Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Decisions I need to Make... Proposed Series UNIQUES

I started out wanting to do dolls with disabilities like the microchephalics that appeared in Freaks or maybe more common disabilities like cerebral palsy. No, not for the shock value.

I have cerebral palsy... not a severe case though. But I've my problems with "normal" people and their preconceived notions of what is beautiful. I guess I find microchephalics interesting and in their own way beautiful. I chickened out when I got such horrified responses when I shared my first sketches for my proposed series of UNIQUES.
I got a lot of " You're making fun of them", or "No one would want to own something that looked like one of "those" people! "

So since I want to make my living as an artist, I came up with a compromise. I created a series of magical animals and mythological creatures. The Hex Cat and the Flaming Chihuahuas of the Apocalypse pictured here are recognizable as domestic pets and the magical aspect of their back stories takes the curse off the physical differences they have. At least for most people. I still run into the occasional person who gets upset by my sculpts.

I'm bringing this up now because the urge to create the original series of figures overwhelmed me the other day. As much as I love the fantasy figures I make now.....I want to do more personal pieces too. It's like my muse is tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me that it's time to start adding some more serious work to my repertoire.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Taking The Time To Pick the Perfect Name For Your Business

I love cats especially black ones like Spats and Monte here.

Many of my dolls are fantasy or magick related and black cats go along with this idea.

To me naming my shop after a special animal like a black cat was a perfect choice. I used French because I felt it added to the exotic feel of my shop.

Little did I realize that for some people Le Chat Noir Studios was too difficult. I had quite a laugh when I got this in the mail yesterday.

I went with a different company of course. I might have been more understanding if I hadn't talked to the agent and spelled Le Chat Noir Studios out not once, but 3 times to her.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Telling Ghost Stories

Wading by the lake-shore was how I spent my summers....
Watching my lover casting far and wide for golden
fishes and complimenting his skill.

Casting his greedy line further he found a catch more
golden than I would ever be....

Water, water, everywhere....What grave for me.

Floating in the water is how I'll spend this summer....
I'll again be the elusive prize he can never catch
and only he'll see.

I love ghost stories...the Gothic ones full of sadness and passion. No obvious gore for me thank you. The idea of an implied horror can be creepier than actually seeing the bloody victim or monster. The Medieval Silver Dagger Ballads and Edward Gorey's inspired my series Spectres of Unfortunate Romances.

So it was easy to come up with the idea of doing a series of ghost dolls, but the poem aspect really threw me at first. I am essentially creating stories and dolls about murder victims, but at the same time I want the ghosts to be giving their murderers hell too.

With the character, Nerina, she my have spent hours with her lover watching him fish and was killed and replaced by her rival, but with her ghost lurking in his favorite fishing spot....I don't think he'll enjoy himself any more.

I'm betting that Nerina's visits will get him to confess or give himself away. Since he's the only one that can see her, the problems the murderer will face trying to hide his fear will eventually break him down.

I really want to stay with the period motif of these dolls because the long skirts lend themselves to creating the floating feeling of a ghost. The victims in all the Silver Dagger Ballads I've seen were women, but some of the victims in Gorey's stories were male, so I have some choices to make as I continue this series.

Since this isn't the 14th century and women aren't quite the chattel we once were, I suppose I should consider doing a few male victims of love too. It is easy to portray only women as victims of choosing poorly when falling in love, but failed romances happen to everyone .

These dolls tend to be cathartic for me . I fill their stories with sad memories and let them go. Everyone can relate to a bad romance and the relief when it's over.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I'm so depressed! Not only is our fight for a proper category on Etsy going slowly.....There were not enough people signed up for the ad in FiberArts magazine. So, no ad for Le Chat Noir Studios.

My lovely picture will just have to wait.