Interview with Jenn Batt (Custom Dolls)
Interview by: Geek Girl Princess Nightmare
As everyone has probably figured out by now I have quite a thing for Alice, especially American McGee's Alice. I also collect dolls and am learning little bits of customization from meeting new people. I was in a doll group and encountered an amazing girl Jenn who makes custom dolls and had done a very cool Alice doll. We started talking and I thought she was fantastic! So I thought I would share her with you!
How did you get into making custom dolls?
I have been wanting to for years after seeing some really beautiful repaints but never thought I'd be able to put what was in my brain onto a vinyl 3d object. I finally said, "what the hell" and did it. Painting on vinyl is such a different process than all my other art projects that I was so nervous. I did months of research before even touching a doll. Tutorial after tutorial was read and watched. And then Maleficent was born. She was my first. And I was hooked.
Do you always use Monster High dolls as your base?
No. Im currently working with both Monster High and Ever After High dolls at the moment. I dont like other vinyl doll faces very much. I do want to work with BJD's in the future.
Do you collect dolls as well?
Haha I don't actually. I've always loved Dollfie and Pullip BJDs and have wanted to collect them, but they are so expensive. So I have been unable to. There are a few newer Monster High and Ever After High dolls I've decided to keep, but they will be rerooted and repainted. Unlike my other repaints they will stay true to the original doll, just not with factory paint or hair.
What are some of your favorite dolls you have done?
I've only done two at the moment and I love them both. Maleficent was my first and Alice I spent the most time working on. So maybe Alice more than Maleficent.
In regards to Alice can you tell us a bit about her? Who was your base doll? Did you make her dress and weapons?
Alice was my first commission. Her base was a Spectra doll from Monster High. Her dress and weapons I hand made. Her hobby lobby and vorpal blade were bith hand sculpted out of polymer clay and then painted with acrylics. I wish I could have bloodied her up a bit more but the customer didnt want that. Lol I'm planning on making on of her for myself so I can go nuts.
Are the dolls something you do as an occupation or a hobby? If it is a hobby is it what you would like to do as a full time occupation?
Occupation. I am unable to work a 'real' job due to health issues so I create art to sell to help out my fiancé who works full time.
Another doll on your site that stands out is Maleficent. Which did you like working on more Maleficent or Alice?
Oh boy, um.... Alice. Though the were both a pain in their own right. Maleficent was my first repaint and reroot and I had no clue what I was doing. I made Maleficents horns first and glued them onto her head, did the repaint and then tried doing the reroot. While rerooting I smudged her face paint and had to remove (in tears lol). Then the E6000 used to glue her horns in started coming off of the vinyl of her head because of the reroot, I was pushing too much hair into the holes and the vinyl was being pushed inward. So I finished her reroot, reglued her horns and the repainted again. Alices face was stained durning the rerooting process and I had to get acne medicine to bleach it out, which took 2 days. I also was completely finished with her paint, sealed her face and set her head down yet bumped something into her cheek smearing the sealant and underlying paint. Had to remove and repaint all over again. My current repaint is going much smoother. Lol
What else can you tell us about Maleficent?
I have always loved her as a character. When I was little I wanted to be Maleficent when I got older. Lol so I felt I had to make her, so its only right she be my first doll. I didnt want to do her exactly how she is in the Disney animated film and I refuse to see the newer film. I stayed true to her but with my own personal twist. I used an Abbey Bominal doll (whuch is such a pain, her body glitter is a pain to get off). Used 4 different color hair to reroot (raven black, hematite, ultraviolet and arctic frost). Hand sculpted her horns, dress and staff. I wanted to make a thron and Diablo to go along with her but doubted myself so she stayed the way she is.
What other dolls have you done?
Those are my only two finished dolls, but I am currently working on Miss Argentina from Beetlejuice and a mermaid.
Do you take commissions?
What is the general price range for your custom dolls?
They start at about $80 to $95 and up.
Are there any other arts you do? What are some other projects you are or have worked on?
I work a lot with polymer clay and unfinished wood boxes. I have made trinket boxes into the Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas, miniature food, theme boxes, you name it.
What is your favorite form of art to do?
I love working with my hands. Polymer clay and painting are my favorites.
Can we find you on Facebook or Etsy or anywhere else? Do you have a store?
I have a facebook page. I'm currently without a store but plan on making a store in the near future. My Facebook page is More Than Mortal
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September 14 2014