Thursday, July 6, 2017
Ladies and Gents in Waiting
I finished up a batch of ratties over the weekend, inspired by the ladies and gents of the 18th Century. That is really the era that I take most inspiration from. I love Victorian garb, but honestly, there is nothing like the fashion of Marie Antoinette or the Duchess of Devonshire. The flounces and the frills! How I love them. My rats are not an exact representation, obviously, as I am a whimsical sort, after all, but let's say loosely based. The rats - I really love them! They make me laugh. I don't know. I guess I am just plain goofy. I am a grownup person, and this is what I do! Not even just as a hobby, I actually charge and rely on sales for this craziness :) Let us say that my ratty dress shop, House of Rodentia, is up and running :)
I sometimes feel like I have the weirdest of things that I do during a regular day. Whenever anyone asks me what I do, I start with the usual, "I'm an artist." No one ever leaves it at that, though I feel like it would be so much easier if they did! Once they hear, "Artist," they want to know what that entails. They always ask, "What kind of things do you do?" I think they are imagining I am a painter or perhaps a potter, if my hands are any indication. I generally shuffle a bit, sizing up the person who is asking to see how much information to give. I don't want to overwhelm or frighten anyone, after all! After years of just answering, "Doll artist," which no one seems to have a clue about, I still haven't come up with a good response.
Sometimes I say I design costumes in miniature, which then causes the questioner to ask what I mean by that. If I had said, "I make miniature mice and rats and costume them," I am pretty sure they would be a bit alarmed! If I had said that I make dresses for big headed plastic dolls, I think what I actually make isn't what they would be picturing. Despite the fact that the Blythe dolls and ball jointed dolls are super popular around the world, people usually don't have a good grasp on the idea of dolls for grownups. It's too out of the ordinary for most people to comprehend. People who work in miniature are kind of their own odd lot, I think.
Well, then, all that being said, I love what I do. I have been making little dolls and dresses and things since forever. The rats are my favorite. The Blythe dolls I am grateful for that - it really got me into a much better groove with dressmaking in miniature. If I hadn't spent so much time on the 1/6 scale dresses, it would have been really difficult for me to get a handle on 1/12 scale with the level of detail I like. For now I do both - the dresses for Blythe dolls, the rats and other tinies for myself and anyone I can cajole into getting hooked :) I think the ratties may be starting to catch on, though. Time will tell.
It's about 95 degrees here today. Whew! I am decidedly NOT dressed in 18th Century garb. I am wearing shorts and flip flops and the lightest weight tee-shirt I can get away with. It really does get pretty warm in Charleston. Not complaining, just saying :) Enjoy whatever season you are in! Hugs - Cindy