Tag Archives: baroque

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Mary of Scots

The Inspirational Dolls and BJDs of Tireless Artist (Part 2)

In the second installment of our interview with Tireless Artist, Dorote discusses costumes, wigs, the BJDs and dolls she’s dreaming of, and her collaboration with Lidia Snul.

BJDmagazine: What materials do you use to paint your dolls, and why?

Dorote: I used to paint dolls with oil paints, but now I paint my dolls with acrylic paints most of the time.  In the case of Dirvolira, I used pencil and pastel. After painting my dolls, I always seal them with acrylic varnish to protect against aging.

Tireless Artist OOAK BJD Dirvolira

BJDmagazine: Why do you chose to create characters with such long thin limbs?

Dorote: I am fragile on the outside and strong on the  inside – like my characters. These proportions help me to convey that feeling.

BJDmagazine: Tell us about your doll’s wigs. How do you create them? How much work is involved in making one?

Dorote: Wigs are an important part of the costume in my dolls. I like them unrealistically high and with lots of curls. They all are made from natural wool or mohair, since no artificial fiber can give such quality. As with everything else about my dolls – wigs take much time and work to create. The process of wig making is long and needs lots of attention. To describe it briefly – I make a base of the shape I want, then I create curls and sew them to the base. After the wig is sewn, I glue it to the doll’s head and decorate it with beads and other items. For the final step – I make additional curls and glue them on. Usually I need around 20 hours for one wig.

Right now I have an idea for making a BJD with a fancy wig that is not permanently glued to her head.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Eve

BJDmagazine: You say “a doll is done when it doesn’t need my work anymore and lives on its own.” Can you elaborate?

Dorote: There always comes a moment when I look at a doll and I know that she’s got everything she needs – all the beads are added, all the curls nicely shaped, all the details of the outfit are sewn, each ribbon is beautifully tied, and my signature is in its place. That is the moment when I do not see anything that could be added to the doll. It means she is finished. I never come back to finished dolls and never remake them because I work on them as long as it takes for them to be perfect. When I am satisfied with the doll, she starts living on her own. At that moment she is ready to show herself to the world and leave my house for the new owner’s home.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Mary of Scots

BJDmagazine: Can you describe your work process for us. What part does drawing and planning play in it?

Dorote: It all starts in my head. The idea appears and I carry it there for a while. Sometimes, it is not strong enough and I let it go away. Other times, it develops into a pretty realistic character, which I sketch.

I prefer to take my time sketching and planning all the details so I know for sure how and what I should do after I start making the doll.

It certainly saves me a lot of time. It is faster and more convenient to design the doll in my head and on paper, than to design it while sculpting the doll or working on a costume. First I draw what the doll is going to look like, then I plan the technical part of making her. Sometimes I do information research for characters such as historical figures or animals.

After I know how I want the doll to turn out and how to make it – I start sculpting. It takes many hours before I am completely satisfied with the sculpting. I keep cutting, sanding, and sculpting until the moment when I see it and I think “yes, this is it!”

I then start painting to give the doll more life and character. Painting a doll is like painting a 3D picture – you need the skill of a portrait painter. It is not just about giving some color to that face, but also about making shadows deeper and lights brighter, giving it a mood, putting some thought into these eyes…

After the painting, I start working on a wig and a costume, which takes hours and hours of sewing and embroidering and beading. Lots and lots of attention and patience are taken until I can finally celebrate the birth of another unique creature.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Heartbeat

BJDmagazine: Your dolls are all mythical or historical women. Why? Do you have any plans to create a male doll?

Dorote: I guess they all are women because somehow I reflect myself in my dolls. However, yes, I was thinking about creating  a human-like male doll. The only males I’ve created so far are a fox called Dream Seller, and a rabbit/brownie called The Professor :) ).

BJDmagazine: You only create OOAK dolls. Why do you make the choice not to reproduce?

Dorote: It is all because there are too many character waiting desperately to be created in my head :)

…reproducing… well maybe someday far in the future…

I just enjoy creating unique dolls so much. I like that they are all different from each other.

If I ever use molds – it will be for a very limited edition.

