Belgian artist Zun has been offering BJDs through her website OtherSide. The dolls will now also be sold through doll shop Octarine Dolls who will feature a new creature, Oddity, as well as Hybris and Kobalt at Ldoll Festival next weekend.
Q: First I want to say that I saw photos of your doll Oddity, and I just loved him! He is so creepy but cute!.
A: Then first I’ll explain to you some things about Oddity. I’ll introduce Oddity for the first time at Ldoll festival. I spent more than one year to sculpt it, so it is a special doll for me. It is maybe the most personal creation for me, and I’m very glad that some people appreciate it.
Oddity is certainly creepy, some friends of mine told me that Ginkgo (the monkey – Oddity takes a lot from him) scared them because of all the wrinkles, and they don’t like that in a BJD.
I can understand and respect that, but when I was a child, I loved E.T., Gremlins, the mystics from Dark Crystal, Labyrinth etc… My characters aren’t plain nor perfect, I try hard to make them “real”, so from my point of view they have to have flaws such as asymmetry, wrinkles, and thickness. Beside that, I love animals. I regret that most of the articulated animals are labelled as “pets”, yes a doll is an anthropomorphic representation, but other animals are not necessarily our pets. Oddity is a mix of those ideas.
With Oddity I took the risk of creating a doll that matches my tastes, and the reception has been amazing.
I made 5 full-set Oddities
At the Octarine booth :
there will be
– 2 Hybris
– 3 kobalts
– 2 Oddities (there were some reservations made)
– some ibyangins
I cannot produce a big amount of Oddities. There are more than 25 pieces to cast and sand for each doll, so depending on its success at Ldoll festival, Oddity may be professionally cast, and sold through Octarine,
but there are also technical issues that we have to check with the casting company.
There is currently a Kobalt preorder run by Octarine, I can say that Kobalt is like a cousin to Oddity, so I’m very glad those 2 dolls will attend Ldoll festival together.
All the dolls will be offered in pre-orders after Ldoll if there is enough people to participate.
Q: Will all of the Oddity dolls be offered as full-sets at the event? If so, will they be dressed the same?
A: Yes, all the Oddity dolls will be offered as full-sets at Ldoll festival. They will probably have the same outfit, maybe the teal skin will be a little bit different from the others.
Q: So how did you become interested in BJDs?
A: I’ve never been fond of dolls. I found most of them scary when I was a child.
I first heard about the Obitsu doll figures in 2006, and I thought it was a wonderful concept: customizing a blank doll to create a 3D character. It was the beginning of a very long addiction. The BJDs were still a bit scary for me, but I subscribed to the french board “Materiel Celeste” which accepts doll figures, and I met some BJDs owners. The moment I saw those dolls in real life I just loved them and needed them.
Q: When did you sculpt your first doll? Was that Kobalt?
A: My very first creation was Ibyangin (meaning “adoptee” in Korean), an abandoned resilient little Asian girl. I created her in 2011. It was a concept that I had before knowing that BJDs exist At that time I thought I would do a sculpture of it. It amazed me that other persons could be interested in such a personal work, it still does.
Q: What was your concept behind Kobalt?
A: As I told you, I loved the world of Jim Henson, especially Labyrinth. I wanted to create a character that would fit the Labyrinth and live in it. In the first french version, the Goblins were translated as “Kobold” (german mythology). Kobalt takes her name from them.
Q: So Kobalt is a bit gnome-like. then?
A: Yes we could say that, An inhabitant of a hidden world.
Q: Why did you decide to call your company “OtherSide”?
A: I have always been creating my own characters, drawing my imaginary friends as a child, they are another part of my reality. For me BJDs are the recipients of our imagination, they are inanimate objects but also our living characters as soon as we customize them, take pictures of them… Another reality.
I was searching for a word that could express it. I thought about “Alice Through the Looking-Glass” which in french is translated as ” Alice de l’autre côté du miroir” so” Alice at the other side of the mirror”.
Q: Do you own many BJDs?
A: Not a lot of company dolls anymore. I spend most of my time sculpting and casting my creations, I seldom take care of the dolls I own nowadays.
Q: Do you have some favorite doll companies?
A: As a matter of fact, since I started to create my own dolls, I’m not following any big companies, but artists, mostly French, Spanish and Russian creators. I do not have favorite companies, I like to be stunned by the talent and uniqueness of some creators, see work in progress pictures…My interest is not anymore in buying, owning a doll like I did.
Q: How did you involvement with Octarine occur?
A: I knew Nefisa for years, she’s a true and rightful person. When she decided to create Octarine I was very enthusiastic. Octarine is an ethical company which supports artists and their work, and Nefisa is a trustworthy manager. I definitely wanted to work with her.
Q: Do you have your next doll planned after Oddity?
A: I would like to completely modify my Salamandra model. I’m not satisfied with her.
I sculpted her in 2012, and I deeply love this model of a mature woman, but I want to re create this plump woman with better proportions and pose-ability maybe. Also, I would like to make a friend for Oddity, I don’t know yet what it would look like, but I loved to work on this critter.
Q: I wanted to ask about the Hybris twins and the old woman head on your site right now. Are these some of the dolls that you plan to open orders for?
A: Kobalt is already a professional cast doll, and I would like Hybris to be so, and I’m hesitating about Oddity. It will depends on the number of requests, I cannot provide a lot of Oddities so we’ll see.
The old woman is my “Dione” model, she’s not for sale anymore.
She’s what my grandmother left me: positive feelings of love. Due to the recast threat, I stopped producing her. But I promised 2 friends of mine that I will cast a Dione for them. So this is the penultimate Dione, and she will not be at the booth, she’ll go to her owner as soon as possible.
Q: What direction do you hope to take your dolls in the future?
A: I would like to concentrate on sculpture/conception only. For me it would be motivating, and for clients it would be easier to find and buy my dolls. With Octarine as official dealer for Otherside dolls, it could become possible.