How much does a faceup cost?
Please see the Price & Service List on this site for a complete listing of available services with pricing. Cost depends on service.
When are you open?
I open bi-monthly. You can find the next open date right in the menu on this site as well as on the front page.
Do you offer tattoos?
Yes! What I can/will do depends on the area, size, and type of request. All designs will be original (I won’t simply transfer or copy a design). As always, design work is available in addition to a faceup request. Also note: I’m not a script specialist, so I can do simple script work in a couple styles, but it’s not my area of expertise.
Can I just DM or email you a request without using the form?
No. I have to do a lot of paperwork to ensure the best service for everyone (also taxes), and having a standardized form helps me do this.
How many years have you been painting BJD?
Overall, I started painting these dolls in 2008 (some of those dolls are still around in pristine condition and it’s so cool, if a bit embarrassing, to see early efforts haha!), but I’ve been working on them professionally since 2017.
Can you color match?Most of the time, yes. Going lighter is trickier, and there can always be some small difference due to different resin types and how they take the color. Please keep in mind that all resin matched dolls are somewhat more fragile due to the added layer (more layers = more fragile as the sealant becomes thick and brittle). I do what I can to control this, but it’s something to be aware of.
What can I expect in the 50% preview? Why do you send one preview at 50%? Can I get more photos as you work?
To provide the best service I can, I try to avoid interruptions to my workflow. This includes unnecessary check-ins that can shake both the client’s confidence and my own (since the client can’t see my thought and work process, and interrupting my work compromises my focus). I’ve tried various ways of doing this, 75% progress, 25%, even a photo right before gloss. 50% is what works best for me over-all. It shows enough shapes and colors to provide a general idea, but it’s early enough in the process that I can change some things without totally ruining the balance of the face.
What is a regular?
Regular clients are those who return to me routinely, wether it’s one order annually or several. These clients are every artist’s ‘bread and butter’ and becoming a regular is the best way to ensure that an artist can learn your preferences and offer you the best service over time.
Are there any companies/sculptors you especially like working on?
Yes! Some of my favorites: Dollshe, Iplehouse, LLT, dust of dolls, lillycat, twigling, merrydollround, magicmirror, oasisdoll, rainman/elfdoll, rosengarden, Volks, soom, switch.
What should I do if a faceup is damaged on arrival? First, if there’s any exterior damage to the package, take a photo! then take lots of photos once you open the doll. We’ll need them to deal with insurance. Second, contact me right away! I’ll absolutely help you. ❤
Is there a waitlist?
No, I have an open period every two months and get to work immediately on the dolls accepted during that time.
Can you repair a faceup or blushing by another artist?
Probably not, and I turn down such requests as a rule. I usually have no way of knowing what the other artist used, it’s hard to do quality control in these cases, and, as always, my time is really limited, sorry!
Can I just get a manicure or mod?
No, but you’re welcome to add extra services with a faceup request.
What’s your guarantee?I guarantee the quality of my work and service. This does not mean you can take your doll mountain climbing and expect a free repair if you drop it, haha! But I want you to be able to enjoy your doll for years to come, and I’ll always do everything I can to ensure that’s possible.
Can you repaint my barbie/monster high/etc? Not at this time, though I think repaints are cool!
Will you paint a modded doll? Yes! Please send a photo of the mod with your request so that I can see if finishing and matching work will be necessary.
Can you retouch/repair your own older work? I’m happy to do this, but wether or not it’s possible will depend on the damage. Take a clear photo and let me know what happened (was the doll dropped? did you touch it too often with bare hands and wear off the finish? Is it stained or marked? Did it suffer heat or freezing damage?) and I’ll assess your particular situation.
Can you teach me to do a faceup?
The way I work isn’t really tutorial-friendly. I do make little painting reels on instagram, so hopefully that’s helpful. Please do visit the materials, maintenance, and safety page for good foundational info!
What’s the difference between artist’s soft pastels and hard pastels or hobby pastels?
Artist-grade soft pastels are the most pigment-rich painting medium in existence. They’re made of permanent pigments and proprietary binders and are usually hand-rolled for creamy delicate softness. Hard pastels (like nupastel) contain waxes, etc that make them great for laying down clean lines but less great for doll painting. Hobby pastels (like the popular and very fun mungo squares or the blue Rembrandt box) are typically full of fugitive pigments and excess binder to lower costs. Machine-pressed pastels like the artist-line from Talens/Rembrandt have a hard coating that has to be sanded off (they’re fine but a bit more work and won’t give you the pure creamy magic of Schminke or Terry Ludwig or Sennelier, etc). Check out Dakota Pastels for a very reliable hardness rating system.
