Interview with Mexican doll artist Runy.
Q: How did you start making BJDs?
A: I always liked to do crafts, draw and write stories for my characters. One day around 2005 I was browsing Deviant Art and saw a picture of a ball jointed doll customized as a Final Fantasy character, I was in awe and tried to research more. I couldn’t believe something so beautiful could be done, and of course my creative side was eager to try and sculpt one. I sewed cloth dolls before, but a ball jointed doll was something new to me. I didn’t have one, and my knowledge of sculpting was limited to figurines with plasticine from my childhood and a skeleton sculpted in a painting class.
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at a young age, I had to leave school and didn’t finish a career, it took time to find the right treatment but fortunately for me, the RA didn’t progress too much. Anyway, sculpting dolls wasn’t something I should be doing, but I really wanted to sculpt my characters as BJDs.
The first try was a little ugly head in plasticine, followed by another failed head, and later a doll in polymer clay. But this last one, named “Quira”, hurt my wrists when I was stringing her and I needed a surgery.
My doctor said I shouldn’t sculpt, that day I was so sad, my doll sculpting dream was being crushed by my RA, I felt very helpless… but of course I didn’t let that stop me, when inspiration comes it’s hard to contain it, for me it’s like a tree growing at high speed in all directions, and I wanted to take all the directions. I realized sculpting dolls was something I wanted to do all my life.
So, after my wrist surgery and recovery, I tried again. My family was worried that I could hurt myself again, but I showed them I could do it more carefully and taking the time to rest my hands, and thanks to their support and love I can keep doing what I most like.
Q: Was Nene your first sculpt after your operation?
A: Yes, I had already started her before my operation but she looked blank and without expression, I continued her after recovery and tried other materials too, her body hip joints have been re-sculpted several times, she’s more like an experimental personal project that I have been working for years.
Q: How did you learn to cast resin?
A: I’m a self-taught person, so I made a lot of mistakes, trial and error is a hard way to learn, especially if you waste expensive material. What most helped -and inspired- me were tutorials of other artists, as I can remember Twigling and Batchix shared casting info in the old artists threads of Den of Angels. Also, a mold casting tutorial by Donn Kinney from Bishonen House was my guide and for sculpting Hannie Sarris tutorials, Noah’s doll and Yoshida Style BJD Making Book.
Q: Do you match your resin to certain doll company resin colors? What bodies do your heads fit?
A: For now I want Alexander to be in a Volks resin match, I think this way he can have more body options. The color “Marzipan” is the same as AngelsDoll Volks compatible normal. I hope Granado, Crobidoll, Switch or Spiritdoll can make a good match, but I haven’t confirmed it. Alexander fits in 10.5cm or wider necks, Nene fits in 8-9cm necks.
Q: Will you continue to make heads for dolls only for now?
A: Before continuing sculpting more heads, I want to finish a complete doll, I had their bodies waiting for long time.
Q: You are now taking pre-orders for a procast Alexander head. Will you be releasing Nene again as a procast head?
A: My procast will be done by Weiju Toys, Alexander master is already there.
Yes, I think I will release a Procast of Nene once I finish her body.
Q: Can you tell me a little more about the other doll projects you are working on (as you have several pictured on your website)?
A: I tend to work on several projects at once, as those are personal projects, I take my time. Right now I’m working on the tinies.
“Nane” -of 12cm height- and “Bely” -a micro tiny fairy of 8cm height-. I had to make Bely a little bigger than planned because her eyes were so small. I hope the smallest magnets will work for hand replacements.
The others will be 1/4 dolls with face-plates, 1/3 male doll “Fareid” -brother of Nene- and the 1/3 Nene female body. The last one is “La Catrina”, a 1/3 doll skeleton (I just worked on her from September to November). I want to do a complete family of dolls based on our Mexican tradition “Día de Muertos”, I have in mind “El Catrin” a granny, children, a dog, a fat Mariachi, etc…
Photos above (from top): Early stages of 1/3 girl body, Nene, Alexander & Nene