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All Dolls Are Art at International Quilt Festival 2014

ADAA (and AnLiNa Designs) is pleased to be a sponsor of the Celebration of the Doll exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX.  If you are visiting Houston, or live there, come by the George R. Brown convention center and visit the stellar exhibit of art dolls in 4 different areas:  The Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge, the TAODA exhibit, the Material Girls of Houston exhibit and the Celebration Invitational exhibit.

Postcards for ADAA will be available at the exhibit and also in the Treasures of the Gypsy booth, 545.  Amy Nelson, of AnLiNa Designs, will be working with the Gypsies opening night (Wednesday), Friday, Saturday and Sunday and would be happy to discuss classes and the event if you have questions.

See you in Houston!


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All Dolls Are Art 2015 Class Lineup

It’s October 15th and that means it’s time to announce the ADAA 2015 instructors and classes!  I am very pleased to introduce the 2015 Faculty:  Joyce Cloutman, Kat Lees, Michelle Lord, Fran Parrigan-Meehan, Donna Moore, Myriam Powell and Peggy Wilson.  We have a stellar line up of classes.


I have ordered the 2015 postcards and they should be in my mailbox by the end of the week.  If you would like one, fill out the contact form and I’ll drop one in the mail for you.

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Posted in ADAA Faculty, ADAA News, Classes

Announcing All Dolls Are Art 2015 Theme, Dates and Call for Proposal

I am really excited to announce All Dolls are Art’s theme for 2015, drum roll please, “Final Frontiers”.  ADAA 2015 will be held July 23-26, 2015 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel and Woodward Convention Center, our home for all of the previous ADAA events.  We are pleased to continue our relationship with the Wyndham as they have taken such good care of us!

It’s that time of year again, no – not back to school!  It’s time for you to consider submitting a proposal to teach at ADAA!  The Call for Proposal is open to anyone seeking to teach an art doll class.  We really love to support the figurative sculpture community and encourage artists to consider teaching.  Proposals will be accepted through Friday, September 26th.  If you know someone who you would like to take a class from, consider contacting me!

Posted in ADAA Call for Proposal, ADAA Theme

Interested in Vending at ADAA?

All Dolls are Art operates a market in conjunction with the retreat and we are looking for vendors!  Do you make art dolls?  Do you offer supplies for sculptors?  We’re interested in having you as a vendor!  Applications are being accepted through July 5th.

ADAA offers to options for vendors:  sales tables and booths.  If you are not able to attend the entire event, you can apply for a sales table.  ADAA monitors the room and runs the register for these sales.  Tables are available for $35.00 a piece, and sales are subject to a 15% commission.  Sales are conducted under the conference promoter’s (AnLiNa Designs) management and sales tax number.  

If you have the time, and prefer to manage your own sales, you can apply for a 10’x10’ booth.  Booths are $100.  You are required to man your booth during open hours.  ADAA provides personnel to monitor the room, but does not manage your booth or sales.  You are responsible for sales taxes and compliance with local laws.

ADAA does not accept food or alcohol vendors.

The sales room is open for an attendee preview event from 7-9pm Thursday, July 24, and is open 9-6 on Friday, July 25, 9-5 on Saturday, July 26, and 9-4:30 on Sunday, July 27.  Setup is from 7am to 6pm on Thursday.  Tear down is from 4:30pm to midnight on Sunday.

If you would like more detailed information, download the applications from the Sales Room page.

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Posted in ADAA Market and Sales Room

ADAA 2014 Faculty Profile: Ellen Kelsey

I met Ellen when she came to All Dolls Are Art 2012.  She thrilled participants with her table favor dolls and with some encouragement she agreed to submit a proposal to teach last year.  She had another hit with her table favors, Fabulous Fish, and she heard the chorus of people clamoring for this to be a class in 2014.  Ellen’s Fabulous Fish class is on Friday and still has space left!


Ellen currently belongs to Ladybugs, a group of artists and crafters who work together to put on an annual Christmas show-and-sale. It’s called Ladybugs, because of that bug’s reputation as tough and hard-working. And if you saw them at work when they are getting ready for that show, you’d believe it.

