Never in a million years did I ever imagine I would be making dolls for a living when I grew up... I come from a strange mixture of a family: I had my mother and grandmother who were artists of great acclaim in their fields and I had my grandfather and dad who were a scientist and an mechanic. With the exception of my mom, everyone else in the family and extended family, held a degree.
As I was growing up I was allowed to express myself through art BUT it was also drilled into me that I had to study.
When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say "doctor" or "teacher" or "a mommy".
I did grow up to get my degree in pre-school education with an extra in special needs and English speaking teaching (for Greece obviously!) but in 2004 I found myself injured, unable to walk and I missed the school year... in early 2005 I was pregnant and it went from there and suddenly I wasn't teaching any more, I was making money off the dolls and supported the entire family.
If you would now ask me "what do you want to be" I would say I want to be like Martha Armstrong Hand. I want to be a technically correct artist but I don't want to keep making newborns and preemies for the rest of my life.
I am so much more into children right now and you might have noticed how rare my OOAKs have become in the last couple of years. I made very few this year compared to other years.
On the contrary I made great strides with my ball jointed dolls and learned how to use some new tools lol :)
I am bright eyed and eager to take the next step. I want to do so much more with my clay and not only with clay. I want to explore... there is so much more to this art than sculpting newborns on a cloth body, which I love, don't get me wrong, but I get a THRILL from other sculptures now. It has been rare that a newborn or preemie would thrill me nowadays. I am so much more thrilled when I do a toddler or a BJD. It might be a phase but I intend to go with it...
Martha Armstrong Hand has been my idol for a while now. I wish I could be just like her. I want to be 80 and still making dolls, God willing. I want to create everything in my sketch pad someday. I want 19th Century little girls in sailor suits and black Mary Janes, I want to make teddy bears!! And more cloth dolls... I just want to create...which is why this year there will be no pre-orders, no waiting lists, no custom orders...
This year has taught me a LOT, not all of it the easy way and I had to make some difficult desicions but I want to go forth, turn a new page and explore. Wherever my creativity takes me, I will follow, bright eyed, grateful and curious but determined... I am a little bit scared of disappointment. I am not even 1/8th near Martha... compared to her I am a little piece of nothingness ... and I am a perfectionist. I am so scared I will start something and it won't be like I've imagined it... but I've got to try. A journey of a thousand miles...starts with a single step!
Wish me luck!