How my hobbies chose me.

To most people I have pretty strange hobbies. I get called weird a lot. When I’m asked how I got interested in these things I can honestly say I blame college.

I wasn’t exactly normal to begin with at school – I was that kinda-goth kid who listened to Japanese music and dressed strange and loved creepy things – but college really opened my mind to new levels of weird; being weird was the normal thing to do. I loved college ❤

One of the classes I enjoyed most/procrastinated most in was a digital media type class that we pretty much spent creating and designing fake Myspace pages and watching funny YouTube videos. The last big assignment of the class was to make a powerpoint presentation showcasing how different types of online media can be used to successfully promote a band/individual/product. It was during my research for this class that I stumbled onto the blog that blew my tiny little mind – http://www.mistula.com/uno/

These were dolls! The most amazing dolls I had ever seen, with moving joints and realistic eyes and faces – and they were in a band and they had actual music! I shared this revelation with my friend in class (who is one of my bff’s now), she wasn’t as excited as I but she did think they were pretty cool.

I needed to know more, so of course when I wasn’t doing research for my classes I spent all my time looking up ball-jointed dolls and the numerous companies that created these wonderful resin creatures. I joined a forum with the biggest online community of ball-jointed doll enthusiasts and soaked up as much knowledge as I could. I needed one of these lovely things in my life. And in case you were wondering – yes, I did include this discovery as part of my presentation; Mistula used every type of online media I needed to showcase. Easiest project ever!

Now fast-forward to college:take 2 (when – due to lack of employment during what was meant to only be a gap year – I decided learning how to art would be more fun than going to the job centre), I had scrimped and saved and thanks to incredible timing the sculpt I had been ogling for months was suddenly on sale – HELL YEAH! I didn’t have to think twice. Probably the best decision I have ever made. Again, I can truly say I loved college. I don’t make friends so easy as I have social anxiety and it takes me a looong time to get used to people enough to be able to share my weirdness fully, but thankfully I met a girl who was so unashamedly weird and awesome and lovely that it didn’t take me long to come out of my shell and when I told her of my incoming BJD she encouraged me to bring him to class once he arrived. And I did. And everyone accepted him – so much so he came to class regularly and was photographed taking part in class a lot.

It was during this college course that we had an Introduction to Photography class. I loved it. I had the perfect model who would sit in any pose and not complain. Did I mention how much I loved college?

Somehow, magically (by the power of parental wanting to buy an awesome christmas present) I ended up with another two incoming BJD’s. By my second year all three were regular attendees of my classes. They influenced a lot of my artwork (and still do).

It’s now almost six years since I started collecting – I have a rather nice little tribe going. They are still my favourite subjects for photography even if I don’t snap them regularly. I’m constantly trying to improve with a camera so I can show just how amazing they are. This means learning a lot of the basics for all subject types, my best seem to be plants and landscapes. And toys. And ducks . . .

So that’s pretty much what got the ball rolling: one intriguing google search result is responsible for my lovely weird doll tribe, my commitment to improving in photography, and a lot of duck portraits.

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To learn more about BJD’s and my tribe head over to their page in the top right or check out their galleries on Deviant Art at http://deedeelunastelle.deviantart.com

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