As Ellen relates:  “We do EVERYTHING! We not only make all of our art but also set up the whole sales and store area. I also participate in the Arlington Museum of Art Happy Holiday Gift Shop, which started in 2013. This will be its second year and hopefully more years to follow.”


Ellen has displayed her work in artists’ showcases at the Arlington Museum of Art and at shows in the City of Arlington’s Community Center as well as offering it for sale at All Dolls Are Art 2013.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Hi Ellen, please describe what kind of dolls you create and what draws you to this type of sculpture.

Ellen:  I like to make critters – mainly sea creatures and dragons. I love the ocean and the variety of life it has. And the still great unknown in its depths sparks my imagination.


For example, I once saw a documentary on PBS about cuttlefish. I had never seen a cuttlefish up close and was fascinated. I bought a DVD copy of that documentary so that I could watch it again and again and I still hope to someday do my own artistic version of a cuttlefish.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Well, as the proud owner of one of your dragons, I can’t wait to see what you come up with for a cuttlefish!  Where did you start your artistic journey? Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

Ellen:  I’ve always wanted to be an artist but thought I had no talent because I couldn’t draw or paint. A highlight of my childhood was when a ceramic rat I made in the seventh grade art class won third place in the school art show.  I was thrilled and I still have that ceramic rat on display on a shelf in my house!


But after that, I had no access to clay or a kiln. Fast forward about 20 years: One of my older sisters, who remembered my rat, gave me some polymer clay and I have been hooked ever since. It was wonderful because it required no special tools and could be cured in the household oven. Polymer clay is incredibly versatile.  It has been a ball for me playing and creating with it because it is so versatile. You can create intricate designs, make jewelry, sand and polish it and sculpt with it.

Amy, AnLiNa DesignsAre you a full time artist or do you have a day job other than your art? If full time, when did you make the leap?

Ellen:  I work full-time at a day job. So my art time is in the evenings and weekends.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you have any plans to go full-time into your art?

Ellen:  I don’t have any plans to be a full-time artist because I know I’m not productive enough.  I wish I could be a full-time artist. But right now, that’s just not possible. Real life just keeps me too busy. Perhaps when I retire!

Amy, AnLiNa DesignsWhere do you find artistic inspiration? Do you keep an idea book or journal?

Ellen:  Inspiration comes mostly from nature, especially from the beach and ocean. I also find inspiration from art books and exhibits. I especially enjoy Ancient Egyptian art exhibits. Those just fascinate me and often inspire me. I don’t keep a journal but I pin ideas and inspiration to a bulletin board in my room. Just this morning, I saw a great picture of a shark in a magazine. I liked the picture and thought there were ideas or inspiration there. So onto the bulletin board it went!


Amy, AnLiNa DesignsDescribe your process for starting a new piece. Do you know exactly how your pieces will turn out before you start sculpturing/painting or do you allow your creation to develop as you work?

Ellen:  When I get an idea, I usually think about it a lot before I start on it. If it is a new technique, I try to figure out the best process so, hopefully, I won’t hit too many bumps as I go. Other times, I just dive right in and see what happens. Usually, the end result does not come out exactly as I imagined. But I’m usually happy with it and often surprised, in a good way.


Amy, AnLiNa DesignsDo you believe you have a muse? If so, how does your muse express his/herself?

Ellen:  No, I don’t think I have a muse.

Amy, AnLiNa DesignsDescribe a day in your studio?

Ellen:  Some people work to music, I work to TV. It’s entertaining and comforting and fun to me. I love movies and often watch classic movies on the TCM Channel. Or I’ll put on a favorite DVD. I love and enjoy many different genres – Sci-Fi, horror, comedy, and animation. And I’ll watch favorites again and again and again. But I also have to try not to have anything distracting on while I’m working on my art like “Finding Nemo.” That movie is just too pretty not to look at!


Amy, AnLiNa DesignsDescribe an idea that you have that is yet to be born? What is keeping you from starting?

Ellen:  I have a beachcomber doll in mind. But I’m still trying to figure out its form and face in my own style. Right now, the human form and face gives me more challenges than a critter’s form and face. And I’m still trying to come up with my own version of that cuttlefish that I hope to do.

