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God forbid your BJD look messy!

God forbid your BJD look messy! published on 10 Comments on God forbid your BJD look messy!

I know I've pissed and moaned about this before, but it irritates me to no end that the Asian BJD aesthetic requires fanatical devotion to every single detail.

God forbid you use your acrylics, watercolor pencils and brush-applied matte varnish to create a schematic, suggestive faceup. Nope nope nope! You have to go through this nitpicky, time-consuming process of waiting for appropriate temperature and humidity, spraying everything with extra super special sealant imported from Japan, then letting it dry, then applying a few brush daubs of delicately shaved pastel, letting it dry, etc., etc., etc.

While you're at it, you should be doing the eyebrows individual hair by individual hair with an expensive, microscopic brush…same with lines in the lips.

Let's say you want to mod your BJD: thin the neck, let's say. You can't just scrape it down to size with an X-acto, plop the head on and call it a day. What were you thinking?!! You have to smooth your rough shaping down with a series of successively finer sandpapers until no one can tell that you've done any work on the doll. We do not accept jerry-rigged solutions constructed with sweat and hot glue. We demand perfection in all areas.

Oh yeah, and if you want to make a hybrid BJD of a body from one company and a head from another and jointed hands, say, from a third, we'll be watching to make sure that you follow the correct protocols. First you have to ask online about proportions and fit because we can't have your doll being aesthetically offensive. We'll let you know if your proposed hybrid looks good enough.

Just as important as the proportionality of your hybrid is the hallowed concept of resin matching. You need to find out the relative colors of your hybrid parts. If your desired parts don't match perfectly in tone, you have two options. First, you can choose other options that do provide a perfect match. Second, you can do body blushing, which is like a faceup for non-facial parts [see excruciating process above], so that no one can ever tell that the hybrid parts were originally different colors. We do not allow BJD hybrids with "paper white" heads, "fresh white" hands and "beauty white" bodies to exist without their colors being evened out. Too many shades of white make us implode.

Guess what? My faceups involve no super special Japanese spray sealant whatsoever and, instead, lots of watercolor pencils, Prismacolors, acrylics and improvised tools [Q-tips, X-acto blades, toothpicks] to direct the pigment. Sometimes I haven't even bothered to seal the heads before scribbling directly on the resin. And then… I don't even wait for paint to dry. I use — wait for it! — a hair dryer.

My mods avoid sandpaper. I prefer instead to do exactly as much hacking with a craft knife or saw as is necessary to make the mod functional. It doesn't have to look nice; it just has to work.

As for resin matching, I don't really care. I mean, once I put a WS Elfdoll Kathlen head on an NS Soom Uyoo body [=Absinthe], and the world didn't end! Later, I stuck some NS Dikadoll jointed hands on an Angelsdoll massive girl in "Volks compatible normal" [=Janvier Jett], and the planet remained on its axis! Shortly after that, I decided to stick a rose grey Iplehouse Luna head on a B&G Dolls grey body [=Lura eventually], and the sky did not fall!

It's mind-blowing, isn't it? It's almost like there's another aesthetic option besides that of the minutiae-obsessed, anal-retentive facsimile of reality.


I hear a lot of noise about how pissy the bjd community is, specifically noise about Den of Angels. I used to have an account, before I actually had a bjd, so I asked to have my account deleted when it seemed I’d never get one. I did get one a couple years later, but I still don’t want to participate in that forum. I wouldn’t mind browsing posts, so it bugs me that I can’t browse the forum without having an account. But then, I avoid the alleged hissy fits, so I guess I’m saving myself, heh.

I don’t see this sort of “drama” on flickr, but I usually don’t read comments either. Online news articles taught me damn well to not read comments from the public. I’ll usually read flickr comments if I’m looking for more info. Just browsing doesn’t warrant that attention, and I have little of it to spare. 😛 Livejournal is a nice haven for personal blogs, because commenting is usually okay. I’ve avoided communities for years, other than one funny one and some sales stuff.

Slightly off-topic, in the link you included, is that doll wearing the dress from Antique Dreaming Momoko? If so, does that mean that the Antique Dreaming Momoko I got from Andrea originally came from you? Just guessing and wondering. 😀

If you really want to get on DOA for the information, I think I can invite you…

I wouldn’t say there’s drama in the BJD community over aesthetic styles. Sure, there are people who make fun of putatively ugly dolls and/or faceups. However, no one flies into a rage over mismatched hybrids or unsanded mods. I’m pissing and moaning about BJD aesthetics because 95% of people do them in the same meticulous, painstaking way. There’s no such thing as a sketchy faceup or an acceptable mod executed with the nearest functional tools.

