Welcome to Art Dolls Only's Member SPOTLIGHT! ADO shares an article focusing on it's members on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th of each month! (February's 30th installment will share on the 28th)
Today's member spotlight is Alicia Gaultier of The Doll and The Pea. Alicia is from Tours, France (lucky her!).
What kind of Art Dolls do you create?I make dolls that are influenced by fairy tales and childhood memories. My dolls are articulated and mostly made with air drying clay.
How long have you been a doll maker? How did you get your start in doll making?I have been making figurines for over 8 years, but dolls for nearly 3 years. I've always dreamed about making dolls, but i needed to try and learn techniques before having a go.
Where did you learn to make dolls?I learned on my own from trying different techniques and often by making mistakes. I found tutorials on the web, and also bought books about dollmaking.
Share a little about your first doll.My first doll was made of polymer clay and inspired by Alice in Wonderland. I wanted her to look tired, especially from chasing the White Rabbit for so long. She didn't have a pretty face, but that's what i liked about her...her dress was made from bit of fabrics sewn in a very messy way. I have adopted this "messy sewing" for almost all of my dolls, but the difference is that the pieces stay together! ;)
Do you have a favorite doll that you have made?Honorine is my favorite doll. Half of her body is a cage. I really took my time making her, she's the biggest doll I've made (around 50 cm). I love big dolls. I love Honorine's eyes!
What are your favorite materials to create with?Air drying clay, lace and antique fabrics.
Where does your inspiration come from?I have been told several times that my dolls had something of Tim Burton's characters... I'm not sure I agree with that, but I can see why people say that. My inspirations are fairy tales, old dolls, the Victorian era, ballerinas, and my childhood, as my mum used to dress me like if I was her doll.
What is your favorite technique?I love dying fabrics even if i don't do it all the time. It's just great to age fabrics with tea or coffee, it gives them a lovely smell!
What is the most difficult aspect in your process, and how you manage it?Modeling the body and the face is always the hardest, especially because i tend to rush it to get to my favorite stage, which is making the dress and the hair.
It looks like a big mess when i'm in a middle of something, but i'm constantly moving things around, adding bits I've found in Brocante...to me it looks like a secret garden!
What does your work area look like?
Do have any doll artists that inspire you?Yes definitely, when i first started Sarah Faber, Abi Monroe and Du Buh Du designs inspired me a lot, now i'm completely fascinated by Russian doll artists. There's something very unusual and strange about their style, i'm totally in love with their work!
What memorable responses have you had to your work?I've received some messages from new doll artists who told me they felt like making dolls when they discovered my dolls... I feel very touched about that. Also I've been selling my dolls around the world, something that I wasn't expecting when i first started!
What food, drink, song inspires you?It depends of the mood i'm in, sometimes i listen to woodland sounds or Celtic music, sometimes I listen to rock music, but the album "Wonders" by Lisa Mitchell is very nice to listen to while working. It's very inspiring, as you feel like you're walking in her world when you hear her songs.
What advice would you give new doll artists?To never give up, and keep practicing because you learn a lot from your mistakes. To find inspiration in what you love and what surrounds you.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?Well, to never give up even in moments of doubts!
Do you have any tips on marketing art dolls?I've found Facebook and Etsy very good for that!
What is your favorite venue to share your work?As a real place, I've only tried one place, which is a doll show in La Rochelle (France). It's a really nice place (http://www.oursetpoupeespassion.com/presentation.html), otherwise the internet is very good for that. I mainly share my work through Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Doll-And-The-Pea
What research do you do before you create?If i really have something particular in mind, like a character from a book or something like that, I look at when it's been written, and the fashion at the time. It's like a guideline, but i often go in my own way. In general before starting a doll I choose a fabric, then pick up matching hair and eyes, plus accessories.
What is your dream project?I would love to publish a book with my dolls, a children story or tale for grown-ups.
What are you currently working on?I only just started making armatures a couple of days ago, not sure yet where I'm going with it. I would like my dolls to look less like little girls...
Where can our fans find you on line?Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Doll-And-The-Pea
My website: http://aliciagaultier.weebly.com/
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/people/TheDollAndThePea
My blog: http://dollandpea.blogspot.fr/