Amy, AnLiNa DesignsDo you participate in a regular art gathering, crit group, or other face to face meeting for the purpose of discussing your sculpture or creating it?

Ellen:  No, not a formal group. But friends and I get together each month for an art day of fun and creativity. We bring our art and food and sit around a big table together. Each one of us works on a different art project and we talk and visit with each other while we work. It’s both fun and productive!


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  What advice would you give someone thinking of trying to start up or find such a group?

Ellen:  Search the internet, magazines and newspapers. You can often find out about other people or groups or organizations that way. Visit shows, exhibits and even hobby stores. They often have brochures or flyers about classes or art groups. Or just start a weekly or monthly get-together with some friends. Some artist friends of mine do that. And it doesn’t have to be friends who work in the same type of art or medium. In my friends’ monthly gathering, one of my friends works on art on her iPad while the rest of dabble in clay, beads, fibers or dolls.

Amy, AnLiNa DesignsWhat is your favorite part of teaching?

Ellen:  My favorite part is watching my students at work and seeing what they create. Each person’s personality and even what their mood is for that day translate into their creation.

When I taught my “Here Be Dragons” class at last year’s ADAA conference, I had 12 students and each dragon had its own pose, expression and personality. It was a blast to see each dragon come to life.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  I enjoyed see all of the dragons come to life too!  Thanks Ellen!

If you are interested in learning Ellen’s techniques for creating her creatures, her class still has space available.  You can see the dragons from Ellen’s class last year on the All Dolls are Art Facebook page

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ADAA 2014 Faculty Profile: Myriam Powell

I met Myriam Powell through ADAA 2013 teacher Michele Lynch.  Her work, which is available for sale in her Etsy shop, is wonderfully whimsical, sweetly gothic, and will be featured in Prims magaxine.  Myriam is teaching a two-day class on Saturday and Sunday: Luna.


Myriam’s artist statement is lovely:

“I’ve always been surrounded by handmade. It was a big part of my childhood.
Those childhood memories inspired me to embark on the art doll journey.
I enjoy the process of each creation, the metamorphosis of each doll. I usually come up with an idea, inspired by a feeling, a cool material I found, a memory, a song, an experience in my life … As the doll creation evolves, a little personality starts to emerge.

I like to create dolls that unlike traditional dolls, are imperfect. It can be their oversize head or long arms or maybe their big eyes, or simply the expression on their face. They are not perfect but they’re likeable all the same.

My dolls express the way I see life, a combination of opposites – things that try to find balance in order to make it work.

I like to combine a little of everything when I’m designing my dolls. I love the edge of Funky, the mystical sense of Gothic, the magic of Whimsical, the simplicity of Primitive, and sweetness and romance of Vintage.”

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Myriam, what kind of dolls do you like to create and why do you like this style?

Myriam:  I create gothic art dolls with a touch of whimsical. What draws me to these types of dolls is my love for Halloween, gothic, Victorian and Steampunk art. I try to combine a little bit of everything in my creations. I’ve always been fascinated by the unknown and the dark side of things.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Where did you start your artistic journey?

Myriam:  I started my art doll journey here in Austin about 5 years ago. I started experimenting with paperclay and love it. I get excited when I find a cool fabric, a cool material, etc. Growing up in Colombia was fun. I was surrounded by art and handmade. My mom and my brother are amazing artists. I knew I was going to end up doing art.

Work In Progress & Final Dolls

Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Are you a full-time artist or do you have a day job other than your art?

Myriam:  I’m a full time artist. I work from my studio at home. I also opened an Etsy shop in 2011 where I sell much of my art.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Where do you find your artistic inspiration?

Myriam:  I find my artistic inspiration through music, cool materials and life experiences. All my dolls in some way represent a special event in my life. I don’t keep a journal. It’s all in my head.  Smile


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe your process for creating a new piece?  Do you start out knowing exactly where you want your creation to end up or does your piece inform you along the way?

Myriam:  My process for starting a new piece usually comes with an idea either manifest by a cool material or a feeling. I don’t know exactly how it is going to turn out. It’s like puzzle pieces in my mind that start to come together as I work. As the doll starts taking on personality the other touches fall into place. Sometimes I make changes to the original idea to suit the doll’s esthetic needs.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you believe you have a muse?

