Monday, October 19, 2009

Loopy Boopy Art Dolls


 Loopy Boopy makes some of the most endearing and adorable art dolls I have seen. I remember seeing her shop when I first started scrounging around etsy and they left an immediate impression on me. They are so delightfully thoughtful, how can you say no? Want to more about the mind behind the creations? Read on, my friend!
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Bio:
My name is Colleen Downs and I live New Orleans, a city that is very dear to my heart, I can't imagine living anywhere else. I'm married to a fantastic guy and we have one pretty groovy little girl.

How did you find Etsy? How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I honestly don't remember how I found Etsy. I've been selling on Etsy for about 2 1/2 years and how I discovered Etsy is not the only thing I've forgotten in those two years I'm sure. They say the memory is the first to go.

How would you describe your style? Where does your inspiration come from?
Creepy, odd, goth, strange. I'm definetly inspired by the city I live in. There is a certain something about New Orleans. Either you get it or you don't and those that do stay forever. The people, the architecture, the music, the culture....its all very magical.
I'm also inspired by my 9 year old daughter and her whacky antics, dreams and observations. The experience of motherhood is a crazy ride, it brings up all kinds of childhood memories good and bad which is also a great source of inspiration. Sculpting sad and dead kids has been great therapy, much more effective and a lot less expensive than my real life therapist.

How long have you been creating?
Since I was wee. My mother had a pottery studio when we were very small and I remember my sister and myself sculpting creepy little heads even then.

Have you always liked dolls?
No. I actually never played with dolls when I was a child. I did have a large size Raggedy Ann doll that would lay on my bed. To be honest she creeped me out and I would put her under the bed when I went to sleep. I still have that doll and she still creeps me out.
I've always sculpted figural pieces that I never considered to be dolls. At some point I guess I just relented and started calling my work dolls as that is what everyone else was calling them.

Have you had any mentors, or are you self taught?
I'm self taught. I've been sculpting full time for about 20 years now and it's taking me this long to really hone my style and techinques, though I still learn new things all the time from other artist friends and trial and error.

Do you sell more at one time of year than others?
Halloween is always my busiest time of year.

What is your favorite doll you have created?
There is no way I could pick one piece and say it was my favorite. I would say Lillian is my favorite as of today. When I sat down to make her I was determined to make a piece with an expression of contentedness, I squished so many faces while trying to make her and then all of a sudden there she was with her sweet little contented face looking up at me. It was a great accomplishment. I was afraid my creepy, goth customers would scoff at Lillian's sweetness but I got so much positive response about her I'm encouraged to make more happy gals.

What is the best reaction you have gotten from one of your pieces?
Many people are very much put off by my work, I've heard things like weird, to creepy for me, ugly and to be honest I actually like to get these type comments now. It just reassures my belief in what I do. I know my customers are a rare breed and I love that about them. Of course when people say how much they love my work, well, I like that too.