BJDmagazine: What do you find is the most rewarding moment in the creative process?

Dorote: I can’t point to just one moment… The whole process is rewarding. Being able to do what I love to do is rewarding. Getting feedback from my wonderful audience is rewarding.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-JOinted Doll Eve

BJDmagazine: What do you find is the most challenging moment in the creative process?

Dorote: To find the beads of exact shape and size right when I need them. :) … Just joking. But yes, sometimes I know what I want and I know how it must look, and then I spend hours walking from store to store looking for that exact detail.

BJDmagazine: You say you are happy and sad when a doll is finished. Can you tell us more about that? What is your relationship to your dolls?

Dorote: The whole creation process gives me a lot of joy and pleasure. I am always full of excitement and curiosity about how the doll will turn out. I see her getting more and more alive in my hands – that feeling is incredible. So yes, it is a bit sad when all this process is finished.

But then I just sit and look at my doll, and I feeling all the energy I put into her coming back to me, and I feel happy.

BJDmagazine: This year, you are stating a collaborative project with Lidia Snul of Bjtales. Can you talk about the project?

Dorote: I have admired Lidia’s dolls for some time and was always wondering how they would look dressed up in fancy hand made costumes. One day Lidia wrote me how she likes the costuming of my dolls, and so I offered to make a collaborative project, just to see how my costume would look on her doll. It appeared that she had exactly the same idea and was about to propose that to me.

We have been thinking about a character and came up with a pirate girl. She has a sad story which we will tell soon. Meanwhile, Lidia is casting her and I am planning the costume.

BJDmagazine: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Dorote: Nothing comes to my mind at the moment – I have to admit, this was the longest and most detailed interview I have ever given. Thank you very much for your questions!

And a  big thank you to all of you who have spent their time reading this till the end!

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Joan Angel

You can find Tireless Artist on: 

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/handmadebjd/

Her Blog: http://tirelessartist.blogspot.com/

Her Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/tirelessartist

Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.


Tireless Artist OOAK BJD Dirvolira

The Inspirational Dolls and BJDs of Tireless Artist (Part 1)

In the first installment of our interview with Dorote Zaukaite, also known as Tireless Artist, Dorote introduces us to the world of her unique dolls, from BJDs to ribbon jointed dolls, and dazzles us with her incredible  costumes and wigs.

BJDmagazine: Did you get training as an artist, or are you self-taught?

Dorote: Yes, I’ve got training. I studied in an art college. We had sculpting and painting and drawing and anatomy lessons. I must admit, sculpting and anatomy were my least favorite subjects… How could I know that one day they would become the most useful ones? :)

Tireless Artist OOAK BJD Dirvolira

BJDmagazine: What are your inspirations for your dolls?

Dorote: I get inspired by lots and lots of things. It can be a beautiful misty morning, or some person, or phrase, or feeling or anything else. I love the Gothic and Baroque eras for their costumes; I love the Renaissance just because it was the renaissance. I am interested in history. Dolls are my way of communicating with the world. Sometimes I want to tell a fairy tale and I make some anthropomorphic creature, at other times I want to talk about the roots of humanity so I create an African doll. It is great when people look at my work and see what I am telling them, and it is also fine if they just see a beautiful doll. I am happy as long as my art brings positive emotions.

BJDmagazine: How has your work as a doll-maker evolved over time?

Dorote: My journey as a professional doll artist started when I saw a photo of an Asian BJD for the first time. I was amazed by the way the doll was posing, and by the sadness in her eyes. So I started “digging” for more information and I discovered the magic world of hand made dolls. I just fell in love with the idea of a doll as an art object.

So yes, my first doll was a BJD. However, my head was exploding with ideas and different characters and making BJDs was a really slow process, so I started trying other doll making techniques. This was the reason why many of my early dolls were static. I was experimenting with costuming and searching for my style. I was playing with human body proportions which brought me to that non human thin and tall shape which my dolls have now. Not so long ago, I got inspired by a primitive way of jointing dolls using string, and raised the technique to a new level by making Ribbon Jointed Dolls which do not look primitive at all. At this point, I already know what I want from the aesthetics of my dolls and I see clearly which direction they will evolve; and – most important – I am ready to come back to BJD making.