Myriam:  I don’t have a muse per say, but music plays an important role when I’m creating my dolls. I strongly believe that music helps my creative process and opens my imagination.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe a day in your studio.

Myriam:  A day in my studio starts around 8:00 am. I organize my day by customer orders or a project I’m working on. Depending on how much work I have, I start sculpting, selecting colors, fabrics, laces etc. and then take and edit pictures to show my work in progress on my business Facebook page. My Facebook page allows me to promote my work and connect to my fans. I work until 2:15 pm then break to pick up my kids from school.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe an idea you have that you have not started.  What is holding you back?

Myriam:  One idea I have and would like to explore in the near future is to submit my work to different galleries in the US. I haven’t been able to pursue this due to lack of time and my family commitments. I was contacted by one gallery in Ohio to do a Halloween show in October. I’m really excited about that.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Congratulations!  Do you participate in a regular art gathering, critique group or other face to face meeting with artists to discuss your work or creatively play? Do you have any advice for someone trying to start up a group?

Myriam:  I don’t participate in a regular face to face art gathering but I have been able to meet wonderful doll artists through art shows and Facebook media. I would love to find one someday, but right now it is a bit complicated because I have young kids and they require a lot of my time.

My advice to people who wants to find a group is to pursue it if they have the time. It’s a great way to relate and learn from other artists and also to find support. If time is an issue for some people like it is for me. There are a lot groups online and in FB to join.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  What is your favorite part of teaching?

Myriam:  My favorite part of teaching is to be able to encourage people to explore their feelings through sculpture – to get in touch with their imagination. This is how I started. It’s been both a journey and therapy for me.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Thanks Myriam!  I am really looking forward to having you at ADAA 2014!

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Lisa Renner and Laura Lunsford Classes

I am very sorry to announce that Lisa and Laura will not be able to teach at ADAA 2014.  Due to family health issues that they are both having to deal with, they have withdrawn from teaching this year.  My thoughts and prayers are with Lisa and Laura as they deal with the challenges of a family health crisis.

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ADAA Faculty Profile: Sherry Goshon

Sherry Goshon is new to the ADAA family, but what an addition she is!  She is teaching three 1-day classes:  What’s to a Head (Friday, July 25th), The Illusion of Costuming with Paper (Saturday, July 26th), and Fun with Wire, Paper and Cloth (Sunday, July 26th).  You can see more of Sherry’s work on her website.

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Sherry has taught extensively and had her work exhibited in many venues.  She is a past member of ODACA, and has been published in multiple magazines and was invited to create an ornament for the United States White House Christmas tree.  Sherry is a self-taught artist with a flair for the dramatic.  You only have to see her Facebook Feed to see how she is driven by her creative energy to come up with new characters in cloth and clay.  I asked Sherry to send me her bio, and it is so perfect that I’m sharing part of of it with you here, unedited (except for formatting).

If you know or have know anyone that is at heart an artist, then you will understand the futility of trying to offer an accurate description that captures the essence of an artist’s soul. It would be as easy to capture a snowflake in the palm of your hand and describe the wings that give it flight.


To best understand Sherry, look into the eyes of her dolls, for these are the windows of her soul. AT home with any medium, Sherry is one of the gifted (or cursed) few that prefers to sculpt in cloth, however, with great desire to have the faces become more real, she now sculpts her dolls faces of polymer clay and puts fabric over them to keep that warm soft feel of cloth. Cloth offers such a wide rang of colors, patterns and textures; cloth seems to be the only medium capable of keeping Up with Sherry’s many personalities. Yet whichever personality is reflected in any given creation the end result is always the same.  For every doll she creates, however whimsical serious or carefree, still expresses an innocent beauty that reflects the true Nature of Sherry’s soul.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Hi Sherry, what kind of dolls do you create and what draws you to this type of sculpture?

