. I’ve some available to ship right away, and can take several pre-orders for May.

And now I’m back to working on a new porcelain doll that will be wearing these!

 

1 month, 1 week ago 5
Posted in: Doll Accessories

Having spent the whole afternoon yesterday arranging my house plants, I’ve decided to end my retirement from doll-making effective immediately. Turns out one can’t just quit dolls. To celebrate my return, I made these shoes. It’s good to be back!
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April Fools!

I’ll never retire from dolls. I’ll die at my desk, while making a doll at the age of 125! That means roughly 90 more years of Enchanted Doll!

 

1 month, 3 weeks ago 26
Posted in: Doll Accessories

Dear friends, I bring some difficult news that probably no one wants to hear – after 10 exciting years, I’m closing down Enchanted Doll and retiring from the doll profession to pursue a career in interior design. Please let me explain.

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I am sad, but also immensely relieved to be making this announcement. The truth is, things have not been the same with me for a while – I’ve been changing. Over the last two years I’ve been slowly falling out of love with dolls. This paradigm shift began to happen imperceptibly and incrementally at first, manifesting in uncharacteristic procrastination and chronic absence of inspiration, but has finally grown to a profound and deafening dislike of my work and my life. So much love, labor and energy had gone into building Enchanted Doll to where it is now, that it seems inconceivable to walk away from it all, and yet I have to. I’m all burnt out and I need a change.

Interior design has always been a competing interest of mine, and over the last few months it’s emerged as a more dominant creative force than doll-making. I have to pursue it and make it happen.

I really appreciate all the love and support you’ve given me over the years, and I hope my retirement from the doll world will not be perceived as a let down of you. This site will be active for a few more weeks while I phase out and transition to a new direction, but eventually we’ll take it down. These ten years have been amazing, but it’s time to make a fresh start. Wish me luck in my new pursuit. I hope to become a famous interior designer and possibly even an architect one day!

Thank you all and Remember Enchanted Doll!

 

 

1 month, 3 weeks ago 28
Posted in: Uncategorized

Ladies and Gentlemen, the time has come! This year’s winner of the Enchanted Doll annual Birthday Contest is…..Kristen V! Congratulations Kristent, your tattoo design was the best! You concept design is incredibly powerful and thought-provoking. It moves me and stirs me to create. You get a painted resin Enchanted Doll!

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Here again is Kristen’s artist statement:

“The series of tattoos I have designed are inspired by tragedies currently afflicting our world. Women in the Middle East have been permanently scarred by acid being thrown on them for various insults or offenses they have committed. The victim could be attacked for refusing an arranged marriage, not wearing proper religious attire, or dishonoring their family. Worse, the attacks are often committed by close family members or neighbors. Sadly, reports of these terrible assaults are increasingly being found outside of the Middle East, in regions such as Europe and the United States.
Each of my designs was inspired by a real woman who has been marred from these atrocities. My goal was to create tattoos that would bring these horrific crimes to light, and generate awareness for these suffering women. At the same time, instead of focusing on their scars as something realistic and horrifying, I desired to turn them into something beautiful and intricate. This way, the designs reflect the unique beauty that is present inside each of the courageous victims.”

 

And we have another birthday and another contest behind us! And it was awesome. I would like to thank all of the contestant for participating in my Birthday Contest; For taking the time to create art and the courage to share it with the world. You should all be very proud of yourselves for accomplishing something, even if you didn’t win this time. I hope to see your entries again next year, and I shall look forward to it!

 

 

2 months ago 43
Posted in: contest

Hello contestants! We’re back for the final round of the 2015 Birthday Contest, designing a tattoo for an Enchanted Doll! Tomorrow one of these 3 finalists will be awarded the price – a resin Enchanted Doll!

The Top 3 finalists are:

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1) Ran J

“This tatoo inspired from Medical Anatomy and Narcissism.I use the skeleton(the spine and the sphenoid bone) to express the aesthetic of medical.In most cases the skeleton symbled horrible,death,aim or painful,but an artist has no necessary to follow the dominant ideology . The skeleton maybe can be symbled regularity and calmless.

Narcissus is a typical flower to symbled the narcissism in Greek mythology,so I use this image on the doll,I’m a girl and I appreciate female’s body.(…wrrrry God…terrible…hope my english can be better T_T)

The color:I used the classic cobalt blue of ED tatoo on the doll.I don’t know other screen of percinal computer,but it looks blue color on my computer at less.”

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2) Amal

Embrace

“A series of images exploring the idea of tattoos being a visual impression left on the skin by the sensation of being held, either in tenderness, or force. The tattoos could be indicative of the emotional ‘scarring’ of abuse, or a lingering memory of a loved one’s touch.
With our bodies we have the power to restrain, dominate and oppress – but, not exclusively as this can be done mentally also, perhaps going unnoticed by appearance. Both love and abuse leave marks, whether physical or not.There are many limiting factors of touch, such as time and distance. We can’t be touched by those who are absent, but that may not lessen their ‘hold’ upon us. Likewise, the burning desire to feel the touch of a loved one who is not present is like having their absence etched upon the skin.An embrace can be fatal, but can also save and restore life. The same pair of hands; two antithetical outcomes. How is it that an act of intimacy can have the potential to both harm or comfort in equal measures?”

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3) Kiersten V

“The series of tattoos I have designed are inspired by tragedies currently afflicting our world. Women in the Middle East have been permanently scarred by acid being thrown on them for various insults or offenses they have committed. The victim could be attacked for refusing an arranged marriage,  not wearing proper religious attire, or dishonoring their family. Worse, the attacks are often committed by close family members or neighbors. Sadly, reports of these terrible assaults are increasingly being found outside of the Middle East, in regions such as Europe and the United States.

