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8.30.2013

Member Spotlight: Cinnamon Willis of Melandolly

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 Cinnamon Venus Willis, from the Bronx, NY.


What kind of Art Dolls do you create?

I create dolls that are made out of air-dry clay. The majority of them are in the 15"- 24" range, but I do have a few that are smaller. I call them Melandollys because they all have a bit of sadness in their faces with exception of a small few.

What is your primary medium? 

My primary medium is air dry paper clay. I have been playing around with making Paper-mâché and soft bodied dolls, but I always go back to paper clay.


How long have you been a doll maker? 

For about 3 years.

Where did you learn to make dolls?

I did a bunch of research on youtube and then looked for doll makers on facebook to ask them questions.

Share a little about your first doll.

My first doll that I've ever made was created with Sculpey polymer clay. I made quite a few different figures and shapes with the clay and then she emerged from it all. I used heavy wires for the joints and I hot glued the hair on. It was very crude, I later had to re-attach the hair. The paint I was using at that time had a bad chemical reaction with the clay I was using, so I ended up with a sticky doll. She's a bit gummy to the touch and her clothes stick to her. I've learned quite a few things from making this doll, she was my test baby :)


How has your practice changed over time? 

I changed the clay that I was using. I started out with polymer but moved to paper clay because of it being so light weight and easy to repair when needed. I had a doll break in a gallery and I was able to repair it without hesitation. I've also started sketching out my ideas first before jumping into a doll . Previously, I would start making them without any direction and they would all end up looking the same. 

Do you have a favorite doll that you have made? 

My favorite doll that I've created has to be my Homage to Frida Kahlo. I am a big fan of her work and I've always wanted to make something come to life from her paintings. I kept the deer incomplete for a while without the arrows. It wasn't until I was scheduled for a group show that I added them on. It took the doll to a completely different level and I'm glad that I got that push.


What is the most difficult aspect in your process, and how you manage it?  

I would say costuming is the most difficult part for me. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to put on them while other times I don't. When I don't have an idea of what to do, I can't seem to narrow down my fabric choices. I want to use them all. Now I try to sketch out every aspect of a doll before creating it. This way I don't have to try and figure something out as I go.

What research do you do before you create? 

I only research when I have a particular idea that I'd like to execute and don't know where to start. I'll then look for the answer on google or find a video on youtube. When I am creating a doll, I like to find some kind of cheesy horror movie on netflix from the 80's and earlier to watch. I don't necessarily get ideas from them but they do comfort me, I guess that can be considered research too.

Where can our fans find you on line? 

http://melandolly.com 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melandolly/193606573993631
http://pinterest.com/cinnamonwillis/
http://www.youtube.com/user/cinnamonwillis?feature=mhee
https://twitter.com/Melandolly







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