An interview with Woodoll artist Ludivine, with translation assistance by Elodie
French artist Ludivine displayed her first completed girl dolls at Ldoll festival last year. Grace of Jpop Dolls purchased one of these dolls and was so impressed with her design that she contacted the artist and arranged for a new version of the doll called “Espoir” to be sold through Jpop.
Q: How did you become a BJD doll maker?
A: As soon as I had my first BJD in my hands, I immediately wanted to make one. Within an hour, the poor resin doll was in parts, and I was examining her to see how she was made. A few weeks later I discovered the forum Materiel Celeste. I then read through all of the tutorial threads, and I ended up trying to make a small rabbit in a cartoon style. In one week, he was born. That is how I discovered how to make a mold.
Q: I understand Espoir is your first doll? What was your inspiration for her?
A: Actually I first made Elpis and Pandore. They are the representation of the troubles of the Pandora’s box, the myth of Pandora’s story, the first woman created by the god Zeus. He sent to Earth to punish humankind this box containing all the troubles of the humanity; misery, illness, famine, old age, deceit, madness, vice, war, and at last hope (Elpis in Greek).
I made a version for each trouble. In reality I began Pandore before Elpis, but it is Elpis in her version “Misery” which was born first, fully finished.
As I got more confident and more sure in technique, I was thus able to take back the Pandora doll project to its foundations. She will be as accomplished as Espoir, I’m going to bring her at the same level!
Q: How did you meet Grace from Jpop Dolls? How did this lead to your doll being cast in resin and sold through Jpop?
A: Last year I had my first show, Ldoll in France. I believed that I would never arrive there, and I had two sleepless nights with my friend Lestat in order to have the mechanical hearts of the two “Illness” Elpis’ ready.
Marvelous memories. We were exhausted, even our car had a breakdown. In brief a journey full of new developments!
I had two models of “illness” and two models of “Misery”. It is a “Misery” which brought me luck. “Funambule” or “Tightrope walker”, a nice little redhead was adopted by someone who is now a good friend who showed her to Grace.
And it was after our return from Ldoll, that Oracle, which in fact was the last one left from the show, was adopted by Grace. Under the spell of Oracle’s long ears, she wanted to have “Misery” cast, but I had begun the series by announcing it was limited to 8 copies, and that means a lot to me. I then worked out the Espoir version for Jpop Dolls. When I did so, I also erased a small detail which annoyed me in Misery.
The long ears were on my very first sketch of Pandora, so I remembered of them for the “Misery” version of Elpis, but fixed to the head, they were not at all practical and much less expressive.
Thus for “Espoir” I had to settle this detail. It became obvious to me to articulate them, because it was, in my opinion, what was missing in the “Misery” version.
Q: Are you working on any new dolls?
A: Yes yes, I have Pandora, plus an MSD of around 45cm, Alice, an SD of 62cm, and Sora, a still indefinite SD size boy who will need time before being ready.
I am thinking of beginning also some smaller dolls, but each thing in time.
Actually I am working on Pandora deceit version. I decided to make her human because nothing is more human than this trouble.
Photo above: Illness 2
Ludivine’s Espoir is available exclusively from Jpop Dolls
Special thanks to Elodie for her help with this article.