Doll Making Tips: How to Connect with other Doll Makers.
Have you discovered a new passion for doll making, but no one in your circle of friends or even immediate vicinity knows about it? Have you fallen in love with waldorf-doll-making or natural fiber art dolls but cannot find a place to meet others like you? If so, this post is for you.
Spending some time by the lake, I thought to address this question posed quite some time ago by a dear blog reader.
While I was able to offer some immediate help, I am at the moment connecting with all levels of people regarding their doll making journey through my in-person workshops, that I wanted to come and offer you some help in case you are unable to reach other kindred souls in real life.
This place is like a makers paradise. You can browse endless photos of other doll makers work and connect directly with them. Follow them and start creating relationships with those that resonate most closely with you. You can also share your photos and by using some of the tags we all use, maybe they will find you, or your creations, and start connecting with you. I really appreciate Instagram for this aspect alone.
Some of those pretty hashtags wich are just such a visual smorgasbord:
While Facebook really lacks the intimacy that Instagram has for some reason, it has something very powerful to its advantage: groups. You can search for groups related to any interest you may have and I am sure you will find some group out there that caters to that same burning passion.
Anything goes: vintage dolls, sewing for dolls, restoring dolls, poseable fiber art dolls, BJD dolls, you name it and you will find it.
In this case I am going to give you only three of the many groups I am part of, so you can start talking to other people who are just like you. They love making dolls, they are learning and they love sharing what they make and ask interesting questions all the time.
Dolly Stitchers | geared towards waldorf-inspired or natural fiber art dolls
Dolly Dresmaker | for all kinds of clothing making, no matter the kind of doll, but generally waldorf-inspired or natural fiber art dolls
Art Dolls and Doll Artists | for cloth art dolls and the like
Please know there is certain etiquette to each group you form part of. My best tips are:
1. Always introduce yourself.
2. Always reply to any comments on posts where you ask a question.
3. Always try to read through any rules regarding posting, sharing your shop, your doll or your website. Even though these are doll making groups, most don't take too kindly to people who are constantly "sharing" their own work as is usually considered spam. Perish the thought.
Also, try and search the group first for any other posts on subjects you are interested in or currently struggling with. If the group has been active long enough I am sure someone has asked a similar question before you, and you might find a wealth of knowledge already bestowed so no need to ask the same question again, though sometimes it pays to revisit the same issues as doll making is constantly evolving.
In this case I am talking about searching for local Waldorf schools were usually there is a handwork teacher that may be able to guide you through the creation of a traditional doll. This might be all you need to fall in love with this kind of doll making.
Don’t discard it just because you want to create more “artistically forward” dolls. You can meet mothers, caregivers and generally-crafty folk who might become your best friends in this amazing creative journey you are on.
There are several organizations who tailor, educate and help promote doll makers, so perhaps applying to be a member or joining their events can be a great idea to meet other fellow doll makers. I am enlisting a few so take your time visiting each one and finding which one resonates with your intentions.
Original Doll Artist Council of America | http://www.odaca.org/history.html
The Professional Doll Makers Art Guild | http://www.professionaldollmakers.com
Doll Artisan Guild | http://www.dollsbeautiful.com
National Institute of American Doll Artists | http://www.niada.org
United Federation of Doll Clubs | http://www.ufdc.org
There are many industry events listed on the websites of the above mentioned organizations, so make sure to search for those. But I am going to give you the next event regarding natural fiber art dolls that I am aware of: Doll Folk | http://dollfolk.com
This event will take place February 8-10, 2019 at the Monarch Hotel and Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. I will be there, teaching a few workshops and screaming in delight at the sight of many of my friends, as well as sporting a huge smile at all the dolls and all the goodness that is bound to happen.
So if you think this event might be right up your alley, or is just around the corner from your neck of the woods, do not miss it. Head over here to find more about the workshops I will be teaching.
So that's that. I think I have given you now so much wind to go forth and meet friends, kindred souls and many others that will hopefully be on the same creative path you have found yourself.
I wish you the best of luck, hoping you make many new friends who love their dolls just as much as you do. I hope to come back soon with some dolls finished, because all this traveling is putting a total damper in my doll making. Oh well, I am enjoying the knitting, writing and bit of resting I am doing. See you soon.