Artisan Q&A Debz Dollz

by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"

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DCP:
When did your love for doll making begin, and where did it stem from?


Debz Dollz:
Actually I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. I started to draw at a very young age, and thanks to the wonderful encouragement of my family, kept on drawing. I have been creating all sorts of art in some form or another most of my life, and am obsessed with dark fantasy/horror art, along with juxtaposing images.  Once I discovered the surreal movement, I realized I found my “calling” as to style/art genre. About four years ago, a friend of mine suggested I “make dolls”. I thought about it, and obviously I’m not a doll manufacturer, but what I thought was “what about taking a doll and painting/fashioning art with it? In other words, a new sort of “canvas” on which to create.

 

How the doll making began is kinda funny…I asked my neighbor if I could have the two dolls that were on her roof.  I had seen them up there for quite some time and just knew they would be perfect for my first “subjects”. She told me that they were old and not in very good condition, to which I said that was exactly what I was looking for.  Thanks to this very cool lady, I then embarked on my passion and yes, addiction to dolls and doll making.

 

DCP:
Who or what inspires the dolls you create?


DD:
As I mentioned, I love the surreal movement, with its dreamy subconscious art form of juxtaposed images and symbolism, and of course I also love the horror genre. With dolls, I just do what I do...I always say I "work my magic" on them by listening to them; what they want to look like, who they once were and I feel I uncover their inner-most soul.  Since all my dolls are older and used, perhaps trapped for years in a dark closet, basement, attic or in a box, some broken and cracked, but all discarded; I am inspired by the stories they “tell” me. These dolls were loved at one time, but over the years, they no longer maintained the fascination they once held with the little girls who played with them and cared for them. Children grow up and move on, but for the dolls, time is meaningless.

 

DCP:
What do you think about or feel when you create the dolls?


DD:
Art has always been a catharsis, a therapy for my mind and soul. I create because I must. Whenever I get a doll, I look into their face; at the eyes that even though seemingly staring and unblinking tell me of the heartache of being forsaken and forgotten. But, once I hold them and being to work my magic on them, they truly take on a new life...I like to think I bring them new lives...by uncovering the dust, dirt and in some cases even decay so cruelly left upon them by all the years of being forgotten.

 

DCP:
How have people responded to your art work?


DD:
I get all kinds of responses from “oohs and aahs” to the “why do you do this?” I know my style of art/dolls is not for everyone, but there definitely is a growing market for the horror genre, especially with dolls. My art has offended many, having even at one time been reported to Facebook when I posted a photo of one of my more extreme horror dolls. I know, crazy, right? For the most part though, I think (I hope anyway) that my art and dolls strike something deep inside people. To get them to look inside themselves, to see that beauty comes in many forms, and that there is a darker side, which is a part of our everyday life.  We all have flaws, so what I do is to create dolls that are not perfect and fake. For me, real is real and never phony.  Sometimes our pain and even fears are what we project, sometimes it is those exact things that keep us going and make us stronger. I know for me that is absolutely the truth. Bottom line is, I think more people seem to truly love rather than hate my dolls and art. Sorry if I went sideways, but I guess you can tell I’m rather passionate about what I do...::GRIN::

 

DCP:
Can you take us through the process of what it takes to make them?


DD:
As you have probably already realized, my dolls are in no way "perfect", but they are indeed very special and definitely unique. The process for each one is different, but all are created with lots of love and crafted from my soul, with meticulous attention to detail. I use all sorts of materials on each doll depending on what effect I'm looking for; including paints, safety pins, markers, tape, and pieces of jewelry I have lying about. Sometimes I use bones, claws, teeth and animal skulls. PLEASE NOTE: I do not hunt or harm any animal. All bones, skulls, etc. I either find or are purchased through an awesome taxidermy lady who also does not hunt.

 

DCP:
Have you given one as a Christmas/birthday/wedding gift? If so, what was the response?


DD:
Actually, I personally have not, however, I have sold dolls to folks who have given them as birthday gifts and one as a Christmas gift. My favorite was the couple I sold a really “out there” doll to, who told me they were going to one of those “Christmas White Elephant” gift exchanges, and couldn’t wait for the reaction on the peoples’ faces upon seeing this doll. The doll I sold them was actually a large hand-painted plush rabbit with exposed “rib” bones and sharp claws and teeth.  It was great! Someday I hope to have a doll presented as a wedding gift. I’ve got a lovely Goth Bride and horror Goth Teddy Bear ready to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DCP:
Have you ever had any requests to make any specialty dolls for someone?


DD:
Many times! In fact I love creating special requests/commission pieces for people. It’s great fun working with the person, getting to know a bit about them and what they want/are looking for in a doll. I have actually created a couple of dolls used as props in Indie Horror films, and others based on Indie Horror films.

 

DCP:
Where can people find and purchase your artwork?


DD:
Mainly my Delightfully Dark Art Etsy store and my Facebook doll and art pages. I’m considering creating other avenues for prints and merchandise, but have not done so as yet. For right now, these are the places:

 

Etsy.com/shop/DelightfullyDarkArt
 

Facebook.com/DelightfullyDarkDollz


Facebook.com/DeborahzEclecticArtistry

 

I would like to wrap up by saying thank you so much for this fantastic opportunity to talk about two of my favorite things…dolls and art!

 

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