Confessions of Doll Designer Jen Printy

Apr 15, 2017 / BY Emily

By Jen Printy, Jen Printy Original Dolls

christina_8Many people have asked how I stumbled into such a profession as doll design. I wasn’t someone who said, “I want to sculpt dolls when I grow up.” Although I love what I do, this wasn’t my plan. I was quite happy with my chosen career—a colored pencil artist. However, as life often does, it had a different plan.

Throughout college, like most students, I worked to pay for books, classes, and the occasional fun night out. At the time, I didn’t realize it, but my part-time job was going to be the nail the coffin of my colored pencil career. The repetitive motion of cashiering caused Tendinitis.

My love for dolls started when I was a little girl, I had two very special Lee Middleton Dolls. One day I came across a reborn doll, its realistic look just amazed me. Eventually I purchased a reborn doll for myself. Shortly thereafter that I was inspired to try and reborn a baby doll myself. I never imagined that what I thought was going to be a hobby turned into a career. I have been making reborn dolls for five years now and I have just finished my 196th reborn baby doll! My reborning business keeps growing and I keep imagining new ideas for each baby doll. I love creating and making people happy with my creations. Whenever I see someone open a reborn I created, their smile is priceless to me.

Throughout college, like most students, I worked to pay for books, classes, and the occasional fun night out. At the time, I didn’t realize it, but my part-time job was going to be the nail the coffin of my colored pencil career. The repetitive motion of cashiering caused Tendinitis.

Eventually, I wasn’t able to draw anymore. The repetition involved in creating a colored pencil artwork caused too much pain. Art has always part of my life, it was a way to express myself and deal with my emotions, and I wasn’t willing to give it up. For about a year, I was lost, not knowing which direction I should go. One afternoon, I stumbled across a website of one-of-a-kind dolls. It was definitely a God thing. I found it fascinating how artists could make dolls look so lifelike. With my colored pencil artwork, realism had always been the goal.

I purchased a few bars of clay and some tools that very afternoon. As soon as they arrived, I got started. My first dolls looked more like ugly little old men or aliens than the pictures of babies I was using for reference. The phrase “a face only a mother could love” comes to mind. Unattractive is putting it mildly.

Sculpting is not easy, and I quickly found out creating a realistic baby doll is downright tricky. Jack Johnston—a man I’m lucky enough to call a mentor—told me once that on a scale of one to ten of difficulty, a baby doll is a ten. I can’t argue. So, how did I move from sculpting ugly old men to realistic baby dolls? Unfortunately, there is no magical combination to create the beautiful doll of your dreams. Expect hard work and practice. Lots and lots of practice. Even though this journey was not my plan, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m able to create collectable dolls enjoyed by the very young to the very old. I’ve made friends all over the world. Clearly, fate knew best.

Click below for a closer look of Paradise Galleries dolls designed by Jen Printy!

#jenprintyoriginaldolls #dolldesign #realisticbabydolls  #dollaboutyou

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The Art of Reborning, by Kristina Backoefer

Nov 14, 2016 / BY Emily

christina_8Today we welcomed our first reborn baby doll into our nursery. Click here to see her! And we are thrilled to have this guest blog article written by her artist. We hope you enjoy reading about her unique craft of reborning!

By Kristina Backoefer, Professional Reborn Artist at Twinkle Toes NurseryInstagram: rebornartkristinab

My love for dolls started when I was a little girl, I had two very special Lee Middleton Dolls. One day I came across a reborn doll, its realistic look just amazed me. Eventually I purchased a reborn doll for myself. Shortly thereafter that I was inspired to try and reborn a baby doll myself. I never imagined that what I thought was going to be a hobby turned into a career. I have been making reborn dolls for five years now and I have just finished my 196th reborn baby doll! My reborning business keeps growing and I keep imagining new ideas for each baby doll. I love creating and making people happy with my creations. Whenever I see someone open a reborn I created, their smile is priceless to me.

Each new doll starts with my imagination; what should each one will look like, what should the theme of outfits be? The ideas that swirl in my head when I am getting started are endless and every reborn is from my heart with love. I am very particular about the details and spend a great deal of time looking for just the right sculpts, I like to find them with a lot of creases in the skin. The perfect soft body is essential, the proportions have to be perfect. Some of the early kits with older sculpts, don’t have as many details in the sculpt itself or their limbs are not proportionate to the head. There have been times when I have switched out limbs and heads to make a better match. In the end, all my babies are created with love and must pass my high standards as a “dream reborn baby”.

The first step in working on a new baby is “bathing the baby”, which is actually cleaning the vinyl before getting started. Once we have the perfect “canvas” painting is next. There are many steps to painting the layers on each baby. I start with veining, neutralizing, warmth, blush, blue depths and many more which I refer to as my “secret recipe”. I love to help others whenever I can with any painting tips, but I do go so far to give out my secret recipe. Simply, every artist has their own technique for painting which is what makes baby reborn baby a one-of-a-kind.

I have a fairly consistent style of painting now so it is difficult when the customer with a custom order wants the baby’s mottling or blushing to be a certain way. I prefer to be creative with freestyle of painting, so I try to balance out my projects having at least one ‘freestyle’ baby between my custom reborn babies. The freestyle babies give me the freedom to express my creativity naturally while custom order babies push me out of my comfort zone to try new things. I am always working on mastering new skills. Here’s a list of my favorite supplies:

  1. Heat Set Paints, for a carefully shaded nose
  2. Genesis Heat Set Painted Hair or rooted hair using premium mohair by Delta Dawn. When their hair is rooted by hand it is sealed on the inside to allow their new mommy to gently comb and style it.
  3. German Lauscher Human Glass eyes are just beautiful when creating an open-eyed baby.
  4. To fill and weight each baby’s body I use enclosed Premium Glass Beads and Hypo-allergenic Poly Fill, it makes them so cute and great to cuddle.
  5. Limbs are also filled with Premium Glass Beads and topped off with the Hypo-allergenic Poly Fill.
  6. Just like a real newborn baby you will need to support their head while holding.
  7. Occasionally strong magnets are used in the babies for hair bows or pacifiers. In this case people with pacemakers should not be around them.
  8. Reborn babies are for collectors and not recommended for children under 14.

A great deal of creativity, hard work, love and dedication is put into each one-of-a-kind reborn baby doll. The reborn community of artists, techniques and styles is always evolving. New collectors and doll enthusiasts are always amazed at the artistry of it all. I am thrilled to be a part of this community and to have found something I truly love doing. It brings me joy to see how my art brings happiness to others.

#reborndolls #reborning #realisticbabydolls #twinkletoesnursery #dollaboutyou

Summer Solstice is June 20: Time for Summer Fun!

Jun 8, 2016 / BY Emily

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The first day of summer is almost here! Monday, June 20 marks Summer Solstice. School is out, the sun is shining, and your kids are ready to play! Need help keeping them (and you!) entertained? Read this great list of 101 fun things to do to keep your kids entertained during the summer. 

Here at Paradise Galleries, our beloved Yummy in My Tummy doll is ready for the season! Here she is wearing one of her 4 themed outfits.

yummytummysun

This Summer outfit features a bid with a sunshine appliqué, a pink wide brim hat with scalloped lace trim and a swirled lollipop! Check out her other looks here.

We hope this summer is fun, memorable, and safe for everyone. Be sure to apply, and re-apply, sunscreen all day long. And always keep a close eye on kids when they are near the water. Let us know how you are spending your summer days in the Comments below! #summer2016 #paradisegalleries #summerfun #yummyinmytummy