Chinese artist “Flying Pig” of Pink Vetch introduces Midori and her pet flying pig Voador.
Q: Hi! Where does the company name “Pink Vetch” come from?
A: Hello! I go by Flying Pig online, and I’m the sculptor/owner of Pink Vetch. The name Pink Vetch is formed from my name and my favorite color. I think vetches are resilient little flowers and seeing one gives me lots of beautiful feelings.
Q: How long have you been making dolls and how and when did you start?
A: I began making BJDs in the summer of 2014. I’ve known about and collected BJDs before that, but it never struck me as doable—diy’able—because they are so delicate and beautiful and detailed. But eventually I fell very much in love with artist dolls and began following artists on social media. Suddenly, what was a mysterious, unseen process before was happening right in front of me. It no longer seemed that dolls were like Athena springing forth fully formed from the foreheads of their creators. I saw that they were created from vision, knowledge, and techniques. In time, I began to feel perhaps I should *try* it. That moment was more than 2 years ago. My first finished doll, Midori, took very long to make. Voador was faster. But there’s a forgotten middle child, based on the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, that I haven’t been able to finish yet, in addition to a box of “faltered attempts” (whose number will be known only to me).
Q: So how did you first become interested in BJDs?
A: Oh wow, I don’t remember the beginning. I’ve always been a part of illustration, gaming, manga fan communities online and it felt like BJD was a natural part of everything I was interested in. A looming memory from early on—and I’m sure I’m not alone in this—was that I found out about a really beautiful doll…only to see that I missed the preorder opportunity by mere days. MY GOD THE PAIN. I will never forget it.
Q: Out of curiosity, what doll did you miss buying?
A: It was a doll by Jewel Labyrinth. They’re a veteran dollmaker but maintain an amazingly low profile and it was sheer luck I even found out about the release when I did. But it was already too late! AAAAAHHHH.But in a beautiful twist of fate, the sculptor of JL and I became friends! Turned out we had some friends in common, people who were also doll makers. It was really very beautiful how it worked out. And eventually I was able to get the doll (thanks, friend!)
I scoured my brain, but I don’t think the doll in question was ever released internationally, so I don’t know if it has an English name.
Q: Is there a meaning behind calling yourself Flying Pig? Are pigs your favorite animals?
A: Pigs are one of my favorite animals (I am the opposite of discriminative in this). It’s a pun on my surname—I got called little piglet growing up. And like many playground nicknames, often they become a cherished and endearing thing after you’ve grown up. In a squirt of pride, though, I decided that *all* pigs could fly, and that’s how my name came to be.
Q: Have you collected many BJDs? What are some of your favorite companies?
A: I am seriously weak for dolls that cause pain with how cute they are. So here are some of my favorite ones: Fingertip Dreamland (we are friends! YAY!), Aileen Doll, Paper Sakura, Withdoll, Dollpamm, @Hnest_ (on instagram). This is not even close to an exhaustive list! I have a tumblr where I try to reblog dolls and art I really like in between my releases (for those who want to see more). But Tumblr is blocked in my country…I don’t know if I can be as consistent as I’d like, but I am committed to maintaining that blog.
There is an artist who occupies a special place in my heart. He goes by @sheepeden on instagram. He doesn’t cast his dolls. They’re clay dolls finished in oil paints. Discovering his work for the first time was nothing short of love at first sight for me. I was not the same; the world was not the same! This was the artist whose work and blog introduced me to the world of artist dolls and doll makers and got me on the path to making my own dolls. I was quickly quagmired in my first doll making attempts, though. Back then I didn’t have dollmaker friends I could ask questions of, so, because @sheepeden’s name loomed so large in my doll consciousness, he was the only one I could think of, and so I took my questions to him. He was unfailingly kind, generous with his knowledge, and calmly encouraging. At that time he was already well known, so I must have been one of the many people who went to him for help. I feel really lucky that such a seminal, idolized artist for me was also such a nurturing sort of artist! This experience is still one that I use to jolt myself out of discouragement!
Q: What was your ideas behind your first doll? Why did you name her Midori?
A: I wanted to create a elvish character who was like a bumbleblee. Someone who, if you met them, would make you have serious concerns about their airworthiness, while they would be buzzing along totally oblivious. I drew her lots of tiny wings. I drew her outfits, too. In one concept sketch, I gave her two hair buns as big as her head, and imagined how hard her wings must work to keep all of that aloft. In my excitement, though, I was nearly finished with Midori before I realized I’d forgotten to name her. I looked around for a name, ANY name. At this time I was swimming in fabric samples and insect photos because, so far along was Midori, I was already putting together clothes and props for her first official photoshoot. I had green things everywhere. Green, green…green? Aha! And so she was named Midori, which is Japanese for the color green, and also is a popular girls’ name.
Q: What clothing fits her best? How big is her wig size?
A: Blythe dresses fit her like a dream! I bought lots of Blythe outfits so she could have different looks when I took her to outings. My shopping urges were well sated! Because of her proportions, YoSD clothes would be too puffy, but 1/8-sized BJD clothes can fit! Her head circumference is 26cm. I used Blythe wigs and larger-than-1/3 BJD wigs in her photoshoots.
Q: Will the red Queen share the same body as Midori?
A: Gosh no! The Red Queen is a mature mini, with a head circumference the size of Monster High dolls! She would have elegant, *powerful* thighs and a figure that both compels you and inspires fear!
Q: Are you planning on making more resin pets?
A: As a matter of fact, I am already in the middle of sketching out another resin pet. I hope to be able to show its progress soon!
Q: Is there anything I forgot to ask that you want to add?
A: I really can’t think of anything to add. In fact, I was amazed: there were questions I subconsciously really wanted to answer and think about, and I hadn’t realized that until you asked it. Answering them was a very introspective and self-evaluating experience for me, and it felt quite invigorating! Thank you!
Photos above from top: Midori with eyes, Voador, Midori with wings