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This is the third installment of articles, written for Artisan Crafts Month, which introduce the Artisan Crafts sub-galleries by talking about what they are, how to do work within them, and featuring artwork from the galleries.  In this edition I will be talking about the Custom Dolls Gallery!

What are Custom Dolls?

Defintion from deviantART Gallery Description:

Custom dolls created from bases or by hand and are usually of porcelain, vinyl, or hard plastic. Custom dolls are not stuffed.

Custom dolls are different than Plushies in the sense that they are not stuffed, are not sewn, and are not made from textiles.  You can read from the description above a few of the things they can be made from.

General Resources

Here are some websites that you might find useful.
Find more at ArtisanCrafts!

Show me some examples!

Artist: :iconsantani: Santani
Mr. and Mrs. Crazy by Santani
Why is this a good Custom Dolls piece?
Pure creative genius, intense amount of details, and a great passion for making these sort of things make this artist one that all should look to for inspiration in the Custom Dolls category.  Showing a broad range of photographic know-how, as well as Custom Doll know-how makes this piece exceptional.

Artist: :iconnoeling: noeling
Doll repainted as Angelina by noeling
Why is this a good Custom Dolls piece?
From the artist's description: Since dolls are basically miniature pieces, brush strokes and shading have to be very controlled and precise.  This artist understands how to paint on a doll, make it resemble the person it's supposed to, and showcase it in a way that is easy to follow and view.  Reading the description tells us just how much work was put into just this doll, and that effort is what shines through in the piece.  And, come on, you have to agree that it looks like Angelina!

Artist: :iconanimeamy: AnimeAmy
Davy Jones Pony Custom by AnimeAmy
Why is this a good Custom Dolls piece?
This artist makes sure that they show all angles of the piece so that the viewer can get a feeling for all of the details that are offered.  The details themselves, though, are great.  Everyone should try to show off their crafts like this piece does!

dress design 008-c by melorah-viollet The Cloisters Tapestry Unicorn by Tamisery:thumb27807442: Wistful Winter pegasus pony by Woosie Edward by Santani Luna Fairy by alaskabody-dolls

Mature Content

Snow White by Marina-B
Mr. Pinky by Santani fifth outfit set 02 by Apple-Avenue Movie Leader Megatron Repaint by timshinn73 Wolf Geisha by crokittycats Dr. House Doll by Vulkanette Tofu the Kirin Doll I by SovaeArt

There are many more great examples, which you can see for yourself here!

Do you have any resources?

Here are some dA tutorials I've found that might help you Custom Dollers!

27cm Doll Painting Tutorial by LuckyDoll
27cm Doll Painting Tutorial, by LuckyDoll
A very easy to understand tutorial that has all of the very basics of Doll Painting down.

I found a miscat!  What do I do?

That's easy!  Whenever you think you have found a miscategorization, there is one crucial thing that you need to do.  Go to the deviation page, and in the Artist's Description box you will see a link titled, "Report Policy Violation" (It is located under the Picture information / Thumb code box).  Go here, and click "Miscategorization" in the drop-down menu located next to the 'Type of Violation' section.  In the 'Comment' section you will want to take the time to tell the Artisan Crafts Gallery Director (Myana) why it does not belong, and why it should be moved.  Let her know a possible new home (category) for it, and any information that might be helpful to her in the process of dealing with the Miscat.

You can see how this could be done here:

Some things that don't belong in Custom Dolls:
  • Store bought dolls that have been photographed. [Belong in Photography OR Scraps]
  • Plushies / Stuffed animals (that you made). These belong in AC > Textile > Plushies

I know all I need to know now!

That is it for this edition.  Stay tuned for the next edition where I explore Jewelry!

:star: Now Get Browsing! :star:
Add a Comment:
fairiesnest Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
So where do cloth dolls with extensive wire and clay armature go? Otherwise great article and I loved the features.
jauncourt Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008  Professional General Artist
This! I make very structured, cloth skinned, partially stuffed, partially armatured, painted and costumed dolls. They are not "plushies" - they are cloth dolls. Is there going to be a seperate category for that?

This is the first time I've seen dolls containing textile elements written out of the category of custom dolls.
fairiesnest Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
This article was written awhile back. Now the custom doll category has been changed to include cloth dolls with armature. Yay!:clap:
Tenshi-blues Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2008
Very nice selection, but from what I can see there is one if not 2 that are miscats :lol:

[link] Should be under costumes or clothing, as the deviation is showing a handmade outfit, not a custom doll. The title itself suggests that ^__^

Likewise, the same with [link]
ClumsyCraft Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2008
Awsome selections!
and thankyou very much for the links :D
lachrymosity Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This spotlight was amazing! I love custom dolls and I have to say, many of the custom doll artists on DA are very talented. I am always awed by the creativity in their galleries. :nod:

Thank you for putting this together - its an amazing way to bring some attention to such deserving crafts, while helping us all learn a little more about something new. :D :dance:
Myana Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
great spotlight!
I hope we'll see less miscat:ed plushies in Custome dolls after this ;)

thank you, dear! :love:
deabusamor Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Excellent interview. I've been confused before between Custom Dolls and Plushies, but this cleared it up.

Great work. :hug:
onnawufei Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008
I don't know if Donn puts his stuff in custom dolls or not but *BishonenHouse makes his balljoint dolls purely from scratch and while they aren't to everyone's taste they are definitely worth a look. :nod:
taeliac Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
This is one of my fav categories, that's for sure - always amazing to look at!!
vaia Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008  Professional General Artist
Some of my absolutely favorite things to watch :love: There really are some amazing doll artists around here :nod:
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Submitted on
January 9, 2008


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