After sharing her inspriations for creating ball-jointed dolls in part 1, French artist, Lillycat of CeriseDolls, shares her thoughts about tattoos, femininity, artists that inspire her, and her dreams for the future.
BJDmagazine: Your tattoos are are considered magnificent and sometimes terrifying. Do you see them that way?
Rachelle: Yes, and I am usually very happy when I read this type of commentary. One cannot please everyone, but in any case, I prefer people to be scared or to feel something, rather than feel nothing. My universe is partly childish and partly gloomy gothic. My script writer calls it Happy Dark.
BJDmagazine: Your dolls are all ultra-feminine with round hips. This is rare in the world of BJDs. Why such a different approach?
Rachelle: This is my search for the ideal body. Hips are truly a symbol of femininity, far more than breasts. It is from hips that we give life, and they are what differentiates us from men. This is why I really want to emphasize this part of our anatomy. After that, it is a question of design and balance. Very wide hips, like the ones of my new prototype, Diabolo Grenadine, work better with a small chest. It conveys the feeling of a child woman, of strong and weak at the same time. As always, it all depends on what one wants to convey. Often in the world of BJDs, figures have very stereotypical bodies for one good and simple reason: clothing. Collectors must to be able to find clothing easily. Because of this fact, doll creators have to conform to a norm that slightly limits creativity. Because my dolls are not meant to be dressed, I have more freedom to design.
BJDmagazine: For each doll you create a unique personality with a unique resin color, unique body art, and unique accessories. Why and above all how do you approach the creation of such rich and different characters?
Rachelle: What interests me is the idea, the creation of a character. Therefore, I have no interest in the act of repeating the same thing over and over. Thus, even in the case of the limited edition dolls, like Sandre which is a limited edition of 8, by changing the body work, the paints and the accessories, I feel that I am creating something new and motivating each time. From a creative point of view, it is very interesting to challenge oneself to find new ideas.
BJDmagazine: Your dolls have a moving animal quality with almost feline faces. Can you elaborate?
Rachelle: I have a passion for Monsters. Beautiful monsters in the style of Guillermo del Toro are a reference for me. Through the dolls I’ve created so far, I have tried to reveal the animal and wild inside us. I want characters that are both ultra-feminine, even a little erotic, and at the same time absolutely unrealistic, almost alien. And besides, I adore cats . So I’m thinking about pushing that aspect more and more in my upcoming prototypes.
BJDmagazine: What importance do you give to the eyes of the doll?
Rachelle: The eyes say something of what you have inside you. The gaze is very important. My characters’ eyes are not realistic either, precisely to create that animal quality we were talking about.
BJDmagazine: Your dolls have been compared to articulated sculptures rather than “toys”. What is your perception? Do you play with your creations?
Rachelle: I do not play with my creations at all, and neither do I play with any of the dolls in my collection. In fact my dolls are closer to articulated sculpture than to toys. The way they are painted makes it impractical for them to be played with. But the fact that they are articulated like a “toy” makes it possible for interaction to happen. There is no interaction with classical sculpture, whereas the BJD allows each owner to appropriate it. The same doll displayed in my house will look different in yours because you will pose her differently. That is what is amazing about BJDs. Even if it is someone else’s creation, the fact that in your house you will give the doll one pose rather than another tells something about you. At times she can be hunched over, at times sure of herself, at times seductive, and at times withdrawn. And all of that can happen with the same doll!
BJDmagazine: Tell us about your experiences at the LDoll Festival Convention?
Rachelle: I found the convention very interesting. I don’t leave my workshop very often, so it was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet others in the field, and to exchange ideas. I met tons of adorable people! I did not go to sell, but rather to meet people.
BJDmagazine: Your dolls are exhibited at the Galerie Alain Daudet in Toulouse. Do you have other plans to exhibit?
Rachelle: This exhibit is a wonderful opportunity and experience for me. I don’t have any new plans at the moment. I would really like to work on a similar exhibit again. My dream would be to participate in an exhibit abroad, alongside the Japanese, Russian and French artists I admire, like Hisuki, Katan Amano, Lee Jaeyeon, Lidia Snul, Marina Bychkova, and Dust of Dolls.
BJDmagazine: Are you working on a new BJD? Do you have a new doll in mind?
Rachelle: Yes, I am working on three prototypes that I hope to finish soon, because I already have lots of ideas for new ones… But the days are unfortunately too short to have the time to do everything I would like to do. That’s irritating! As I work on the prototypes, I am also preparing new Sandres, and new Dreamings. I would love to work on a male BJD. That would be a real challenge!
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