Depths Dolls is a small company from France featuring the work of “Tama”. The artist has been sculpting a series of anthro dolls including mermaids and a new bunny girl that will be offered soon through Jpop Dolls.
Q: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
A: I’m a french guy, 28 years old, known under the nickname “Tama” in the doll community. I live in the south of France with my husband (freshly married at the beginning of July), a fat cat, a rabbit and a canary! I work as a scientific communicator and also an illustrator, but I really want to have my own doll company and make dolls for a living. My dream is to live in Quebec or in the US, making dolls and traveling all around the world.
Q: How did you become interested in making dolls, especially BJDs?
A: I’ve always been attracted to dolls, since I was a very young boy. I used to play with my sister’s barbies… and then I started to become fascinated by mermaids. So since I was… I don’t know…. 4 years old or something like that, I always drew mermaids. I discovered the BJDs at 16 with the Luts website. At the age of 17 when I went to the university, I started to collect fashion dolls like Barbie or Tonner, always saying. ” Naaah! BJDs are too expensive I can’t have one!” Then I sold all my doll collection to buy a Unoa, and then a Zaoll, and I had many dolls over the years. Most of them are sold to new owners, but I will keep some forever. I joined the BJD community in 2006 on a huge french forum, Materiel Celeste. I made new friends, and Enaibi became one of my best friends. She was already making her own dolls, and she pushed me to accomplish my dreams. She always kicked me in the ass to sculpt, learn, finish my projects… So today if I have the chance to make those dolls, it’s mostly because of Enaibi who was so supportive of me, and she helped me a LOT.
Now I have found my own way to make dolls, and my own style (even if the overall body silhouette is “Enaibi’s school” with small waist, small thorax and large hips), but I keep learning everyday, improving, making mistakes…. the life of all autodidacts.
Q: What year did you start making your own BJDs?
A: I started to make my own BJDs in 2012. Earlier I had tried to sculpt, but my very first handmade BJD was in 2012, and only handcasted.
Q: How many dolls have you made?
A: Actually five dolls, but some of them are still in production right now at a casting factory. Abyss, a small mermaid, Giorria (version 1 and version 2) a bunny girl of 19 cm, Deilf another small mermaid (approximately 18cm), the human version of Deilf, and Merrow, a big mermaid of 55cm with huge fins. Abyss was only handcast, but the others were professionnaly cast. Right now, the human Deilf and Merrow are at a casting factory in South Korea for a small and limited production. I have started other dolls; I still have to finish them.
Q: So which was your first doll?
A: My first doll was Abyss, the small mermaid of 17cm. I’ve always been obsessed with mermaids surely due to movies The Little Mermaid from Disney, and Splash. So my first doll had to be a mermaid!
Q: How did you get to know Grace from Jpop?
A: I think it was because of Enaibi. She is friends with her, and I started to discuss dolls with her one day. We had met each other in 2014 during my first trip to the USA (and in 2016 for my second trip). We have spent lovely dinners together, and we wanted to work together. It took a long time before finishing the second version of Giorria, but now she’s coming to Jpopdolls very soon!
Q: So I want to know, what is it about mermaids (and mermen?) that fascinate you so much?
A: Haha, actually it’s more mermaids than mermen. I don’t know why exactly, but I have a fascination about the female body, I find it very elegant, glamorous, sexy. I tried to collect male dolls, but I always end up with selling those dolls. So all my doll collection is composed of female dolls only!
So yeah, my obsession for mermaids… I don’t really know, maybe it’s because it represents femininity, adventure, sensuality… and part danger! In some mythology mermaids are known to eat sailors! When I was a kid, I used to swim in the pool as if I were a merman, I had mermaid barbies and I have always drawn mermaids everywhere. And it follows me until now. Back in the university, I used to draw a lot (in maths classes!), and always mermaids. And I always loved fish, their colors, their swimming abilities, the differents shapes of their fins, and mermaids are a combination between glamorous women and fish!!
Q: So you have made a variety of mermaids. Have you moved on from them? (To bunnies, perhaps?) Do you prefer to sculpt fantasy dolls rather than regular human dolls?
A: Yeah, I have made a variety of mermaids!
But even if it’s my preference, I’m not stuck to that theme, as my second doll was my anthropomorphic bunny girl. I prefer to sculpt fantasy dolls rather than regular human dolls, because I’m just more interested by fantasy themes, but, I try to have a variety of dolls, so I’m planning to release human versions of fantasy dolls. I have started with Deilf, my small dolphin mermaid. Her human version is about to be cast in resin for the Ldoll festival. I hope one day she will come to Jpopdolls too. My big mermaid, Merrow, will also have a human version. So she will be a very thin MSD size doll, and I hope I will be able to cast her in resin next year. I still have plans to sculpt other anthropomorphic dolls and fantasy dolls. I’m working right now on Freyja, a lynx girl. She will have large lynx ears, and high heeled paws, and she will be the same size as a Barbie. I want to make an antelope girl, a fairy, an elf… It’s just… I don’t know, but for me dolls belong to a world where imagination rules. Dolls are perfects for art, photography, sewing, painting… So it’s the perfect way to have fantasy dolls as it’s a world of pure imagination.
Q: Are most of your dolls sold exclusively in the EU?
A: It is the case for the moment, as I only made limited editions for doll shows in France, so yeah, most of my dolls are in the EU, and in France especially. But some of them are in Seattle, Los Angeles, soon one will go to the San Francisco area… That’s why I wanted a collaboration with Jpopdolls, it will allow me to be distributed all around the world. Right now I don’t have the logistics to realize a big production, but Jpopdolls is able to deal with a large production! I thought it was a very good way for people to have the opportunity to buy one of my dolls without coming in France to a doll convention necessarily.
Giorria will be available at Jpop Dolls in August 2016.