Posted by: dollpaparazzi | August 29, 2011

Customizer Spotlite: onegreyelephant

Your name: onegreyelephant
Your Legal Name: Loren Morris
Your Website:

How did you get involved in Super Dollfies and customizing them?
I first saw them when friends I knew started posting pictures on livejournal.

What do you do best?
I guess you could say gore is my speciality….gore, disease, infection etc etc.

What Inspires You?
Horror movies, medical shows and natural textures (tree bark, rust, fungal growths). Also my brother’s bedroom….he keeps an intensive historical record of unwashed dishes and cultivates some amazing mould growth…

What do you want people to think when they look at your Customizations?
I want them to look and cringe…yet at the same time be curiously compelled to squeeze it…rather like a huge pimple. Disgusting yet fascinating.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
Fortune and glory! Obviously.

What sorts of things do you enjoy the most about your designs/customizations?The freedom to experiment. I love getting requests that start with something like—“you’ll probably say this is impossible but….” and then working out how it can be done.

Other than yourself, who are your favorite doll customizers?
Ohh– too many to list! Most are on my Deviant art or LJ friends lists though.

What’s the Best thing about customizing your own dolls?
Endless fun and endless possibility!

What’s the most difficult thing about doing customizations (your mods, face-ups, tats, etc) and altering them?Knowing when to stop! Heh, I tend to have too much fun and can get carried away in gorifying the doll.

What type of dolls do you enjoy customizing (male/female/brands)?
I have no preference in terms of gender, but certainly in terms of resin quality- I love working on fairyland and customhouse resin.

What is your favorite style to create?
Horror of course!

Who would you love to collaborate with?
Pretty much any of the artists I follow on Deviant Art I’d love to collaborate with! But I’ve recently discovered TheMushroomPeddler and her creations– I think it would be great to do a collab with her.

Why choose doll customizing as a form of Self Expression?
I guess because it’s so variable- it can involve painting, sculpting, sketching, experiment, burning, sanding, sawing. Whatever mood I’m in- I can always find a way to express it on a doll.

How long does it take from start to finish on a typical doll to create and complete?
If I’m working on it fulltime —a long weekend maybe.

How do you like to work best with a custom order for a client? With total freedom to create your vision, or do you like some feedback/interchange with a client who might have an idea or theme they would like to see realized?
Both have good points. On your own there is really no limit to the creative design, but collaborating with a client gives an extra challenge to a project. And I like challenge.

What have been your favorite projects you’ve done thus far?
So many to mention! But I really enjoyed the exploding teacup Unoa. Inserting the tiny teacup into the faceplate was such fun.

What sets your doll customizations apart from all the others?
I like to make it as realistic as possible- so I do have a huge amount of reference material on different scar types, skin diseases, open and closed wounds. For instance, if someone asks me for a bun scar —I like to know if is a fire burn, acid burn, carpet burn, steam burn, old burn, new burn etc.

Are there any sort of projects you’ve been hoping to work on but just haven’t gotten around to it?
Ha! Always ^__^ I’m constantly thinking of things I’d like to try if I only had time!!

What was the most challenging thing you have ever done thus far?
Probably a not-doll zombie creation I did. The doll had to have the arm missing from below the elbow, so I had to create a new ball jointed stump to fit into the upper arm.

How has your style evolved over time, and where do you see it going in the future?
I think my techniques have become a lot more varied and adaptable as I’ve continued to experiment- hopefully this won’t change!

Describe your perfect client. Do you like to get a lot of direction, or just be given a general mood, or do you like to see visual examples?
It’s nice to all types I think, it gives variety.

Of all the face-ups/customizations you’ve done, do any stand out to you in particular? Howso?
As I like to make my commissions as accurate as possible, I always research the type of wound and it’s effect before starting. So when I was asked to do the scars left from botched castration…lets just say I learnt a lot more about castration than I really wanted to know…!

Do you paint/alter other types of dolls, and if so, how does that compare with working on BJDs? If you do other types of art (drawing, painting, etc) does that influence your faceup style?
It does—if for instance I come across a new artist that I like, or I learn a new art technique that seems interesting- I’m always eager to transfer the idea from 2-d to 3-d. For example, the other day I was at a Chinese porcelain exhibition- and I thought—“I’m so gonna try that out on a doll!” I was really happy with the end result!

Have you ever refused a commission? Why? Or if not, can you think of a circumstance where you might?
I’ve never refused a commission. If I get a request for something that I think could be impossible- I like to try to work through possibilities with the customer and get a compromise before simply refusing.

Is there something that is still difficult for you to do? What is the most difficult?
Doing delicate and pretty faces. One day I’d like to do something subtle…but I always get too excited!

How important is customer feedback to your creative process?
It’s always nice to hear feedback.

Is there a mold, doll, or company that you prefer to work on?
MnFs are always great to work on, but I’m happy to try anything.

Do you prefer working on male or female dolls? Why?
Not really, I don’t find that the gender of the doll makes much of a difference when I’m doing custom work.

What is your background? Have you had any special schooling (art school, sculpture, painting, etc)?
I did art in high school- and digital illustration at uni, but not much sculpture or painting.

When you were a child did you ever work on dolls or create with similar things?
I never had many dolls when I was a kid, but I suppose I was always into creative stuff.

Do you have any other interests that might have helped you in your development of customizing ABJD (like customizing other dolls, action figures, etc)?
I spent hours creating my own original characters for stories and comics and so forth on paper—but it wasn’t until I discovered BJD’s that I really got into customization work.

Do you have any other interests? Collections?

What factors do you consider before giving a doll its make-up so it will have the expression you want?
The general face shape– the height of the cheekbones, depth of the eyes, etc. It all affects how the shading and blushing can be applied.General shape, hollows brows etc

Are there any painting techniques that can make a face look more masculine or feminine?
It’s all in the eyebrows. Even the most femine girly face sculpt will look masculine if it has serious manbrows, and the same for manly sculpts with delicate, plucked eyebrows.

How long does it usually take to do a face-up (or custom alteration job)?
Usually about a week if I’m doing it between uni hours and such. If its in the holidays and I can work on it solidly, then it gets done faster of course. If it’s a major full body job- then it can take longer.

Can you offer any helpful hints to the amateur face-up artists? Can you recommend a list of supplies including colors, paints & pastels etc?
If you’re planning on customising—super fine sandpaper (a selection between 1000 to 2000 grit), Apoxie Sculpt or Milliput and a sharp scalpel or craft knife and are essential.

Do you have a favorite medium you like to work with when not creating for BJDs in your spare time?
I do a lot of digital art. I love working with vectors!

How long have you been doing face-ups/customizing BJDs?
I got my first BJD in January 2005. I got him blank and proceeded to fill in his eye socket and scar him up the day after he arrived.

What is your biggest inspiration for your face-ups and customizations?
Anything and everything!

Do you have any tips you’d like to share for people that want to learn how to do what you do or just want to improve? Something that’s helped you a lot or something that you think is important to know when doing a successful customization/face-up?
1. Don’t be afraid!!!! Seriously- just go for it, Bjd aren’t nearly as delicate as some people think and as long as you follow basic rules- like don’t use oil based paints/dyes/sprays, and always seal first—you can’t go too far wrong.
2. Practice makes perfect! Just keep trying–even if you want to practice on paper first, it all helps.

Closing Comments (anything you’d like to tell us)?
Remember– customising is FUN!

Thanks for the gorey story, honey! I appreciate it!

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