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 Shauna Henry. Shauna is from Jenks, Oklahoma.
What kind of Art Dolls do you create?
How did you get your start in doll making?I started making dolls in 2010. I had been out of work for about 6 months, and was going out of my mind with boredom. I was in Michaels and came across the Spring 2010 Art Doll Quarterly that had a collaborative doll by Sheri DeBow and Jenny Alcantara on the cover. I love all things dark and gothic and was fascinated by the artistry I saw in that issue. In that same issue was a feature on Gritty Jane’s Cloth and Clay doll group. I signed up for her workshop and started making dolls that week.
Share a little about your first doll.
My first doll was made from cloth with a Paperclay overlay using Jane’s workshop. I made the body and sculpted the face as she taught, but decided to add my own flair making a different outfit and instead of sculpting hair, I added thatcurly plastic hair from Michaels. (Which I would not recommend using! It’s messy and is starting to fall off now, at the time I had no idea what type of glue to use!)
Do you have a favorite doll that you have made?
I tend to love the doll I’m working on best, but if I had to choose it would be my unicorn doll. I made her in response to a challenge to make a character from a book. I chose the Last Unicorn, and made her “mid transition” from unicorn to human. I had a hard time sculpting hooves, so I finally went to the hardware store – which is one of my favorite places to find materials! – And found some brass nuts. They were perfect for hooves!
Where does your inspiration come from?Everywhere. I keep a journal that is full of photos cut from magazines, or printed from the web. I’ll browse through it when I’m stuck for an idea and always find something that helps me figure out where to go. In the spring and summer I like to sit under my favorite group of trees and color mandalas to clear my head and let my thoughts drift. More often than not several ideas will come to me after a mandala coloring meditation session.
What is the most difficult aspect in your process, and how you manage it?Costuming. I am not the most skilled sewer, but I work around that issue by not using raw fabric unless it’s absolutely necessary (although you wouldn't think that given my fabric stash!). I love going to thrift stores and flea markets to find vintage clothing to cut up and use. The edges are already finished and it makes less work for me! Baby clothes are the best, especially if you are looking for prints, since the scale is already small.
What does your work area look like?I use a spare bedroom as my workspace. When I was trying to figure out furniture for it, I came across the website Ikea Hackers and found so many ideas. Ikea sells table tops, so I bought some of those and Expedit shelving units, put them together (at least my husband did!) and have a custom workspace that fits my needs perfectly – plus there is room for my husband to work as well.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?I wasn’t given this advice, but I did read it on an Etsy thread. “Do the work, stay out of the results. Work to please yourself and maybe the rest will come, maybe not. If you work just to sell, you kill the spirit.” I printed out this post and still read it from time to time when I’m feeling out of sorts with my work.
What is your dream project?I would love to collaborate with my husband on a short film that would bring my creations to life. As for the big, fantastical, probably (but you never know!) going to happen dream, I would love to work with Brian and Wendy Froud, or Tim Burton as they are huge inspirations. I would also like to create a crazy big doll. There are these towers I pass by every day that look like dresses to me. I have this insane urge to make a giant head and pair of arms to put on them.
Where can our fans find you on line?Blog: shaunahenryart.blogspot.com