LittleRebel is a one-woman shop run by Spanish artist Kat. She has released many heads for 1/3 dolls and one full size tiny doll named Momo. A first run of a new head, Vampire Kai, recently opened, and a 1/6 girl named Maya will arrive in the near future.
Q: Can you give me a little background on yourself?
A: My name is Carmen (although most people from this hobby know me by my nickname “Kat”) and I’m from Spain. I graduated in Fine Arts and Graphic Design, and I’m interested in painting, sculpting, web design, photography, writing… I think the BJD hobby was perfect for me because it allowed me to do all the things that I like together, and to create something new and something that is alive in some way.
Q: When did you become interested in BJDs?
A: It was long time ago, in 2003 and it was by chance… I think I was looking for something related to Visual Kei and then I found a picture of a Volks doll, and I was curious to know more about that kind of doll because I had never seen anything like that. I really liked the idea of a doll that was totally customizable. Then I found that there was a small Spanish forum about those dolls, and I became more and more involved in the hobby, and I spent a lot of time searching for information and for pictures. It was a little crazy obsession for me because they were out of my budget, and also it was quite difficult to buy them because most of the BJD shop didn’t sell internationally then and it was a bit risky. I was saving money for almost a year, and in December of 2003 I received my first doll… and since then I couldn’t stop my imagination from creating new characters and wanting new dolls.
Q: When did you start to make your own dolls?
A: It was only a matter of time before I wanted to make my own dolls because I started customizing dolls to adapt them to the characters I had in mind, but sometimes it was impossible to find a doll that was what I wanted. There weren’t as many options and dolls shops as now, and most of the dolls had a very “doll type face” with big eyes and small noses and mouths… and I like just the opposite (well if you look at my dolls it’s very obvious, haha).
I tried to make my first doll in 2005 although it was a rough start because of my lack of experience and the wrong choice of materials. All my first dolls were a mess, and most of them didn’t survive the casting, or the silicone molds broke… I was at the University by then, and my sculpture professor had less of idea than me about polyurethane resins, so making dolls was mostly a self-taught process, and very frustrating at the beginning.
I only considered making dolls for sale when Dollshe offered professional casting for doll artists, in 2011.
Q: Where did the name LittleRebel originate?
A: It is the way that I see my dolls and their characters; they are all little rebels for me… and also when I make dolls I want to give them a bit of spirit and personality. I don’t want to make dolls that looks like plain dolls. I’m not sure If I manage to do it, but I hope so.
Q: Is LittleRebel run primarily by yourself?
A: Yes, I do everything (except the casting): the designs, the sculptures, the photos, the website, painting the dolls, preparing the parcels… the truth is that I’m a very modest artist who works at home, and I only make dolls in small batches, but it allows me to to prepare each order individually and to keep in touch directly with my customers, which is very important for me. It always makes me very happy when my customers send me photos of their dolls or send me messages to tell me that they like my work.
I make dolls because it is what inspires me, and if I can make at least one person happy with my work then I think I’ve achieved my goal.
Q: Can you tell me more about each of your dolls? Which was your first?
A: The first doll that I released was my Shinji head, although the funny thing is that it was probably the 2nd or 3rd version that I made of him, and I started making him as a full doll but I never finished the body because I hadn’t any intention of selling it. After that I released Hachi, Seven, Svein, Tenten, Momo, Jelle, Aleksander, Sarang, André and Kai… and I have a few more heads and full dolls on my desk, some of them unfinished and some of them are abandoned projects.
Q: Most of your dolls are heads only. What bodies do they work well with?
A: I try to make them a standard size so they can work well with the most common boy or girl 1/3 bodies, but I have to admit that I make each doll head with a very specific image in mind of what I want for my own doll. Because of that, all my heads have slightly different sizes and some works better with younger bodies and others with more mature bodies.
Q: Your latest head is vampire Kai. What can you tell me about him? Is he a limited edition?
A: No, Kai is not a special edition. This first batch of dolls was made by Haru Casting, so this time the colors were limited. Future releases of Kai will be made by my usual casting company.
Q: Little Momo was your first doll with a body. Can you tell me more about the experience?
A: Momo is very special to me because it is the first full doll that I’ve completed. I have more unfinished projects of different sizes in my workshop, but for the first one I thought it was better to make something small that was easier to handle. I also learned a lot about how to do or not to do things, and I hope I can offer more full dolls in the future.
Q: I see you will soon release a new doll with a body that will be taller than Momo. When will Maya be released? What was the idea behind her creation?
A: When I made Maya, I had in mind that I wanted her in a size similar to a Pure Neemo or Blythe because I’m also a Blythe collector and I wanted to have a BJD who can use Blythe clothes. I usually made dolls that are inspired by my own characters, but Maya is different. I designed Maya as the type of doll which is fun to play with because she is small, and you can bring her anywhere, and find lot of clothes for her. I focused on her pose-ability and body design, and I made her with 2 different size torsos so people also can chose how they like her more. And also I made some extra parts like cat ears, and I would like to make more heads and extra parts in the future for her.
Right now Maya is at the casting company, and they should be making the prototype in resin, but I don’t know when I could release her: factory times are not very accurate, and after that I have to wait for the shipping, and the Customs here might delay things a lot, so I prefer not to say any date yet.
Q: Would you ever consider making a 1/3 body for your heads?
A: I’m not considering to continue with my old 1/3 boy body project. I work very slowly on doll bodies because I keep discarding parts and sculpting them one time and another, and getting frustrated in the process. Also the production cost for a full 1/3 doll and the Customs fees would be too high for me to afford them at the moment, so it is not an option for now. Also I enjoy a lot more the sculpting and designing of faces because I always have new ideas for characters.
Q: Are you working on or planning any other dolls at this time?
A: Yes, I have another 1/3 size head (called Kamu) that I haven’t shown yet, and a MSD-size full doll that I started years ago and that I would like to finish at some point this year… but those dolls are still a secret 😉