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11.15.2012

Member Spotlight: Moriah Betterly of MBL Studios

Welcome to Art Dolls Only's Member SPOTLIGHT! ADO shares an article focusing on it's members on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th of each month! (February's 30th installment will share on the 28th)

Today's member spotlight is Moriah Betterly of MLB Studios.  Moriah is from Dunedin, Florida.

What kind of Art Dolls do you create? I think most of my dolls would fall under folk art.
What is your primary medium? I work mainly in Creative Paperclay or other air dry clays but I also
use ceramic and polymer clays occasionally.


How long have you been a doll maker? I started making dolls in 2006.

How did you get your start in doll making? I stumbled upon an eBay listing of a doll made by Jodi and
Richard Creager and was amazed. I thought, I wanna learn how to do THAT! I have a long way to go
to reach Creager level sculpting, but I'm loving the journey.

Where did you learn to make dolls? I am self taught.

Share a little about your first doll. I don't know if you can even call it a doll. It's more like a sculpture.
I spent 8 hours on just the head alone. I was determined to keep working at it until it looked like a
human instead of an alien. :0) You can see just how green I was then.
That is a SOLID polymer sculpt! No armature, no batting, pure, thick, heavy polymer. GOOD GRIEF!
I also just love how his clothes are plastered to his body instead of hanging like they would in real life.
I made two dolls solid like this until I watched some video on Youtube about armatures. Duh


Do you have a favorite doll that you have made? It changes all the time. My current favorite doll is
this little vintage looking clown doll.

What are your favorite materials to create with? Paperclay and vintage trims

Where does your inspiration come from? Sometimes from drawings or paintings, sometimes from my
imagination, sometimes from post cards, sometimes from prompts or challenges in doll groups. I think
inspiration is everywhere, really.

What is your favorite supply to work with? Creative Paperclay and my hands.

What is your favorite technique? I love to crackle doll faces.

What is the most difficult aspect in your process, (anatomy/costuming/doing the bloody hair) and how
you manage it? Costuming is still the most challenging part of dollmaking for me. I have zero sewing
experience and have had to read books and scour the internet to learn how to do it. I still consider
myself a novice in this area but I'm getting better.

What does your work area look like? This is what it looks like when it's clean which is like never....
Do have any doll artists that inspire you? Jodi and Richard Creager


What advice would you give new doll artists? Don't give up when you get frustrated. Power through.
Also, to find your own style, learn from your own mistakes and avoid spending too much time looking
at other doll artists' work. It can really hamper finding your own style.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given? That costuming dolls is not like sewing clothing
for yourself. There are so many tricks to the trade and it doesn't have to be as difficult as I was trying
to make it.

Do you have any tips on marketing art dolls? Social Media is your best friend. However, you have to
find balance. You don't want to spend more time marketing than creating and you don't want to spam
people to death either. So you have to have balance. Personal stuff and marketing are key.
What is your favorite venue to share your work? These days it seems to be Facebook
(http://www.facebook.com/mlbstudios) but it used to be my blog (http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com) .
What research do you do before you create? Very little actually. I don't even sketch ideas first. I just
kind of jump in feet first. However, that is changing. The next big project I have planned will require
some research for me to get the look I am wanting.

What is your dream project? I'm preparing it now so I don't want to give anything away on it until it's
finished.

What are you currently working on? I'm currently working on a Steampunk Gentleman bust that I
started 2 years ago! It sat around my studio as just a head for all that time and is finally getting life
breathed into it like it deserves.

Where can our fans find you on line?
Website: http://www.mlbstudios.com
Blog: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mlbstudios
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlbstudios

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