Sherry:  Gosh I love all dolls.  I started with pure cloth ones and now do all sorts from sweet to crazy wild as it depends on my mood or what I’m into at the time.  I still love doing children dolls and just finished a series of limited edition Alice in wonderland dolls for The Toy Shoppe which has been great fun.  My dolls are somewhere between realistic and fantasy…not really either.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Where did you start your artistic journey?

Sherry:  I have always loved dolls and my g’ma made clothes for my dolls and taught me to sew.  I was not a good student.  I always wanted to make porcelain dolls but they were so expensive to make and I played with cloth and created a few dolls, awww so many years ago, and then when I could afford to make porcelain dolls I realized I loved fabric.  So even though my dolls have clay faces their bodies are cloth.  I make much nicer cloth hands then clay and they don’t break.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

Sherry:  I guess I was always an artist just didn’t realize it, LOL,  did color in my gma’s fire place,  you know, all the white mortar, well, it was red when I was finished,  and I might have painted the bathroom walls with nail polish.  Yeppers, red again!  I always drew faces on my notebooks and always loved to doodle.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Are you a full time artist or do you have a day job other than your art?

Sherry:  I’m a full time artist and I have sold wholesale since the very beginning oh like over 25 years.  No leap! LOL, just one of those things that happened, way too long a story but anyone can always ask and I will share LOL.  Let’s say lousy husband, and two kids to support! LOL! No, not Jeff (my current husband), he is the wind beneath my wings.  He believes in me when I don’t believe in me!


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Where do you find artistic inspiration?

Sherry:  Everywhere!  And I love to decorate and our trends and colors for decorating flow over in to art, even though you aren’t suppose to buy art to match your home we still are drawn to styles, etc.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you keep an idea book or journal?

Sherry:  Noper, I don’t.  I have pages here and there and notes and some journaling when I was applying for ODACA, etc., but not in years.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs: Describe your process for starting a new piece. Do you know exactly how your pieces will turn out before you start sculpting/painting or do you allow your creation to develop as you work?

Sherry:  I have NO clue!  Well, unless I’m doing some work for a shop, etc., and they ask, but then I still have no clue where they will lead to…

However it all starts with a head.  That tells me what kind of body and I then sort of start, and add layers, etc., as I go.  I love color and love fabric and so that is part of the inspiration of who the next one will be.  Or at least it gets me started.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you believe you have a muse? If so, how does your muse express his/herself?

Sherry:  A muse… well there is definitely something that guides me…and something that is stubborn and sometimes won’t guide me at all! LOL!  Buying new fabric always bring my color muse out to play LOL!


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe a day in your studio

Sherry:  I’m a third shift kind of girl and usually work on something everyday.  Since it’s full time sometimes its paper work or filling patterns orders, etc, but once I get to play, it’s wonderful!  I usually get going around 2 in the afternoon… and so often work ‘til 4am.

Once I have begun, my mind spins, and I think of all the stuff I have and go digging. I’ve been downstairs for a while with back troubles, so I’m at the coffee table with carts with wheels, and have to make lists of what to look at when I go up to my studio.  I so miss it, as it’s such an escape from everything!  LOL!

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe an idea that you have that is yet to be born. What is keeping you from starting?

Sherry:  Oh, I have a new head, and she has been screaming at me!  But I have been doing lots for The Toy Shoppe, and all my creations for them are limited editions of 5 and so I get orders for more of different ones and have to “work”.  Then coming off Christmas we sold over 200 ornaments with them, so that was crazy.  But I do take creative breaks and that is how THE head was born.  I’m so excited I see lots of antique laces, etc., and then I do have another doll that needs clothing.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you participate in a regular art gathering, crit group, or other face to face meeting for the purpose of discussing your sculpture or creating it?

Sherry:  No I don’t, I’m a hermit, LOL, my bad.  I prefer to be home and doing my thing.  I, from time to time, do get to sneak away to a class.  However, since I teach retreats with my bestie (sis), Jean Bernard, that is my outing like 4 times a year, LOL.  And, of course, coming here to ADAA is a treat to see people and visit and I get filled with people and ideas and back home to my ZONE!

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  What advice would you give someone thinking of trying to start up or find such a group?

Sherry:  It takes time and energy… and being able to deal with all sorts of peoples personalities.  I’ve been part of many different groups, etc.  And they are wonderful, but for me it doesn’t work, all though when I teach for a club I’m a bit jealous at all the fun they have!


