Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Aesthetic experience of owning a BJD

Hello everyone!

Back into the idea of using my blog for personal reflection and communication, I've been thinking these days about some random thoughts that came to my mind when a friend of mine discovered bjd's (in this case, through my work, but could have been any other source). She was mindblown by the discovery, and she spent the classical three days mesmerized in front of the computer, absorbing what she saw in awe and contemplation, learning new things and feeling excited and electrified. I'm pretty sure you remember this experience by yourselves.

Because it is similar for us all. The discovery of BJD's was one of the most exciting times in my life. They were such an artistic revulsive and inspiration that lasted for more than a decade, and has not faded yet. It has been very few other things in my life with this power of attraction and the capability of keeping me interested for long. So interested, and so long, that I ended making a lifestyle out of it. One decade later, the flame is still in there, and I can say it burns brighter than ever : )

Yet not all the time it has been the same. All the BJD discovery and my most intense collection times happened through a very very troubled time of my life. Many house removals, moving over countries, personal strife and a lot of inner and outer struggle kept me apart from the hobby sometimes. Yet it never faded, and I knew it would be just a matter of time to get back into it. And each time was as intense and interesting as I remembered.

You all remember that moment, right? The first unboxing time, and the feeling of that heavy doll in your hands, that faint (or perhaps strong XD) scent of resin, and how they looked in person. So much better than pictures, and also, so much worse at the same time... because all the work had to be done!

It is the time of discovery and exploration, and to realize how far is your nude and bald doll from the pictures that you see all around, but still prettiest thing ever. Speaking of which, is also a time to discover how clueless you are about photography. And also, how expensive BJD clothes are! So sewing seems like an option then, and... so many ideas, so many tasks. So little time!
I do not know for you, but for me, to own my first bjd meant a whole rush of creativity, frantic forum browsing, learning new skills and meeting a lot of people. In the social media, chats, forums... this whole new world unfolded upon me and I think I've never felt so high on glamour and creativity for years.  Like the enchanted human that I was then, that feeling of discovery and awe marked me deeply, probably for the rest of my life.

The fact of becoming an owner was, in short, a moving experience that lead me to evolve and develop a whole new world of art, crafts and relationships. Back then, I was an illustrator and worked as color teacher. Upon finding BJD's, my interests quickly moved to sculpting, sanding, modding and photographing, and I recall those not being specially appealing to me when I was at the University. The Sculpture term was just something that had to be done. I could have never guessed how valuable would be later on those endless classes carrying kilos and kilos of clay around the School. I loved the fact of dolls being subject to modification and alterations; my first BJD ever came broken, so I had to start the rough way, with resins, putty and sandpaper on hand. I regret nothing.

Some people believe that bjd are just some kind of mindless expenditure of money. I couldn't disagree more, since the things they have given back to me are unvaluable. Faced upon a work of art of such a beautiful craftmanship, imagination and creativity run wild. It is a moment of reflection, and then, the most important part, the projection of your inner self and your aesthetic preferences shine through. Slowly, the doll becomes a mirror of yourself, your ideals of beauty, your inner thoughts or even troubles. Every time I see a doll customized, I also see a fragment of their owner's soul. Even in the fullset dolls, I know a lot about the person just by seeing what they choosed. Male or Female. Tall or Short. Urban or Fantasy. Once again, the doll becomes the mirror in which you look at yourself and gives you back a reflection of your aspirations, preferences and inner conflicts and wishes.

And that, I firmly believe, is magic. The real one.

Light upon you all,



Irene said...

I love your thoughts, and I've had similar experiences and feelings as you when I first got into the hobby 10 years ago~
This hobby gives you satisfaction in so many ways, it can inspire us and help us too~

Thank you for your inspiring article~~!

Nanyalin said...

You are most welcome! And glad to read that I can inspire others. In the end, is the ultimate goal of any creator, I suppose. And to read that it happens, is wonderful!

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