repainted dolls

After 8 years of making softies with children’s drawings, I felt it was time  to stretch out a bit, and try another craft or two.  I saw Sonia Singh’s work several months ago, and ever since, I’ve been itching to have a go at it myself.  I have to say that it has been a welcome change, surprisingly fun and satisfying work to refurbish Bratz dolls and give them new personalities.

Each of the pre-owned Bratz dolls has been washed with hot water and soap.  A few dolls who’d encountered a child wielding a permanent marker, now own a “beauty mark” or “tattoo”.  Brushing their hair and dressing them in their new clothes bring back memories of forgotten childhood play.  I enjoy designing their clothes and knitting their little tops, and I like seeing their personalities emerge as I paint their faces.

There are many How-to videos online – including some by Sonja – showing the various processes of repainting and revamping dolls.

Abby is often found reading under her covers even though her mother keeps warning her that she will strain her eyes and need glasses.
Abby is often found reading under her covers even though her mother keeps warning her that she will strain her eyes and need glasses.

 

Ever since Bella saw her first real life dolphin, she dreams of becoming a cetologist. She often listens to recordings of dolphin sounds and practices making the sounds herself.
Ever since Bella saw her first real life dolphin, she dreams of becoming a cetologist. She often listens to recordings of dolphin sounds and practices making the sounds herself.

 

Carina, who likes music and soccer, was named after a constellation. When she visits her grandfather in Mexico, she always asks him to point it out to her in the night sky.
Carina, who likes music and soccer, was named after a constellation. When she visits her grandfather in Mexico, she always asks him to point it out to her in the night sky.

 

When Deena heard about the delayed gratification cookie experiment, she wondered if they took into consideration that some kids didn't like cookies as much as others.
When Deena heard about the delayed gratification cookie experiment, she wondered if they took into consideration that some kids don’t like cookies as much as others.

 

Emma is happiest when she is outside, collecting leaves, digging in her garden and studying crawling creatures, which she labels using her own classification system.
Emma is happiest when she is outside, collecting leaves, digging in her garden and studying crawling creatures, which she tags and labels using her own classification system.

 

Fiona's favourite Christmas meal is vegetarian haggis, neeps and tatties, which she has learned to cook herself.
Fiona’s favourite Christmas meal is vegetarian haggis, neeps and tatties, which she cooks from scratch. Her recipe for the plant-based casing took many hours to perfect, but it was worth it.

 

Wendy Tsao can be reached at   softiemaker@gmail.com

9 thoughts on “repainted dolls

  1. This is amazing. I bought my 16 yrs younger sister a Bratz doll when she was about 7 yrs old. As I got older and more mature..In the. Back of my mind I regretted the gift. Realizing they were not the type of beauty that I wanted my sister to strive for. This is awesome. If I happen to come across her old dolls..I will definetly send them to you… you are an amazing artist.

    1. It’s really interesting how Sonja Singh and her Tree Change dolls made me aware of the negatives of Bratz dolls (and Barbies too). There are many good reasons to repaint a doll, but I really like how as an artist, I can subvert a Bratz doll to recreate a doll that I would have liked to play with, as a child.

  2. I love Deena’s back story the best! This must have taken a lot of work to perfect. I’d never heard of this at all until today with your blog, but you give so much gratitude to Sonja Singh that I had to check her out. Amazing! You ladies are super talented and we need more of these dolls to just flood the market right now. These are the lessons our girls need to learn; to be guided by; and to become the “norm”.

  3. I wish I could buy all of these dolls for my daughter! These are the kinds of dolls I would love for her to play with. Dolls that look like her, that she could learn from. Keep up the beautiful work please. It’s important

  4. My daughter is 22 now, I can remember buying her Barbie dolls and saying to her; “Now these aren’t what real women look like, but they are fun to play with”. Then when my son came along I told him; “These aren’t what real women look like, so just get that idea right out of your head!” 😆. Unrealistic female images don’t only affect females. Kudos for the redesign. Perhaps the doll companies would be interested in your idea. I would have certainly have purchased a roll model doll for my daughter when she was young. You may be onto something.

  5. These are absolutely beautiful and inspiring!
    I’d love my 2,5 year old daughter to have one! I’ll have to look int refurbishing myself. I wish these were the standards. They are gorgeous

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