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Member Spotlight: Kimberly Yavuz

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 Kimberly Yavuz of Griffinwyse.  Kimberly is from Seattle, Washington.  Her work is wonderful, check it out!

·        What kind of Art Dolls do you create?

I make one of a kind polymer clay elves, magical creatures, witches and wizards. Originally I made only stationary figures but I have expanded into jointed dolls.  I find artistic benefits in both forms and I like the variety.

·        How has your practice change over time?

I think the most important change I made was simply a mental one.  When I started doing this full-time I had my marketing hat on even while I created to some degree.  I was concerned with what people would like and buy and I made more “safe” choices.  Once I simply made a sculpture I enjoyed and was excited about without concern for sales, the life really starting coming into my work in a new way and those pieces sold quickly. My motto is “Only make what you would buy.”

·        Where does your inspiration come from? 

My inspiration comes from books primarily because they allow your imagination to run wild.  We are avid readers in my house and my daughters and I love fantasy books.  I draw on everything from classic Alice in Wonderland to more current works like Harry Potter. I also take time to explore galleries, local stores and theater because you never know what might spark a new idea.

·        Do you have any doll artists that inspire you?
  I have to say Dennis Brown first.  He is a successful local artist whom I have admired for years.  He was the first person I showed my work to outside of family and friends and he has been kind enough to be a mentor to me.  His encouragement and advice have been invaluable.

  Artistically, Gail Lackey was a big inspiration.  I remember finding her work online and being struck by how beautiful and haunting it was.  Jack Johnson is also amazing and I admire his desire to grow the art form and share his knowledge with others.  I feel like I am just scratching the surface and I find more and more gifted artists every day.

        What are you currently working on?

I have been making more jointed art dolls.  My most recent piece was a bride who really inspired me to keep going in that direction.  I was a wedding gown designer many years ago and getting my hands on the lace and tulle reignited that flame.

        What research do you do before you create?

That depends on the piece I am working on but I generally tend to collect many photos including fashions of a certain era and settings that will help set the mood for each character.  Some pieces require specific research such as finding what composers were famous during a certain period to include an appropriate portrait in the background of a piece.  I also do a great deal of research in folklore and tales from all over the world to create magical creatures like imps, fairies, goblins and my elves.  

·        What art do you most identify with?

I have always loved old movies, especially stories set in old houses with mysterious people or old ghost stories.  There always seems to be some dark romantic element to them.  In art I tend to be drawn to things that have some of those elements, a sense of mystery or tinges of the odd and magical.  I enjoy dark characters but they have not really shown up in my own work significantly.  I tend to stop when a character has a devilish glint in their eye or looks like they may be up to something, but they are not truly dark.  It will be interesting to see if that ever evolves.

·        Do you have a favorite doll that you have made?

I made a little elf I dubbed “Ivor”.  He was actually the second piece I made when I officially started Griffinwyse full-time.  He is a little old gentleman who embodied everything I thought a polar elf should be. Once he was finished I could not bring myself to part with him.  He became the face of Griffinwyse and appears on all of my advertising.

·        What is your dream project?

I love stop-motion animation, Tim Burton’s movies in particular.  The fine detail and mechanics involved with the dolls fascinates me.  It really brings a doll to life in the finest way.  That would definitely be a dream project for me.

·        Where can our fans find you on line?

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