Kevalee or Kay is best known in the BJD world as Hoshino, the name of her doll jewelry line and face-up business. She is also known by her user name on Den of Angels, Dr. Seiji. Kay is from Thailand, but is currently working to complete her BFA degree in Illustration in San Francisco. She is a manga fan and hopes one day to work on graphic novels. She explained that, “Dr.Hoshino Seiji is actually one of my original characters. I created him when I was in high school, so he has been around with me for long time before he became my dream come true. So I use the name Dr.Seiji on the forum and Hoshino. It has become a trademark!” Kay discovered BJDs in 2007. “The beauty of BJDs of course, got me into this hobby. I am sure that it’s the reason that no one can resist!…My obsession grows uncontrollably ever since.”
Kay’s grandmother originally painted doll faces “I did not know why I am very interested in BJD face-up until I found out from my grandmother. She was also a doll make up painter back when my grandparents still owned a doll factory. My grand parents created various kinds and sizes of dolls. My grandmother painted them all with airbrush. Now I believe sometimes skill also can automatically passed down from generation to generation just like DNA.” Her studies in traditional painting methods she believes have helped her with her doll face-ups. “The most helpful about traditional illustration is that you get to hold your brushes, charcoal, pastel and paint every day for hours. You gain a lot more knowledge in color theory and materials what to use and what not to use and also receiving a lot of suggestions about technique directly from professional artists. I applied not only on doll works, but everything I create as well.”
As Dr. Seiji, Kay operates her face-up service primarily on Den of Angels doll forum. “90% of the time, I accept commissions through Den of Angels, and I sometimes take commissions on a Thai BJD forum when I travel back home so it can save the shipping fee and custom tax for my Thai customers. I’ve been offering face-up service since 2008. I don’t do body blushing as commission or modding heads at the moment, but I’ve done several heads and eyes modding before.” She describes her face-up work, “My face-up style is more into cute and natural for girls. and sometimes can be gentle and formal for boys. I love elegant style very much. I’m most comfortable with working with SD size dolls, but I can also work on smaller dolls as well. All my face-ups are done by hand. I use acrylic paints and pastels. I’m also still working on how to use an airbrush properly. Hopefully I will be able to approach it someday.”
Jewelry-making is a more recent addition. “I started making jewelry around Summer 2009. I still have long way to go to be a good jewelry artist, but I really REALLY enjoy making jewelries and can spend all day and night designing!” She started by making accessories for her own dolls. “I first started making a pearl hair band just for my doll. When I posted a photo on DoA gallery, I received a PM if I can make more for sale. From that time up to now, here I am as a jewelry designer and face-up artist!” She sells her work both on the forum and also through the Thai accessory shop DollWhy. “Dollwhy was created by Thai BJD lovers. We know each other personally and have been sharing the love of BJD and designing for long time. Now that we wanted to go further and do something bigger together. That’s also why I became part of DollWhy.”
Currently Kay owns about 14 full dolls and quite a few doll heads. “I actually love many companies! The most favorite company is probably Volks. After visiting LA Dolpa in 2007, I got an impression and bonding between myself and Volks. I love their customer service and their doll quality. Their doll style also matches a lot of my character drawings as well. That is probably the main reason why I really bond with Volks dolls.” She adds, “I have 90% Volks some of the Luts dolls, K-doll and Dollgru.”
As she approaches graduation from college, Kay is thinking about her next step. “I want take some fashion classes including clothes making and, web design in Thailand (never enough education!). I’ll try to find a job related to illustration in the States first.” She has no plans to stop working with dolls. “I’ll keep doing what I really enjoy, which is face-up and jewelry design. I always wanted to start sewing some doll clothes! It would be nice and fun when I take a break from face-up as well.”
Photos above from top: Face-up on DollsTown Triste, Rose necklace.
Hoshino Gallery Album – Face-up, Jewelry, and illustration work by Kay.
To contact Kay for face-up service or jewelry commissions:
Dr. Seiji LiveJournal
Hoshino Jewelry is also available through Doll Accessory Store DollWhy.