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Last question!  What is your favorite part of teaching?

Sherry:  Awww, seeing people’s faces when they create!  It’s so awesome to guide and see peoples artistic ability come out that they just know isn’t there. It’s incredibly fulfilling…

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Thanks Sherry!

Sherry still has space in her classes, and if you are an aspiring sculptor or have had a bit of experience, Sherry’s classes offer something for you, regardless of where you are in your artistic journey!

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ADAA Faculty Profile: Jean Bernard

Jean Bernard is a legend in the world of figurative sculpture!  I’ve heard her name mentioned so many times, but haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person.  For that reason alone I would be thrilled to have her on-board with ADAA 2014, but that isn’t the only one!  Jean is a fantastic mixed-media artist.  Her work runs the gamut from pure figurative sculpture to assemblage.  Jean is teaching two classes: Bobble Head Barbie Pulled Herself Together On Time and Fantasy Chair.  You can see more of Jean’s work on her website.

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Jean has taught at her own art retreats and for various conferences and doll clubs across the country.  Her work has been exhibited at the Toy Fair in New York, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Washington, D.C. Expo East, the San Francisco Expo West, and at IDEX.  She has had her work published in countless magazines.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  What kind of dolls do you create and what draws you to this type of sculpture?

Jean:  Today I create mixed media figures. I enjoy the freedom of exploring new mediums
as well as figures I imagine in my mind.tiara_sm

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Where did you start your artistic journey?  Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

Jean:  Yes, I’ve been creating ever since I can remember.  I guess it all started in Osaka, Japan, where I was born.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Are you a full time artist?  When did you make the leap?

Jean:  Yes.  I went full time about 15 years ago.cabinet_sm

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Where do you find artistic inspiration?  Do you keep a journal?

Jean:  Everything I see or experience is artistic inspiration for me.  I don’t keep a journal.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe your process for creating a new piece.  Do you start with an idea fully developed or do you allow the process to develop the idea?

Jean:  When I sit down to create I have an idea what I want to sculpt but I
allow the project to evolve. Doing so, the artwork speaks to me vs. sticking to an
idea that ultimately appears lifeless.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you believe you have a muse?  If so, how does your muse express her/himself?

Jean:  Yes, This is an easy step to experience but so
very hard to explain. My inner muse will guide my thoughts and hands for a brief
moment or for hours on end. The “trick” is to trust your inner muse and follow
their lead. It is very hypnotic and quite rewarding.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe a day in your studio.

Jean:  I am a fulltime artist aka…. sculptor, designer,
photographer, promoter, web designer, advertiser, marketer, accountant, runner,
buyer, seller, scheduler, online teacher, artist retreat co-owner, traveling art teacher
AND a fulltime wife, mother, grandmother and Diva sitter Smile. Considering all those
duties, responsibilities and pleasures my day in the studio is quite busy depending on the schedule of the day.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe an idea that you have that is yet to be born.

Jean:  There are so MANY ideas in
my head but one in particular is a sculpture. The sculpture thus far is tall and
slender. There are many components to her. My inner muse has revealed a few of
the components which has me quite intrigued. I “see” a tree trunk as the lower
section with a water feature that flows into a human waist that morphs into ????
Once I finish my “ta do “ list I look forward to settling into my chair and seeing this
sculpture through fruition.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  What is your favorite part of teaching?

Jean:  Watching an artist close an “old” door of
creativity and “open” a new door in their mind stepping into a new creative
experience. THAT’S exciting for me!! In my mind art is many levels of expression.
We tend to get stuck on one level and become bored or think we can’t do it or we
aren’t artists or everything we produce is the same and lifeless. That’s when it’s
time to take the next step and “open” a new door. I LOVE to share how to achieve
that goal. Secondly I love to teach so I can SHOUT there is NO right or wrong, there
are NO mistakes and encourage them to find what they love not what is expected of
them as artists. There are too many out there that tell us we can’t do this or that
and THAT ruins the creative process. Art is ALL about self expression Smile.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Thank you so much Jean!  I’m looking forward to having you at ADAA 2014!

