Jackson's art supplies - review and first impressions

Last year I set myself a goal to draw more. I used to have so much fun sketching and painting with watercolours but art school kind of ruined it for me. Now, I feel ready to try my hand at it again. I didn't have a sketchbook or enough drawing materials so I’ve decided to treat myself a little. We all know how addictive shopping for art supplies can be, haha. I’ve ordered some stuff from Jackson's art supplies mostly because of their gorgeous website and convenient delivery times. I hope this will be helpful if you’re considering this website for your next art supplies haul!

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Lessons I've learned sculpting my second BJD

After a year of work, I’ve finally finished my second ball jointed doll. It’s a new prototype that will be used for casting porcelain dolls. To be honest, I wasn’t working on it every day for the whole year, I had some significant breaks along the way when sculpting was put aside for a month or two. Nevertheless, it’s a long and excruciating process, especially when you don’t have serious experience in this realm. I’ve only sculpted one ball-jointed doll before, but it was more than enough to know what I want to do differently this time. So, let’s talk about some lessons I’ve learned since sculpting my first and now second BJD!

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Sculpting hands - my favourite techniques

Today I want to delve into the topic of sculpting hands. It's one of the hardest things to get it right when making dolls. And I completely understand why! I've sculpted dozens of hands and just about a year ago I finally got it right. So don't beat yourself up if they don’t turn out perfect every time. It's so common! In this article, we will talk about how the right materials will help to get better results and look into my favourite sculpting techniques. Let’s sculpt some hands!

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Doll artist's studio tour

Let me begin just by telling you how grateful I am for everyone who supports me by purchasing dolls, doll making classes, tutorials or just spreading the word around. Just because of you guys, I can rent a space for my doll making adventures! I’ve been renting a studio for a few years now and it was probably the best investment in my career. Just by separating my home life from my work life, I’ve become much more productive and much happier as well. Having a dedicated work space, you’re able to free your mind from such things like tidying everything after each work session and stop worrying about art supplies taking over your living room. I understand not everyone can afford to have a studio. Try to work with what you have and find some space at your home that could be just for your art and nothing else.

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How to sculpt sleeping faces + budget clay review

Over the last few months, quite a few people asked me to make a sleeping face sculpting tutorial and I’m happy to oblige! This time I’m trying a new clay as well so you’ll find a review at the end of this tutorial. For me, sculpting the sleeping faces was always easier than the ones with the open eyes, so I think this tutorial will be super friendly for the beginners. Keep on reading and let’s sculpt some cute faces!

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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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