Sicktress is a multi-talented artist who enjoys painting, staining and altering BJDs. She has now released her first BJD head named Déesse.
Q: Can you tell me about yourself, and about your introduction to BJDs?
A: I have been into BJDs since 2013, when I was looking for an anatomical model for drawing. I started out with a 1/6 scale Obitsu and she was lovely and posed very well, but I wanted to go bigger! I ended up on Junky Spot browsing the options and started researching different sculpts. I fell in love with a couple and thought “well that’s it, I have two! A boy and a girl! I’m done.” Nothing could have been further from the truth! Customizing dolls into characters has been a great source of joy for me, and now I have a good number and variety.
About myself, I’m a US-based adult female who uses the dolls and customizing as an outlet after long day at work. They provide a great escape and way to express myself in a community, both online and in local meet-ups. My local meet-up group is awesome and I probably would not have gotten this far without them.
Q: Once you bought your first dolls, how long before they switched from being tools (models) to art projects?
A: I would say after my 1st doll. BJDs are very poseable, but I found that I enjoyed making them look like how I envisioned in my head and photographing them versus drawing them. By my fourth doll, I delved into customizing even deeper than just face-ups, body blushing and tattoos.
My fourth doll and my favorite is my grail, the Soom Dia. I had just missed the pre-order for the beautiful tawny Dias Soom had released, and decided to make my own. I found the head secondhand on the Den of Angels marketplace, and started testing out various brands and types of tan spray paint that would not react badly to resin. Once that was successful, I started spray painting dolls more and experimenting with modifications using Apoxie Sculpt/Magic Sculpt. It opened a new door for me, because I realized if I wanted permanent horns, or if I wanted a longer neck, or swapping parts between companies that didn’t fit so well together, or a blue demon, I could make it by experimenting and modifying as much as I wanted to.
Q: So face-ups came first? When did you start taking commissions?
A: Face-ups definitely came first! As soon as my first doll (an Elfdoll Vivien) arrived, I started playing around with her face. I actually didn’t start taking commissions until sometime late last year, and I started with people I knew and conversed with, and opened my commissions to the public. Currently, I am not accepting commissions, but it’s mostly because I wanted to concentrate on my personal projects and sculpting and the sale of my head, Déesse. I will most likely reopen when the weather gets warmer!
Q: What additional skills have you developed?
A: I wish I could say I’ve become a master seamstress and wig maker, but those two skills have eluded me this entire time! I hope to try again with sewing. Modding, props, weapon and armor making are other skills I would say I developed by being in this hobby. My photography skills have always been there as I studied it in college, but the 1/3 and below scale has been a challenge in itself to replicate the realism of “human” photography. Currently, I’ve been working on full baseball catcher equipment for one of my dolls.
Q: What are the biggest inspirations for your doll character ideas?
A: Definitely ancient mythology, both Western and Asian, as well as mythical creatures, and Japanese anime of all things! The majority of my characters and the dolls who represent them are some kind of supernatural being, such as phoenixes, dragons, oni, mermaids, goddesses, etc. I enjoy the extra difficulty of finding and subsequently making their worlds, face-ups and personalities. I am also regularly inspired by what the doll companies put out monthly!
Q: So is 1/3 your favorite size? What are some of your favorite companies?
A: 1/3 is definitely my favorite size. The weight of 70cm or 80cm dolls can sometimes be daunting, but the proportions are very mature and realistic. I feel like there is a ton variety in the face sculpts and types of bodies you can get. I have owned 1/4 scale before, and currently have two 1/6 scale tinies that are adorable, but bigger is better at my house! My favorite companies are Soom, Supia and Migidoll.
Q: How did Déesse happen? Was she your first doll head? What was the inspiration behind the project?
A: Déesse started as a sketch. I couldn’t find enough dark skinned female sculpts that fit what I had envisioned to be one of my characters that were still available for purchase. At first I was just playing around with clay, but eventually she started reflecting what I imagined, and I seriously plowed through to continue her. I was inspired by women of African descent with gorgeous cheekbones, like actress Garcelle Beauvais, model Naomi Campbell and the beautiful faces of Caribbean women.
Déesse is the French word for goddess, and the character I sculpted to be is one. She was my first successful doll head. I had tried before, but they never went past the first blocking out stage.
Q: Do you plan to make more heads, and perhaps a body as well?
A: Eventually I do want to continue making heads! I’m not sure if they’ll be for sale, but the sculpting experience has been kind of a therapy for me, and I immensely enjoyed it. I had actually started on the body, but it has been put on the back burner for a bit.
Q: Do you have any additional projects/plans/aspirations in regard to your hobby?
A: Definitely! I hope to become better at sewing, and take my photography more seriously, by building sets, using more complex lighting setups, as well as props. And more fantasy mods! I especially enjoyed working on my octoman, mermaid and centaurs!
Q: Is there anything you want to add that I haven’t asked you about?
A: I want to say, thank you for doing this interview! I love reading new tutorials and new company releases on BJDcollectasy, and it was an honor to work with you!
Photos above from top:Shiro (Dollzone Chen on Soom SG torso mod), Naoto (Mr Wolf head on Impldoll torso, Mirodoll arms, Dikadoll hands, Soom Chalco thighs, painted blue), Sawamura Eijun (Soom Namu on modded Crobidoll M-Line body), blank Déesse heads, Kamui -(Soom R. Heliot on Angelheim modded to Octoman body).