Creative Process and Shadowlands Collection

I’ve had the privilege to get one of the most interesting projects of my life, collection of dolls based on science fiction stories by Dyan Bender. The story is of a desert planet, a distant trading post between civilizations, a melting post of cultures and genes. The crew consists of creatures evolved from humans, an odd group of misfit heroes from varying backgrounds. I love going beyond mere pretty and creating dolls that are wild, have personality, tell a story. That is why this collection is such a dream come true. Dyan’s stories weave a rich tapestry of an alien world in turmoil, echoing with old Earth cultures and branching out into new paths of evolution.

For inspiration, Dyan sent me series of scattered stories that describe the characters, their personality, other’s impressions of them, and their capabilities. I find that for me this opens a deep well of inspiration to draw from. Character design has always been one of my favourite things, from childhood drawings of Tolkien heroes, teenage role play characters, theater costuming and finally dolls. Every time I paint a doll I tell a story that brings it to life. It’s part of process.

For inspiration and creativity, there is nothing more limiting than someone coming up with a premade sketch – or asking me to make one and stick to it. Conscious design process renders mediocre and boring results at best, and regurgitates used up ideas most times. I do sketch, but always filling a page with myriad ideas for the same concept.  When designing a garment, I select materials, create a colour palette, then tune out my brain with an audiobook and let my hands do their part. Often I start with a square piece of cloth that I fit, drape, rouch and hand stitch directly on the doll. It is sculpting fabric rather than sewing.

However, I’ve always admired impeccable tailoring. Alexander McQueen was my idol in this and inspired by the exquisite costuming in the show Game of Thrones I wanted to give this collection a highly tailored and stiffly structured look. Especially since the first character was wearing leather armour. Hence, I need to break my comfort zone, sketch, create patterns and challenge myself.

I do love a challenge.

 

Rahal – The Wanderer

The first character in the collection is Rahal, a member of a race that calls themselves the Wanderers, the other species typically call them Natives. They are genetically closely linked to a big feline species called the Helkin. They have a tribal culture and few of them venture from the high desert regions, and when they are in high demand by the caravans. They are one of the few races that can sense the extra dimensional doorways commonly called Shadows. This makes her very effective guarding travelers from hunting predictors.

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She has sharp little fangs, partially retractile claws on both hands and feet and faint spotting pattern along her flanks. Her eyes are dark with reflective retina like cats and surrounded by pigmentation spots. She bleached her long hair white, but has now let it grow to reveal her natural raven roots (hard cap wig custom made for her with angora wool). She wears an armour of Sand Dragon skin (vintage snake skin) lined with dark brown silk, and carries a serrated blade made out of the fang of the same beast (hand carved from two-component-epoxy putty).

The doll is a Busty Inamorata Nubia in Coffee skintone.

 

Fyre – The Highborn

The second character in the collection is Fyre, whose secret name is Ardala. She is the adopted daughter of a wealthy Healer and direct descendant of the last ruler of what is often called the Great City.

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She is a Highborn, a race the developed from Human close intermarriage of the ruling families. Thru centuries of narrowed bloodlines a race of physically beautiful and mentally gifted people consolidated power. Marked physically by extremely pale pearlescent skin and blazing red hair with oddly metallic quality. Highborn are marked by a drive to acquire power and are gifted with something other races call Charisma.

Ardala is young, she has gained her full height but is still not filled out completely. She has been able to pass as a boy for years. Her eyes are blue, the warm blue of shallow seas, and bright with curiosity and good humor. Although wealthy now for many years she and her mother moved often and she has learned to easily adapt to new locations…she enjoys learning about new people, customs and cultures. She is gentle, and her gentle nature shows in her expression. She completely lacks the imperious and commanding nature that typically marks Highborn, but she is just starting to understand that she has personal power, she is starting to learn that she can command the attention of others.

She wears her silk finery, wide pants of teal silk that were left a bit short in the ankles in her last growth spurt; silk slippers encrusted with brass sequins; a silk chiffon vest draping over her young shoulders with fine brass chains; a bra heavily embellished with tiger eye gems, brass and gold, forming hawk motives that symbolize and foreshadow her soaring potential. Her hips, neck and intricately braided hair are adorned with gold chains.

The doll is a Andro Inamorata Nnaji in Milk skintone.

 

More to come…

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IN STOCK: NEW INAMORATA JUST ARRIVED!

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I’m so excited to see the new sculpts I worked on for half a year finally in resin. Five head sculpts (Charo, Nnaji, Valerie, Midori and Nubia, and five skintones (Milk, Latte, Caramel, Chocolate and Coffee) are now in stock as blank dolls (800usd) or as bespoken OOAKs (starting at 1100usd). There are also two bust sizes to choose from: Busty and Andro.

