The hobby culture of the BJD community is an interesting topic. In recent years, the community has been expanding worldwide.
As previously discussed, one of the unique things about the hobby are the creative aspects. Some doll owners take to creating almost all of the customizations of their doll themselves, which can then be entered into competitions at BJD-related conventions and events. These customizations can be in the face-up, wig, clothing, or modifications of the doll. Some hobbyists even recreate doll-sized replicas of famous high fashion pieces.
Eclipse21, a hobbyist known for her high-quality mohair wigs, created an outfit inspired by Alexander McQueen’s Angels and Demons collection, as seen in the photo above (along with a wig created by herself).
Photography is another creative aspect of the hobby. Doll owners use their BJDs as models and some even create elaborate photoshoots using doll-sized props. Many BJD photographs can be found on websites like DeviantArt and Flickr.
It is common for owners to give their dolls personalities and background stories for fun. These are often based on an original creation–writing or otherwise–with the doll bought as a physical embodiment of a pre-existing character. Other doll owners, however, may create a persona after buying the doll or customize them to look like a character from popular media, such as a comic book.
Meet-ups and Conventions
With the growing community, there are a number of ways BJD enthusiasts can seek out other doll owners. Doll meet-ups are organized in many cities where owners can meet up with their dolls. People new to the hobby who do not yet have a doll of their own are also welcome to meet-ups. Meet-ups serve as a good way to see many doll sculpts in person, as well as chat with people who share the same interest. Here in the DFW area, for example, there is the DFW BJD Dreams group which meets multiple times a month.
Many BJD-related conventions are also popping up around the world. Volks’ Dolls Party (or Dolpa) conventions are perhaps the most well known. Dolpa’s are held in many different Japanese cities, as well as some cities in the US like Los Angeles and New York City. Dollism Plus is an example of a BJD convention held in Hong Kong.
BJDs are also often seen at anime conventions where owners can attend BJD Panels or buy doll items in the dealer’s room or artist alley.
Image © Eclipse21, used with permission.