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2.10.2013

Member Spotlight: Leandra Blackvelvet of Vasilisa's Dolls


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 Leandra Blackvelvet of Vasilisa's Dolls. Leandra is from Barcelona, Spain. Here's what she has to say about herself and her work:

My name is Lean (short of Leandra). I was born in Argentina, moved to Barcelona, Spain in 2003 when I found love and I get married with a Spanish man two years later. I’m a Comic Book writer: I've got 4 books published by Norma Editorial in Spain. I’ve been working as a makeup artist for more than 15 years. Then I studied graphic arts for three years at Escola Joso in Barcelona, and now I’m trying to study jewelry and everything to help me improve artistically…

But I really found myself when I started to sculpt DOLLS. It was in an open class at Escola Joso, when a teacher showed me how to sculpt a head with polymer clay. I realized that I have more patience and skills sculpting than drawing, and soon my companions encouraged me to keep learning. But I wanted to do DOLLS, not only figures, I love Ball Jointed Dolls and Art Dolls, to paint them, put fabric, hair and crystal eyes on them. So I had to be a self-taught person and learn everything from books and online tutorials. 

Now I am an Ooak Art Dolls, Limited BJD, jewelry and accessories for Dolls, lover and maker. I like to create new pieces full of magic and imagination. I am inspired by everything I consider is beautiful, from medieval and fairy tales, to the Ancient Orient, and Art Noveau.

My shop’s name comes from “Vasilisa the Beautiful”, an ancient Russian fairy tale. Vasilisa is a girl who is trapped by the Witch Baba Yaga, and whenever she wanted to harm her, she is helped and saved by her magic Doll. The World of Dolls came into my life to save me with its beauty, with its infinite possibilities!



Where did you learn to make dolls?


I was studying Graphic Arts at Escola Joso, Barcelona, and I was invited to a week class of sculpting a fantasy figure’s head. I realized that I have found my path, my love, my life.
I learned the first steps in those classes, then by being a self-taught person, from books and online tutorials, experimenting, making mistakes and starting all over again until I get it the way I liked it. I remember making a male's mouth 30 times, until it seemed that it was a male one, not feminine.

Share a little about your first doll. 

As I said, I started learning with doll busts - for me the faces were a very important thing to do well in a doll. Then, I followed with the bodies. I was doing three dolls at the same time: I started with the BJD prototype in LaDoll stone clay, one Art Doll sculpture in Polymer Clay and a kitten in Paper Clay. The first one I finished was Rouge, The Burlesque Cat Doll. I really enjoyed making this doll, as I like to paint very much, and the unique thing about this doll is the way she's painted. I was thinking in doing something cute, infantile and sensual at the same time. I was making sketches in my bed, and my own cat, called Kira, was sleeping, hiding inside the sheets. She awoke, getting out her impromptu burrow, and looked at me with that sweet dreamy face, that right away inspired me to do the doll.
  




Do you have a favorite doll that you have made? 

It was Tsuki Kitsune, a custom fox I did for a special client, as it was for the daughter of an illustrator I admire a lot! I think this doll is so sweet and a kind of spiritual at the same time; I did it with a lot of love.
    



  
What is your favorite technique?

I work the paper or stone clay with paint brushes and water. Then I let it dry and I sand the pieces, or do some carving. I like very much Paper Clay and stone clay, as they are so easy to cut, sand, paint…



Do have any doll artists that inspire you?

Oh, yes! Virginie Ropars, Marina Bychkova's Enchanted Dolls, Dorote from The Tireless Artist, Arume Emura, Marmite-Sue… also love Korean Ball-Jointed Dolls (BJD) Designers such as Soom.



What food, drink, song inspires you?

Chai lattes, chocolate, and the songs: Storm, by Theater of Tragedy, Tarja songs, The 69 Eyes… gothic rock and metal, with lyrical women singers, most of all. And some movies or series OST (original soundtrack) when I need calm, like Bear McCreary’s Battlestar Galactica Soundtrack.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?


Don’t stop producing, even when it’s a hard time.


What is your favorite venue to share your work? 

My Facebook Page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vasilisas-Dolls/180520185358447


What are you currently working on? 

I like to work in several dolls at the same time. Now I’m working on my 14 /BJD prototype, a BJD fox, a BJD little girl prototype and a Cheshire Cat for a gallery in Australia. And I’m starting a Day of the Dead black cat for the ADO Challenge.














Where can our fans find you on line? 

http://www.vasilisasdolls.com/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/VasilisasDolls
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vasilisas-Dolls/180520185358447


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