Each of my designs was inspired by a real woman who has been marred from these atrocities. My goal was to create tattoos that would bring these horrific crimes to light, and generate awareness for these suffering women. At the same time, instead of focusing on their scars as something realistic and horrifying, I desired to turn them into something beautiful and intricate. This way, the designs reflect the unique beauty that is present inside each of the courageous victims.”

Wow, that was a difficult decision. I had given myself a headache thinking about it, and I still need to choose just one winner tomorrow! Which design do you think should take the prize?

2 months ago 116
Posted in: contest

Greetings Contestants! Welcome to the second round of eliminations. You are the finalists still in the running to win a resin Enchanted Doll! I’m going to give a short critique on the strengths and weaknesses of each work. I hope it helps those who didn’t make the finals, win next year! Here we go.

You will notice that what all of the finalists have in common, is an outstanding aesthetic presentation of their ideas. The importance of an effective and coherent presentation can not be understated, as it creates a powerful first impression in our subconsciousness. Another reason a well-laid out presentation is effective, is because it demonstrates the artist’s commitment to their idea, and shows consideration for the quality of viewer’s experience of their artwork. All the finalists left me with a very positive and engaging viewing experience, while presenting unique ideas. That is part of why they made the cut.

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#86 by Anne

Biggest Strengths: Incorporation of architectural elements into both, tattoo concept and presentation; delightful use of colour; excellent interpretation of source material. Weakness: Both tattoos are a little bit too big in relation to the body, giving a slightly crammed and boxed-in appearance on the torso. Suggestions: Let compositions breathe by shrinking, spacing them out a bit and continuing some elements out to other body parts. Thank you, Anne! Great work!

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#92 by Anna

Biggest Strengths: Great use and incorporation of joints in the design; keen sense of scale and proportion. Weakness: lack of colour detracts a little from the impact. Suggestions: explore colour more. Thank you, Anna! Great work!

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#103 by Ran j

Biggest strengths: Simplicity, elegance and flow of design in relation to doll anatomy; gorgeous rendition. Style of tattoo reminds me a little of Takato Yamamoto’s work. Weakness: While the idea of a skeleton tattoo isn’t entirely new, it is redeemed by its’ delicate beauty and strong composition on the body. This design is very well suited to the medium and scale of my dolls. It looks great as a 2D painting and will tattoo on porcelain very well. Suggestions: Slight lack of continuity in the front composition, between the bones on the chest and flowers on the abdomen; perhaps incorporating bone elements somewhere into the floral design would tie the composition together better. Thank you, Ran! Great work!

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#129 by Kiersten V

Biggest strengths: Provocative, meaningful and emotionally evocative concept; profound socio-cultural comment on violence against women. Weakness: Rendition is sufficient enough to convey the powerful message of the tattoo, but I feel it could be pushed a little bit further aesthetically. Suggestions: Explore the texture and line-work of scarring more. Thank you, Kiersten! Great work!

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#204 by Mai M

Biggest strength: Great use of doll anatomy and scale to convey a sense of armour; successful incorporation of headdress to support the tattoo. Byzantine element is delightful. Weakness: Too much symmetry stifles tension a little. Suggestions: Consider adding an unexpectedly chaotic or asymmetrical element into the armour design. It might add more dynamism. Thanks Mai! Great work!

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#225 “Fire Bird” by Karla R

Biggest strength: Memorable presentation; great adaptation of tattoo design to doll anatomy; successful incorporation of a 3D design element into the tattoo. Weakness: While the tattoo may be a bit too simplistic, it works in the context of the character design. Suggestions: I would like to see a more complex 2D element included somewhere into this tattoo design, one that would be a challenge to engrave. Thank you, Karla! Great work!

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#244 by Anita D J

Biggest strengths: Intriguing minimalist aesthetic. Weakness: Perfect mirror symmetry places the flowers into the same visual space and forces them to compete with each other for attention. Suggestions: A little asymmetrical element, such as experimenting with different heights for flowers, or making one stem more ornate than the other would make the design more dynamic. Thanks Anita, great work!

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#249 “Embrace” by Amal

Biggest strengths: Powerful, explorative and stimulating concept with social commentary on body politics; excellent supporting material and visual thought exploration. Weakness: The aesthetic of overall composition needs to be pushed a little bit farther to support  the enormous conceptual potential of this piece. Suggestions: Be braver with portraying symbolism of physical contact and personal boundaries. Thanks Amal, great work!

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#296 “The Egg Timer” by Merrilyn C

Biggest strengths: While the concept of a biological clock is nothing new, it is rendered here in a very beautiful and whimsical way; great adaptation to doll anatomy; Interesting juxtaposition of highly valued Faberge eggs made by a man, with much less valued woman’s eggs that procreate our species. Weakness: Could be interpreted as a little retrograde in sentiment. Suggestions: Perhaps a little bit more emphasis on the body politics and gender roles would make this whimsical piece more powerful. Thanks Merrilyn, great work!

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#304 “Medusa” by CiCi

Biggest strengths: Unique interactive (eye) elements in the tattoo that allow it to change – very creative; Excellent presentation of ideas; great use of body lines in design composition. Weakness: Design on the abdomen reminds me a bit too much of my tattooed doll Mermaid Song; Design is a bit too busy and too bottom-heavy. Suggestions: Allow design open up and venture some down the hips and legs; Step away from the traditional image of Medusa and explore other options. Thanks Cici, great work!

 

And these are the finalists. Let’s have a round of applause for them.

Tomorrow night I will announce the final Three. Good luck, contestants!

 

Gallery of all the entries

Gallery of the top 10 with full descriptions

 

 

2 months, 1 week ago 161
Posted in: contest