I have been pretty busy with summer and squeezing some projects in between. Here is my latest tutorial that I put together on Creative Paperclay®’s site on how to create a paperweight. I hope it inspires you to make your own, if so, please email me your creations if you would like for me to feature them here!
This is one of my latest pieces that I have been trying to carve out time to work on for the past couple of months. I’ve been wanting to expand on my pieces that addresses how women are perceived in society, in particular, women of color. I touched on it subtly in my last piece, but I plan to take this one full steam ahead and discuss some of the issues that women of color have to deal with on a day to day basis. This one is going to take a lot longer than I expected due to me wanting to get things just right.
So here’s an update on this piece. He was originally going to be a commission for another artist, but that fell through by the time I was just about done with him. I decided to finish working on this piece since I don’t have too many male dolls under my belt. The biggest challenge for me with working on guy dolls is the styling, there’s very little room to hide imperfections. The clothing such as pants and shirts have to be pretty much tailored to fit, unlike a dress that can be loosely wrapped around and sewn in place. Another thing that I don’t bother too much with is the ears or the head shape. Most of the time I just put hair on my pieces, so getting the shape of the back of the head to be perfect and creating ears isn’t usually a concern for me. I am also terrible at sewing, so I find the notion of making pants extremely intimidating. With this piece I had to just face my fears, whip out the sewing machine, figure out how to thread it without help from mom, put my big girl pants on and get the job done. I must say that I love the way he came out, I need to get more practice in with creating more MALEndollies!
This past Saturday was my first and Barnes and Nobles’ first Mini Maker Faire. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect, whether I would be on a panel or if I would just be demonstrating how I go about making my dolls. Luckily for me they just expected me to show my dolls to people and explain how I construct them. Seemed easy enough, but what I didn’t know was that I would be the first table directly in front of the elevator on the second floor in the children’s department. I love children and all but I WAS NOT READY lol! The staff had to sneak me out so that I could take a break and they also had to block the children so that I could pack up to leave when it was time for me to go. I really enjoyed them, they asked me everything from how I made the dolls to why did they look so sad. One was extremely pro-active, she had her mother take a tally of all the materials I used so that they could pick them up and get to work on making a doll that very evening. Another little girl outed her mom who secretly called my dolls creepy by shouting “I don’t think they’re creepy, I love them!”. She gets a gold star in my book for coming to my defense. Overall, the staff was amazing, the children were adorable and inquisitive and I went home without any of the promotional cards that I brought with me.
I have a load of new items that will be slowly trickling into my Etsy shop over the next few weeks. (I take a really long time to list items, they need to be properly photographed and documented). The influx of items is a result of an outdoor art show in The Bronx’s Little Italy area being a total washout! It was such a sad day, there was little to no foot traffic and there was at least one artist that I know of whose art was damaged by the rain. Thankfully there was a 99 cents store nearby where I was able to get a beach umbrella to shield the few pieces that I did choose to put out. No Melandollies were harmed in the making of that show. There may be a second or third date scheduled for it but in the mean time I’m putting my new pieces up for sale in my Etsy shop. Getting ready for the show made me realize a very important thing, I work much faster than I think I do. In about 3 months time, I cranked out 18 small wall pieces/ornaments, 9 dolls in frames, 2 busts and about 20 small people in bottles. There were plenty of late nights and events that I had to miss but in the end it made me realize my capabilities. At one time it would take me 3 months to create 2 dolls, boy have the tides turned! Well in the mean time, you can check out the few items that I currently have in my Etsy store. I will keep you all posted when I add my new pieces to the shop, hang tight!
After about a year of planning, the Bronx Artist Documentary Project has finally made it’s debut at The Andrew Freedman Home this past Saturday September 13th. The project consisted of 30 photographers documenting 80 artists as they created artwork. I had the opportunity of being the only crossover artist to be on both sides of the lens. I was documented for a period of five sessions as I worked on various projects and I photographed three other artists while they worked in their studios. It was a great experience to meet other artists in the neighborhood and see how they began and ended their creative process. It was rather easy for me to document them, but I found it quite difficult for someone else to document me. I was very aware of the camera and tried to do everything in my power to make sure that my surroundings wouldn’t be as messy as they usually are. Overall, it was quite a bumpy ride but I think that we can all say that we’ve made a few new connections along the way 🙂
I had a wonderful time at my first Two-Person show in Soho! It was great to see my name in vinyl letters on the wall and I had plenty of friends show up to support me. I also got a chance to meet the wonderfully talented creator behind the whimsical AstoNuts stuffed creatures. His creations are massive and must be seen in person to fully appreciate them, I am a true fan! I hope to own on sometime soon! To see more of his work, head on over to his website: http://astronuts.exblog.jp/
I just came back from attending my first Niada conference. I have been checking out their work for few years, but I’ve never thought of actually going to a conference before. They are very particular with the kind of doll artists that they let join their group and since I like to work in a really unconventional style, I didn’t think that I would fit in. After working in the Bronx Artists Documentary Project, I actually met a member named Reina Mia Brill. She knew that I made dolls and she thought it would be a good idea if we both went down together. We had a blast! I really enjoyed myself because it was my first time being surrounded by so many doll artists and it was a great opportunity to actually see the work in person. The pieces were very impressive, it really inspired me to go home and start creating some new pieces. I have my hands tied at the moment and have to crank some work out for a different show. When I get done with my current pieces, I am going to have a field day!
This Saturday will be my first time showing at the Bronx Art Space which is located in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. I dropped off a few pieces there yesterday and was able to get a peek at some of the other artwork that will be featured. It really blew my mind, there were so many wonderful and interesting pieces and most of them will be under $300. I am super excited to be a part of this show. I was surprised to see some of the names on the bill, I’m honored to be able to participate in the same show as them!
This has proven to be one busy summer for me. I originally had two shows scheduled in September, one being the BXADP show and the other being my first two person show at the ISE Cultural Center in Soho. This current Spoof Collective show in addition to two more this August will make six shows in four months for me. I am really feeling the love! Here’s some photos from the Spoof Collective show at Hunts Point. It will be on up until August 8th every Saturday from 3-6pm at The Brick House Gallery 1391 Lafayette Avenue, Bronx NY 10474. Photos courtesy of Ignacio Soltero, who is also featured in the show.