In this interview, Andrea of AngelToast provides another look into doing face-ups and modifications on BJDs.
→ How did you discover BJDs and how long have you been collecting?
My introduction to BJDs was through Aimee Major who was the original owner of the Den of Angels forum. It didn’t take long for me too get drawn into the hobby, and I bought my first doll in 2005.
→ Do you collect many dolls? How do you go about choosing a particular doll?
I currently own 21 BJDs… impressive for someone who (like so many of us) started out saying “I just want one or two!”. ^~
As for choosing a particular doll – almost all of my dolls are characters in a narrative. The first dolls I owned have created their stories, and as the stories evolved, it was a mix of “I love this mold! I need to make up a character for him!”, and “I need a doll to fit this character”. I like it better when the doll creates the character though… it makes for a more complete creation in the end. Finding a doll to fit an established character is more work, and those characters tend to go through several molds before I find the perfect one. My tiny dolls are the only exception, they don’t fit into any storyline. And they don’t have to… I like to dress up my Tinies in whatever I want, and it won’t bother me to go “out of character”. My big boys tend to be very particular about their styles, since their characters are so intricate at this point. ^^;
→ What are your favorite aspects of the BJD hobby?
For one, the dolls themselves – BJDs are just a beautiful canvas with almost endless potential for customization, and they can have such strong personalities. But also the fact that the collecting community is such a vast and inspiring place. I have learned so much from other artists, and have found many dear friends.
→ When did you start painting face-ups and doing modifications?
I started fiddling with faceups and mods in 2006… I wasn’t very good in the beginning, but who is? ^~
→ What sort of materials do you use for your works?
For faceups, I use mainly artist’s pastels. I use my airbrush mostly for fantasy parts like hooves, tails, or horns, or to color-match apoxy modifications; though sometimes I will use the airbrush on faceups as well. For the detail work, I use Zoukeimura acrylics. Finishing touches are various shimmer powders and several gloss enamels that have different degrees of shine.
For mods, I use Milliput Superfine apoxy putty, and use airbrush paint and pastels to match the skin tone as closely as possible.
→ How long does it usually take for you to complete a commission?
It depends on the commission, and what else is going on. On average, I do about 3-4 faceups within two days. But of course there are also mods, taking and editing pictures, taking care of websites and blogs, packing and shipping, and lots and lots of correspondence.
→ Do you have any particular sculpts that you especially enjoy painting?
I love the variety really, which is part of what makes doing commissions so much fun. I do have a soft spot for the old-school Delfs and Limited Volks heads, I enjoy how versatile they tend to be.
→ What is your favorite part when painting a face-up? What do you find most difficult?
My favorite part is to try to give the doll the personality the owner envisioned. Art is always about a story for me, and what I love most about painting a doll’s face is the opportunity to help tell that character’s story.
Difficulties arise mostly when the materials are having a bad day and don’t cooperate with me the way I would like. ^~
→ Do you have any tips for people looking to start painting and/or modifying BJDs?
Be careful and patient. ^~ Always seal your dolls before you start painting so you can protect them from staining, and do some research so you know which materials are safe to use on resin. And practice, practice, practice… don’t get discouraged too easily, everyone has to start somewhere!
→ How can people reach you for commissions?
My website http://www.angeltoastdolls.com is the portal to my BJD shop, portfolio, and commission shop. The commission shop has all the info you need to commission me.
Images © Andrea of AngelToast, used with permission.