How to work with air-dry clay to get the best results?

I’ve been sculpting with air-dry clays for the past five years, during all this time I’ve accumulated a few tips and tricks to make the process easier and more enjoyable. I’m pretty convinced that air-dry clays are very friendly to beginners and can be pretty magical in the experienced hands. But there’re a few tricks to make it work better. So keep on reading and learn what you can do to get the best results when sculpting with air-dry clays!

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Understanding proportions when sculpting dolls

Human body proportions is a hot topic in all visual art genres. Historically through all ages, artists and observers tried to canonise ideal standards on how human body should be portrayed. I don’t think we have to chase ideals as we all have different bodies and figures. Despite that, with all of our differences we still can fit in a few proportional rules that we’ll talk about today. In my opinion, you don’t have to create by these rules, especially when sculpting dolls, but it’s good to know them so your interpretation of human body wouldn’t be accidental but rather deliberate.

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How to smooth the surface when sculpting with air-dry clays?

It doesn't matter if you're just starting out with air-dry clays or have been sculpting for years, you probably encountered the nightmare of fluff. What I call fluff is the tiny fibres that are in the composition of clay. When the clay is wet, those tiny fibres are not very visible, but when the clay starts drying and when you start sanding, the fluffy particles reveal themselves in all the glory, haha. So today I'm going to share a few steps that I take to give my dolls the satin smooth finish. It took me years of experimentation to find what works so I hope you'll find it helpful!

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How I take photos of my dolls?

Taking photos of dolls is one of my favourite tasks, but it wasn't the case a few years ago. In the past, I'd make a doll that I really love, which looks great in real life, but the second I take the photo, I realise, I can't capture how unique and wonderful this doll is. Because doll making is my full-time job, selling the dolls online was my main source of income. I can't tell you enough how many times people said my dolls looked better in real life than in pictures, and when you're selling online, not in the real life, it becomes an issue. I'm wondering how many sales I've lost just because I couldn't convey how they look in person.

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Peculiar Christmas elf tutorial

With a calendar packed with holiday's preparations, it can be tricky to make room for crafts or DIY projects. But handmade gifts could be so much better! Because of that, I've prepared a fun and easy Christmas elf tutorial that will get you into the holiday spirit in no time. This tutorial is suitable for beginners and will take you no more than a weekend to create. Add a little bit of character to your Christmas decor with this festive stocking stuffer!

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When Etsy is not enough. Open a shop with Wix or Shopify

I get a lot of messages from my readers asking advice on how I manage to make living from the art I create. It took me a few years to figure out how to turn my passion of doll making into the actual business. And I'm more than willing to share! You'll find a few articles on my blog where I talk about the business side of being an artist. Maybe it'll be a starting point to turn your life around.

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How to get published as a doll artist?

Seeing your own work in the glossy pages of a beautiful magazine. Tempting, isn't it? I'd thought it would get me ages to achieve something like that. Nowadays it really seems that only artists with a huge following on social media, managers and connections gain such opportunities. But this belief is far from the truth. Continue to read and find out how to get published as a doll artist!

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How to make a wig for a doll?

A hairstyle, that your doll wears, is such an important element shaping the whole character of a doll. It’s even more fun if you could change the hair depending on the doll’s costume or your mood! In either case, the big questions remain. How to attach doll hair? And how to make a wig for a doll? So now I’ll take you through the steps of making this fancy looking but rather simple wig.

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How a mentor can help you to become a better doll artist? + Q&A

Do you know the feeling when you finish sculpting a doll and there’s something off with it? It looks good and you love it, but there’s this hunch deep down that something needs to be different. Is it a hair colour? Or the nose seems too low? You just can’t put a finger on it. The next usual thing to do is to ask a pair of fresh eyes to look at it. But who to ask? Mom always says: “Oh, I love it, honey!” Your significant other is not sure what to say, he loves your hobby, but not really knows anything about dolls. Facebook groups are full of people who are ready to comment on your photos, but they not always know how to critique your work, furthermore are more comfortable with smiley faces and compliments. This issue is so common. You wouldn’t believe it!

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How do I paint my dolls?

Do you ever get this feeling, when you have a beautifully sculpted doll in your hands and you’re afraid to ruin it with paints? At the beginning of my doll making journey, I’ve been getting this a lot. It’s so frustrating when you can’t fulfill the image you have in mind. In this article, I’d like to talk about the best materials and techniques I use to paint my dolls, so we could put all the annoyance behind our backs!

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Making my first BJD doll: Part 3 - Molds

While pursuing my dreams and creating my first BJD doll, I’m trying my best to document all the process. Not just for myself, (even though I enjoy to watch myself getting better at something) but for you guys as well. Not to pride on my achievements, but to show all the aspiring doll artists, that everything is possible. With hard work, long hours of trying, failing and not losing hope.

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How to achieve symmetry when sculpting dolls?

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is “How to achieve symmetry when sculpting dolls?” Because of my doll making classes, I get to talk with many doll makers all over the world. A lot of them struggle with the same thing. And I get why. When I started to create dolls, my biggest strain was to make the face look symmetrical. I always ended up with one eye lower than the other, crooked nose or lips tilted to the side. Sounds familiar? Don’t worry you’re not alone. Seeing how many of us hassle with this, I’ve understood that this issue is extremely common.

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How to turn your doll making hobby into a career?

I interact with fellow doll makers on a daily basis. Some of them are students in my doll making classes, some of them are artists who share they work on Facebook groups or Instagram. A lot of them have two things in common: love for doll making and a desire doing it full time. For the past two years, I've been fortunate enough to call myself a doll artist and transform my doll making hobby into a career. I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy at all. There were situations where I'd have loved to have some guidance. But I strongly believe that with the right attitude and hard work everyone could do it. Today I'm going to share the actions I took to make this happen. I hope they will encourage you to turn your doll making hobby into a career.

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How to create an astonishing costume for your doll?

In the doll making world, most of the time artists put all of their skills and assets to sculpting the doll. It’s understandable because the doll itself is a unique form of art which is beautiful the way it is. But often enough, I’m looking at those beautifully sculpted dolls and missing one more thing. The costume. Why are we so rushing to finish the doll and releasing it to the world without suitable garments? It carries the doll to the whole new level and tells us a story about a character we have just met, revealing the most intricate details! Usually, it’s simply because we don’t know how to create one. All that sewing, embroidery, beading, patterns and techniques makes a mess in our heads. But what if I told you that you can create an astonishing costume for your doll without years of sewing practice? Let’s begin!

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