What materials do you use?
Watercolor and pastel. There’s a full list of brands on the Price & Service List page and info on the pros and cons of different media on the Materials, Maintenance, & Safety page.
Do you have a favorite sealant?
In commercial aerosols, Volks ZM is unparalleled. It’s less outright toxic environmentally than MSC and less sensitive to changes in environment both while spraying and over time (rarely crazes like MSC can). Nothing is perfect, but it’s really reliable compared to others. My absolute favorite is airbrushed sealant though, as it gives me maximum control and is actually archival and water-based, making it non-toxic and less prone to temperature damage.
What’s the best watercolor brand?
There isn’t one. Daniel Smith is my favorite, but Sennelier, Schminke, Windsor and Newton (artist line, not student) are all solid. I like Holbein’s formula, but be aware that they do have some sneaky fugitive pigments, even in their ‘artist’ line. I love their guache a lot though. Bottom line is, the big names are big for a reason in the art world, but you always need to look at pigment.
Can I do my own faceup with color pencils/marker/nail polish/makeup to save money?
NO NO NO. None of these are appropriate for resin or vinyl. Most will permanently damage the doll. Please see the Materials, Maintenance, & Safety page in my Info Pages section for appropriate materials and use (sensing a theme here? please don’t skip the fundamentals). Fair warning, it is absolutely not ‘cheaper’ to do your own Faceups than to hire a pro: art is more expensive to do than to buy. I spend a lot of time and money fixing mistakes that could have been avoided. Please be careful with your doll. ❤
What on earth is a fugitive pigment?
A fugitive pigment is an impermanent pigment. It fades over time, and it’s very unreliable, meaning you never know exactly what it’ll look like or how fast the fading will happen. Artist grade materials typically (and should always, imo) use permanent pigments with excellent lightfastness. This means that stored ideally, the pigments will last for an incredibly long time, and exposed to light will hold up quite well (still best to protect your dolls; the dye in the resin is not permanent and no sealant is 100% protection).
How do I store a bjd safely?
The absolute best method is a secure cabinet or drawer with adequate padding and distance to prevent parts/dolls from touching. Protect dolls from heat, humidity, light, and extreme cold: both resin itself and painting are sensitive to these things. Do not leave dolls in dark clothing, wigs, etc. If you store your dolls in their boxes, ensure that any painted parts are wrapped in undyed tissue or fabric to prevent staining or scuffing from foam. The biggest cause of scratching on paint is from resin painted parts rubbing against each other. If you store heads separate from bodies, get a christmas ornament box with dividers, a sock organizer, or a picnic mug organizer to store the heads in safely. The biggest cause of breakage and chipping is falls, so be sure you always have your doll secured where small parts can’t suddenly come into contact with hard surfaces.
How do I handle a painted bjd safely?
See above regarding care against falls. Make sure to color lock clothing and wigs (check with your wig maker to see if they color lock) to prevent staining. Do not touch painted areas with your bare hands; this absolutely will ‘eat’ any painted surface, and faster than you’d think, by dissolving the bonds that allow the sealant to do its job. Wear cotton gloves to touch any painted part. When you’re posing the doll, be careful not to scrape parts against each other (it’s very easy to scratch dolls this way.
What is a recast? A recast is an illegal bootleg, typically made of inferior material in order to scam unknowing buyers and undercut legitimate artisans. It’s an ongoing problem in the resin art doll world. If a price seems too good to be true on ebay/aliE/etsy, check with the legitimate community or simply avoid it. It’s probably a scam. If you think you’ve been victim to such a scam, reach out to someone who can help you verify (even the original artist) so that you can pursue appropriate resolutions. Whatever you do, don’t sell a recast or try to pass it off as something it isn’t (then you’re breaking the law as well).
Where do you get your dolls? I like BJDivas.com for a centralized, authorized dealer experience (they also have the most generous layaway around if you’re on a tight budget, as I am). My dolls are made by dollshecraft.com, iplehouse.com, art-bimong.com, sartoriaj.com, arcdoll (bjdivas is their authorized dealer), @dollslandoz on instagram, @eslyndolls on instagram. If you’re new, I recommend either doing serious research for a few months to years before taking the plunge, or sticking to very predictable buying experiences at first (iplehouse and sartoriaj are great about shipping in 3-4 months normally, for example).