I don’t subscribe to the “103% lifelike” aesthetic with any of my dolls in any scale. I much prefer the simple, schematic, suggestive and messy. You can see examples of this if you look in my tags for Ellery, Lucian and any other of the Me and My Muses dolls. That’s also a reason I really like the Groovy Girls. They fit in with my aesthetic preferences. ^_^ There is no room for my aesthetic preferences in the mainstream BJD community; that’s all I’m saying.

P.S. Yeah, that’s the Antique Dreaming Momoko dress. I do not know if you got Andrea’s Antique Dreaming Momoko doll because I just got the outfit. Wonderful outfit, but it never ended up fitting its prospective character.

What you described as your asthetic preference automatically makes me think of the magic Andrea does. There are a lot of Monster High customizers that do stuff like that, along with the usual range of simple to 103% accurate.

If I change my mind about joining DOA, I’ll let you know. I don’t want to interact, just browse and lurk. I’m good at lurking. 😀

I mostly browse and lurk, spending much of my time in the News and Marketplace subforums. When I post, I’m usually in a thread devoted to a company that I am buying from or a doll that I am getting. I also have some uncommon dolls [Araminthe, my B&G Dolls Burrysa snarling and August, my BuddyDoll April winking], so I like to post some nice clear pictures of them in the galleries for informational purposes. For science! :p

Perrrrrrsonalllyyyyyy, I think that’s all a manifestation of the top-level though process that says OH NO DOLLLSSS ARE FOR CHILLLLDRRRRENNNN I’M NOT A CHHHHIIIIILLLLD SO I SHALL PUT AS MUCH EFFORT INTO THIS HHHHHOBBYYYYY–NO, CRAFT–NO, AAAARRRRT–AS POSSIBLE SO THAT PEOPLE KNOW I’M NOT A CHHHHIIIILLLLLD. The same thing happens with people who spend lifetimes and fortunes to make model railroads that are hyperrealistic. Yes, not all of these people think that way, and many of them may cite childhood dreams of beautiful dolls or model trains, but it’d still take a lot to convince me that every case of hobby perfection isn’t based at least a teeny bit in the desire to prove to others that the hobbyist is…mature. (These thoughts also apply to the table top wargamer set, hoo boy do they ever apply to them.)

Again, emphasizing that this isn’t a blanket statement! There are plenty of people who like perfectly beautiful toys who are comfortable with their perceived maturity level. But, I’ll be pissy enough to say that, if anyone read what I wrote above and felt personally defensive in reaction to it, then I’d ask what they’re personally trying to prove.

Me, I like dolls. I’ve always liked dolls, and I’ve never really stopped admitting I liked dolls (yes, I put them away for, oh, two years as a teen, but I still kept them, because I still liked them.) I also really like stylization in doll painting–I like my dolls to look like dolls. I understand that lots of other people don’t share this opinion, and that’s fine, as long as they understand that there’s nothing wrong with the way I like dolls to look. Ya dig?

They don’t want reality anyway, look at the bleedin’ proportions on these dolls!!!! Hardly anything you could call “canon.” If they want photorealistic dollies they should be making fat ones with bad teeth and breasts and feet that are two different sizes. And painting little zits into their perfect faceup jobs.


I like yours every bit as much as any of the uber-fancy ones, and oftentimes, a good deal more, as they have color and personality that some of the more hoity-toity ones can lack if they’re executed by people who go in more for robotic precision than, you know, expressiveness and enjoyment.

Yeah, I’m not sure why the dominant aesthetic is photorealism when, as you so rightly point out, BJDs have heavily stylized and unrealistic proportions.

I would seriously dig fat dolls. Here’s Margie, a 1:6 scale action figure that I modded for fatness and shortness:

There are people who subscribe to the photorealist aesthetic who do beautiful, expressive work, so photorealism does not preclude animation and character. I dislike the prevailing opinion in BJD aesthetics, however, that ONLY photorealism suffices. Actually, no. People do amazing work with stylized aesthetics. Like this: It’s amaaaaaaazing. :p

Oh, that is ACE.

I’d love love love to see some dolls that look like me. Or have a doll that looks like Owen!

Oh dear, I’ll have to be careful or you’ll get me into this hobby and I’ve been trying to cut down on the number of random crafts I never have enough time and money to indulge in… XD

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