Tireless Artist OOAK String Jointed Zuri

BJDmagazine: Tell us more about your BJD, Dirvolira. What is your inspiration for her?

Dorote: Dirvolira is an ancient Lithuanian goddness of fields and households. We have very little information about our ancient gods, as Christianity erased them from people’s memory. I wanted to bring her back to life – a fragile forgotten goddess from a deep past.

BJDmagazine: What made you chose this type of articulation. Why are her wrists not ball-jointed?

Dorote: As I’ve mentioned earlier – I felt that I am finally ready to come back to BJDs. This character just had to be BJD, as no other construction could have given her the flexibility I wanted. I just had this image in my mind of a tiny fragile creature rolled into a ball.  About the wrists – it is a playful detail which makes her different from a traditional BJD. (I have to admit I love breaking traditions) The pictures do not show that, but when you handle her, her hands tremble. It is a result of their construction – and works perfectly with the image I wanted to create.

BJDmagazine: What material did you chose to create her with? Why? What role does texture play in Dirvolira’s character?

Dorote: I have sculpted Dirvolira from Plastiform. It is strong and perfect for a doll constructed that way.

I’ve preserved the beautiful texture of the modeling clay, and even have left some micro scratches on purpose to give her an antique look. I have also used pencil and pastels instead of acrylics or other paints just to give her that roughness which makes her unique.

I like antique things and I like natural materials – you can see that in my dolls as I always do my best to keep that spirit.

Tireless Artist OOAK BJD Dirvolira

BJDmagazine: Dirvolira’s body is adorned with tattoos. Can you tell us more about the meaning of tattoos in your work?

Dorote: Dirvolira is a goddess of fields so I have used plant motifs as tattoos to emphasize her connection with nature.

I love when hand-made dolls are decorated with ornaments. That is what makes them special and unique. When I see a nude doll – it looks like a toy, but when I am looking at a doll that is decorated with drawings or paintings – I see a work of art.

BJDmagazine: How do you chose the materials for the costumes? Does each element have a symbolic value?

Dorote: I look at a doll as at a complete work of art. All her details must flow one into another. There must be harmony between the doll and her costume – colors, ornaments, texture – it is a whole. The color of Dirvolira’s hair echoes the pencil drawings on her body. Her natural silk skirt looks like a mist floating above the fields and her flax corset reminds us that flax was the main fiber used in clothing by ancient Lithuanians. So in the end the doll has something from fantasy and something from history.

Tireless Artist Cleo OOAK Doll The Stray Cat

BJDmagazine: Why do you chose to paint the eyes of your dolls, rather than use glass eyes?

Dorote: It is all about the style of doll I create. Sometimes I make glasslike eyes myself so they fit the character, at other times I paint them as that fits the style of a doll better. My latest dolls are more and more stylized and glass eyes would just look strange and unnatural.

BJDmagazine: Your costumes are incredibly detailed. What is their role in the creation of your characters? Can you elaborate?

Dorote: Yes. I pay a lot of attention to costuming. It is the costume that creates a character. There is so much room for imagination in costume creating. I always say that a doll without a costume is just a half piece (unless she is tattooed of course).

I like when the dolls are nice to touch and I am thinking of that while choosing fabrics. However, they are art pieces first of all, so they must be eye-catching. All the detail I add to their costumes makes them special. They attract your attention and you never get bored looking at them. I also believe, that while holding my doll in your hands you can feel the whole love and energy I have put into her.

Costuming my dolls takes as long  or even longer than sculpting. High quality fabrics are sewn and embroidered by hand. I use lots of beads, which all are attached with thread. Sometimes I dye fabrics to get the exact color I need for the character. A real work of art must have lots of hand work and it must be resistant to aging as much as possible. That is why I choose sewing instead of using glue everywhere where it is possible even when it takes more time.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon Jointed Anne Bolleyn

Join us Thursday, 9 a.m. (Boston time) for the second installment of this wonderful interview with Tireless Artist.

You can find Tireless Artist on: 

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/handmadebjd/

Her Blog: http://tirelessartist.blogspot.com/

Her Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/tirelessartist

Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.