Dear New Reborner,
Welcome to the wonderful world of reborn dolls! I'm glad you decided to take the leap to create your very first reborn doll.
You made it through ordering ALL of your supplies (who knew one would need so much to create a doll...right??) and now you are ready to prepare your vinyl, start mixing up paint colors and get to work.
Hold onto your horses because you are in for a WILD ride!
Oh and have a box of Kleenex close by, you are going to need them, because you WILL cry!
I want to share with you some of the things I have learned over the past 10+ years. The first thing I want to tell you is that you are NORMAL!
I began looking at reborn dolls in late 2002. I read EVERYTHING I could about them...looked up EVERY term that was used and evaluated EVERY product that was being used to create them. I did this for more than TWO years before I even had a notion to reborn a doll. It never occurred to me that I could make my own doll until one day in 2005 when the idea just came into my head.
Having done all that studying really helped me when it was time to order supplies, but with limited funds, I opted for some lower priced items. This was big mistake and I ended up with a lot of poor quality items being unused. Right away I learned to spend a good dollar from the start and don't try to get by with the "cheaper" version.
Having done all that studying really helped me when I began painting my doll. But even with that, I still stripped the paint off that first doll THREE times before I was happy with the paint. I have been a cake decorator my entire adult life. I know things about design and colors and application. Even with that, I still struggled. It was a new thing for me.
Learning something new just takes time. It takes patience. One must learn the characteristics of the paint she is using, no matter which paint it is. In the beginning, I used Scuola Oil Paints. These were paints that smelled a bit and took what seemed like forever to cure. But I learned them.
A while later, in late 2006, I switched to the "new" paint, Genesis Heat Set Paints. Guess what? I stripped my first Genesis baby twice before I learned the characteristics of those paints.
In 2008, there was another new paint that I tried; Little Dreams Collection Air Dry Paints (LDC). Again, I had to learn the characteristics of these paints but thankfully, by now, I was a "veteran" (LOL) and took things real slow and easy and did not have to strip my first LDC doll. But I was reserved and didn't put a lot of color on those first few dolls either.
I can tell you that I cried. I've been reborning dolls for more than 7 years now and I STILL cry! Sometimes we are tired. Sometimes other things are going on in our lives that distract us from the task at hand. Sometimes products just aren't working right for us at that moment. Sometimes the rooting is just taking much longer than ever anticipated. Sometimes things break, or melt or...even worse, WE break.
I am here to reassure you that all these things are NORMAL. And I want to give you one big word of advice. When things are not going well...when you are tired...when you have been sitting there for hours trying to figure out a solution to a problem (problems are imminent no matter how long you have been reborning!), you are stressed to the max and you are your wits end....
STEP AWAY FROM THE DOLL KIT AND NO-ONE GETS HURT!
You can't rush art. My husband re-assures me of that all the time. (He is a good man...I think I will keep him.) Your doll does not have to be finished right now, today or even tomorrow. Let that doll have it's own space and time. Take a break. Watch a favorite TV program. Take a walk. Listen to music. Say a prayer. Call a friend. Call your mom...you are going to need her though this process!
Please dear reborner. Be kind to yourself. Don't worry...this doll will get reborned, eventually and in it's own time. Just think of all the valuable things you are learning as you error. Errors and mistakes are not horrible things...they are great learning platforms and you will remember and be ready to prevent them the next time.
I have said this so many time to so many people...even myself:
Breathe, just Breathe
Down the road, with much time, patience and practice you will no longer be called a "reborner".
You will be called a Reborn Artist!
Congratulations, you are on your way!