Jean:  Thank you Amy!

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ADAA Faculty Profile: Clarissa Callesen

Clarissa Callesen is an accomplished mixed media artist with a penchant for turning the ordinary everyday object into extraordinary works of art.  Clarissa is new to All Dolls Are Art, but I am know that she will be a huge hit.  She will teach you how to bend and stretch your creative muscles in three fantastic classes: Wish Keeper (Friday, July 25), Steampunk Sally (Saturday, July 26), and Bohemian Gypsy (Sunday, July 27).  To see more of Clarissa’s work and follow her creative adventures, visit her website and blog.

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Clarissa has a video on Vimeo where she discusses her dolls.  She has had her work published in Somerset Studio and the inaugural Sommerset Gallery.  One of her pieces is featured in Opie and Linda O’Brien’s “Dada Art Dolls” book.  Her dolls have appeared in Art Doll Quarterly, and I have a figure of Clarissa’s in my personal collection!  Clarissa exhibits her work at art festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest including the renowned Bellevue Museum Art Show.  She has participated in gallery shows as a solo artist and as part of groups.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Hi Clarissa, tell me about the dolls you create.

Clarissa: I create assemblage dolls from recycled and found objects. I enjoy giving discarded objects a new life. I am drawn to the rust, patina, and evidence of life on found objects.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Where did you start your artistic journey?  Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

Clarissa:  I knew I wanted to be an artist in 3rd grade, and then I got distracted with horses and math for most of my school career. I went to college on a drama scholarship and, in a moment of being frustrated with the lack of creative input I had in theater, I wandered into the art department and never left. Making art, talking about art, learning about artists fed me in a way I hadn’t found before that. I have been both fortunate and tenacious enough to make a living as an artist since I was 22.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  So you are a full time artist!  How long have you been able to focus on your art?

Clarissa:  Yes full time for 20 years.. Eek that makes me feel old!


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  I’m coming up on my 20th anniversary with my day job too, but I’m not a full time artist!  Where do you find artistic inspiration? Do you keep an art journal?

Clarissa:  I am currently addicted to Pinterest and justify my hours on the computer as “artistic research”. I am inspired by other artists of all medium both famous and unknown. My studio walls are a giant collage of art images, postcards, quotes, old work of mine, rusty objects, and general chaos. Those visuals become some kind of non linear source of inspiration. I also keep little scratched out ideas on random piece of papers that no one can decipher including myself.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  I have recently discovered video’s on Pinterest and have been sucked in!  Describe your process for starting a new piece.  Do you know exactly how your pieces will turn out before you start sculpting/painting or do you allow your creation to develop as you work?

Clarissa:  All my work is greatly inspired by the objects I have on hand. I start with a porcelain doll that has been discarded to the Goodwill or a yard sale because its owner has out grown it. Those dolls have a certain prissy kind of quality to them and my first order of business is to do some creative deconstruction. I am not a traditionally trained doll maker, and I am starting with a partially constructed figure so a lot of my process is about altering that original doll and combining with found objects to create a completely new art piece. I use a lot of alternative techniques to achieve the look I am going for including but not limited to taking a butane torch to my dolls. I might have a mood or a feeling about the direction a doll is going but for the most part I try to stay out of the way and let the process and the materials create the work.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you believe you have a muse?  If so, how does your muse express his/herself?

Clarissa:  I believe creativity is the essence of our life force. I don’t have a “muse” per say but I believe there are things I don’t cognitively understand that allow and nurture creativity to flow through me and into physical works of art.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  What a beautiful way of articulating creativity!  Please describe a day in your studio.

Clarissa:  That greatly depends on what kind of deadline I am working on. I try to do some kind of social media update or promo to start the day and then the sky is the limit. I might be torching a whole group of dolls and splashing paint and stain around or I may be spending quiet hours capturing that elusive look in the details of a painted face. I enjoy the alone time in my studio and listen to audio books while I work.


Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe an idea that you have that is yet to be born.  What is keeping you from starting?

Clarissa:  I want to create large life sized doll as part of a larger gallery instillation. Also dolls that are more abstract and even further away from traditional forms.

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