With so many new, and talented artists coming out, I thought I would pass along some useful tips that were once offered to me when i entered the world of dolls. Maybe this will be helpful to some, maybe not. You can love it or leave it. It's up to you, but it's worked for me.
Be an ORIGINAL. With copyright and recasting issues rearing its ugly head more and more, don't be the person who gets accused of copying another artists work. That is a big unwritten no-no. While there is only so many ways you can re-invent the wheel, don't blatantly "emulate" another's work for resale. It's just flat out wrong.
No, it's not flattering to see something that took you a very long time to design, and put together, remade by someone else a week after you put your work out for the world to see. Be it sculpting, painting, sewing, etc, things inevitably can end up similar to someone else's work but, please, put your own spin on things. Make your work unique to you. Be an individual who shines on their own. I promise you, you will be admired that much more for it, plus it just feels good being able to create something that came from your heart. Not to mention that you may find yourself infringing on copyright, which can carry some stiff penalties. And on that note, get your work registered with the copyright office too.
Be SUPPORTIVE. I am very fortunate to have a close group of friends in the doll world. They are a second family to me. We always support each other, whether it is personal or work related, I know without a doubt they will be there. Being able to run ideas past each other, or gather input on current works in progress is fantastic! It's just nice to share with them, and have that sounding board of feedback when needed whether it's good or bad. We all in this industry should support new artists and help guide them to be great. There is so much talent out there that should be nurtured instead of put down out of jealousy.
Dedication. The doll world is such a large and diverse area. There is a lot of room to spread your creative wings so to speak. Don't be afraid to try new things. Put your self out there. Challenge yourself with new projects. Most importantly, don't give up! Stay focused on your goals. Sometimes walking away from a tough project for a few days does the trick for me. Especially when starting again with fresh eyes. If at first you don't succeed, try it another way. Some of my best creations were trial and error over and over, until I got it right. I've also had many a project make its way into the trash bin too. Don't get frustrated. We all have "those" projects. Just don't quit.
Stay humble and be thankful for the opportunities that come your way. Don't complain. Especially online. If things don't go your way, try again. Your day will come. People get turned off by excessive whining. We all have our own struggles, and sooner or later they always work out. Be conscious of what you post online. What is aggravating today and led you to a big Facebook ranting, will probably not seem like that big of a deal tomorrow, making you regret having posted it in the first place. The doll world is not the place to try to gain a sale out of sympathy or anger. If people like what you create, they will seek it. Don't guilt people into buying your stuff.
Being recognized for your accomplishments. Again, be humble and thankful. I've been fortunate enough to win numerous awards for my work. The awards that mean the most to me are the ones that my customers and peers voted towards. It is very gratifying to know that my work has touched people the way the Iintended it to. If it gives someone joy, it's all worth it to me. This is why I do it. Having the ability to create is definitely a blessing, and I am thankful for it every day. Having been given a GENUINE award is a phenomenal feeling. Always remember this is a business. One award does not a master make though. Keep up the good work. Keep building and honing your skill. It all will pay off in the end.
Integrity is really everything, and it's an easy thing to have and maintain. Just remember:
Don't get caught up in drama.
Stay focused on your originality.
Keep your head screwed on straight.
Keep your moral compass in check.
Stay honest and humble.
Don't be afraid to explore new ideas.
Don't step on other artists toes
Do ask for help when you need it.
The doll world should be a fun and exciting place. Let's all do our part to keep it that way
This is all advice that has been gathered and taken to heart over the years. No one is perfect or exempt from screwing up. We all do it. Everyone is expected to make mistakes here and there. That's how we learn right?