For more info on the NIADA show and to sign up for workshops:http://niada.org/info.html
My interest for doll artistry developed almost a decade ago on eBay. My husband just started his online business Urban-AntiqueRadio.com and I was exiting my freelance illustration business to take a day job. We were getting married, we needed a house, and his business was flourishing, mine not so. I volunteered to get the job with benefits.
Doll making came in at an opportune time as my mood was dark, I wanted to continue as a freelancer, but logically it wasn’t possible with a fiancé soon-to-be husband in his own business. I remember I stayed in bed for three days, didn’t even wash my hair, bemoaning the re-entrance into the nine-to-five world. I feared having to spend art supply money on clothes– suits even, having to say things like “rank prioritize” and “sac all calls” and all the other corporate lingo-snigglets that spread like brushfire when working within the confines of a cubicle maze.
Luckily I found a job that allowed me to continue purchasing art supplies and time to create. I believe there are two kinds of women in this world, those who spend money on art/craft supplies and those who put shoes and clothes first. I remember back in college joking with my two best friends who were also art majors that our Christmas lists requested jigsaws, paintbrushes, and tutorial books-often making our mothers eyes roll.
I would surf on eBay-before etsy times- along with my husband, and happened upon artist dolls, all kinds. Fairies were hot, primitive dolls were hot. Seeing the crude prim dolls sell for a tidy profit I foolishly ignored my personal style to create hastily made prim dolls. Some sold, many not, this was one of many lessons not to jump on the popular bandwagon, but to find my way in the art world. Always create from the heart some say, I say always create by discovering your authentic voice, AND continue to hone your skills.
Eventually I discovered needlefelting through a course at Brookfield Crafts Center here in Connecticut. Suddenly I found a medium that worked for me, unlike the messy Paperclay that ended up more on me than my lumpy creations. From there I decided I needed a motivating factor-other doll artists to share ideas and techniques with. So I looked online, found some Connecticut doll artists and voila: Original Doll Artisans of CT was born.
One of the members Donna May Robinson Pellittieri is the president of Niada and this year-it’s in STAMFORD CONNECTICUT! It’s been seven full years since I’ve attended one of their conferences, and ladies and gents, all ye creatifs-it’s worth the trip to see the show and attend some workshops.
I’m signed up for Deborah Pope’s workshop-I’ve wanted to study with this fiber artist for YEARS!
Hope to see you there!