Q&A With World-renowned Reborn Artist Ping Lau
We are so thrilled to share with you our interesting discussion with one of our well-loved artists in the reborn community, Ping Lau. She's the artist behind some of our bestsellers like our Asian Dolls Baby Mei, Bamboo, and K-Pop Girl, and new arrivals like our Lil' Rascal, Fabulous Like Mommy, and Lucky Ducky! It has been an amazing journey of 18 years with Ping to continually bring beautiful dolls to many homes all over the world that we know you will absolutely love!
Discover how she got into sculpting, one fun fact that you may not know about her, and her favorite PG doll! Ping also shared her checklist on how you can avoid online shopping scams and counterfeit dolls across the internet.
How did you get into sculpting?
I have enjoyed drawing and painting all my life and worked as an illustrator for magazines and children’s books but realised that sculpting dolls was loads of fun and what’s more, there is a market for it! I started with fantasy figures but collectors love child and baby dolls. So, I tried my hand at sculpting realistic dolls and found that it was something I really enjoyed.
Tell us one fun fact about you that you'd love to share with us!
I LOVE sculpting pudgy babies – fat rolls are delightful, haha!
What inspires you to create beautiful dolls?
Beautiful real children! I can’t create anything from imagination as beautiful as what nature creates. My favourites are commissioned dolls using photos of real children.
Tell us about the very first reborn doll that you sculpted.
My first dolls were blunders and it took many tries and much wasted clay before I created something I could live with. So, my first doll is probably now a bit of mangled clay that rests in some landfill!
What makes a PG doll special?
I think PG allows their dolls to reflect the artists behind them. Although PG comes up with the concept, the artist is given enough leeway to express themselves and sculpt what they are best at.
Among all the PG dolls that you've sculpted, which one is your most favorite and why?
That would be Baby Mei as she was my ‘firstborn’ as it were, and I was given total freedom to create this doll from start to finish, costuming and all.
Ping Lau with one of her new sculpts for PG.
Ping paints hair on the sculpt of Baby Mei.
You are such an inspiration to many! For artists starting their journey in sculpting, what advice can you give to them?
You must enjoy what you do. If you are not having fun, then find something else that you enjoy. You have to be able to stick to it and give it your all, probably for years before you reach a level of professionalism that would gain recognition and you cannot do that without absolutely enjoying your work.
The number of deceptive sellers and sites stealing artists’ photos and imitating doll sculpts on the internet have quickly grown over a short period of time, what advise can you give to all the reborn collectors to avoid such widespread fraud?
Many people have lost their livelihoods in these difficult times and are desperate to support their families resulting in many scams that have sprung up recently. HOWEVER, no one wants to fall victim to a scam and lose their own money, or receive a product that may not conform to health and safety standards. Here are a few tips to avoid scam doll sales:
• Contact the seller to see if they have a valid email address or phone number. Ask them for “safety photos” - photos of the actual doll they are selling. Ask them what the return/refund policy is. The seller should be willing to communicate with you and answer your questions. If your email bounces back or you do not receive a reply, do not buy.
• Make payment through PayPal or credit card and you should be protected BUT read carefully before you order. You can open a dispute if you do not receive an item as expected. Be careful of disclaimers that may make your dispute invalid if you do not receive the item shown.
• Buy only from recognised brand dealers such as PG. If you are new to the doll business, ask around on social media and most likely, you can be directed to legitimate retailers. Be wary of counterfeits offered by sellers, usually on online e-commerce platforms that are not very vigilant about fraudsters.
• If the doll or doll kit bears the name of an artist, you can check with the artist if you are in doubt.
• Many scam sites use stolen photographs so read the description carefully. If it says, “Doll may not be exactly as pictured”, do not buy.
• Be mindful of the adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it isn’t true”. Photos of realistic, beautifully made dolls or even of real babies being offered at very low prices are most likely fraudulent.
A short message to all your PG fans during this unprecedented time.
This is a surreal episode in history that we are going through and naturally, many of us are stressed to put it mildly. Family, friends, pets and yes, dolls can help us stay calm and comfort us. I hope to be able to do my part with my dolls to bring some comfort to children and adult collectors at this time. Please take care of yourselves and each other and much love to everyone!
Fabulous Like Mommy
Rainbow Blessings: Hope