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Email me for orders: emiliacouture@gmail.com

More photos at Flickr:

Inamorata Dolls
Inamorata Dolls

 

SOLD: Iris – Dressed Inamorata OOAK

Iris is a Coffee skin tone Busty Nnaji with a brass ring piercings laced in blue ribbon on her back. She comes with a OOAK hard cap mohawk wig by PattaArt, and a set of blue lace lingerie and jewellery handmade by emiliacouture. Her eyeshadow is pearlescent purple and lips glossy blueberry.

Price: 1500usd SOLD

Inquiries by email: emiliacouture@gmail.com

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More pictures at Flickr:

Inamorata Iris - dressed OOAK

 

Inamorata Resin & New Caramel Skin

I’ve been asked a lot about the luminescent quality of the resin I use for my dolls and the secret is in its translucency. Human skin is not opaque and if we stand against direct sunlight the thin parts of our bodies, like ears, light up. I wanted to give my dolls the same quality and after a long search I did find a superb polyurethane resin that grants this effect. It’s also stronger than regular resin so tiny parts, like separately sculpted fingers, don’t break as easily as in opaque old school resins.

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Upon request I have made a new skin tone: Caramel, available for the new Inamorata 2.0 patch. Caramel is a warm dark tan and picture (see below) in the left. On the right there is Latte, that is rather pale tan and the hands holding the resin samples are the pinkish, almost paper white, Milk.

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That means there are 5 skin tones now available for preorder: Milk, Latte, Caramel, Chocolate and Coffee. Inamorata dolls almo come in 5 different head sculpts and 2 bust sizes.

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THREE NEW INAMORATA HEADS

I am proud to present three new head types for Inamorata dolls! Midori was inspired by the beautiful women I saw in my travels around Taiwan and Japan. I absolutely love the rebooted Nnaji 2.0 but I feel she lost some of her ethnicity with the narrower nose, so her new sister Nubia is here to bring back the feeling of the original Nnaji sculpt from 2012. Last but not the least, as I have been working on her for years, is Valerie, a new softer Caucasian sculpt to compliment the most popular of Inamorata sculpts; the Latina vibe Charo.

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The new heads are available now for preorder patch either as blank dolls or commissioned OOAKs. Please read more about the order here.

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Hand Sculpting

People often ask me why I don’t use 3D imaging in my work. I love sculpting by hand and feel more connected to the finished work this way. Also, I believe in keeping the old traditions alive. Too many beautiful crafts are dying in the world and while visiting museums in Taiwan I have become even more acute aware of this. This is why I make my dolls completely by hand.

Instead, I use hard wax to make the first drafts, make a silicone mold and home cast them in resin to continue refining the sculpt. These heads are in the resin stage of sanding the surface and endless tweaking of facial features. For this I use a 2-component epoxy putty to add mass to the resin. The brand I use; Magic Sculpt, gives about an hour to work with the soft, wax like, form of the putty, before it hardens and can be carved, sanded and painted. I paint the models grey to see imperfections of the skin more easily and finally use a surfacing agent like Mr.Surfacer 1000 to give the model a nice matted skin like texture.

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FOR SALE: BLANK DOLLS & OOAK COMMISIONS

The new Inamorata sculpts are now unveiled and all five Inamorata 2.0 sculpts are available for preorder now. I will unveil the resin head samples of the new head sculpts for painting testing soonand the production will take place in June.

The price for blank dolls is 800usd and there is a 50% deposit to order and the rest is due with shipping costs when the dolls are at hand. The production slot is in June, but it’s safe to allow 3 months production period as the workshop that does my dolls is a very small family business. I love to support small entrepreneurs who take pride in the quality of their work.

So create your own perfect Inamorata doll with 8 hands and a stand from the 5 head sculpts, 2 bust sizes and 5 different skin tone options. Note that there is also a new feet sculpt with separated toes.

OPTIONS:

The head sculpts available for order are Nnaji 2.0 and Charo, as well as three new head sculpts: Nubia, Midori and Valerie. You can read more about the new head sculpts and the process here. The two chest plate options are Andro and Busty.  The skin tone options are Milk, Latte, Chocolate and Coffee. As requested I have added a new skin tone Caramel, a warm tan.

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Please email me (emiliacouture@gmail.com) to preorder and include the information below:

  • Blank (800usd) or fully painted OOAK doll (1100usd)
  • The dolls head sculpt, skin tone and bust size.
  • Your full name, address, phonenumber and PayPal ID

The deposit is 50% and the production is on it’s way.

Thank you for your patronage!