Wednesday, April 27, 2016

rebranding, planning, and more updates

Wow! Two posts in the same month? I shock myself sometimes, I know. Things are coming along interestingly for me these days so I thought I'd touch base with all my followers here! I've been doing much better and I'm finally back in my element thanks to my much freer schedule this quarter.

I know it's been barely a year but I've become pretty bored with the layout of my current branding and I've been upset about not having a proper logo for... well, basically three whole years. So I finally got around to making myself one after weeks and weeks of Etsy browsing and getting lost in local stationery stores. I now present to you my official Darjeeling Aesthetics logo!

It's pretty simple but it's also really versatile. I've had fun changing the leaf colors and text colors to suit the background of the pictures I use the logo on, and it seems to work fine without ruining the integrity of the design. Here's some examples in action:

I'm also trying very hard to up the level of my photography. Even with my faceup portfolio pictures I'm focusing less on a precise, manufactured look across my pictures and more on flattering angles that make my work look good. It's been strange coming out of my very clinical, science-y way of looking at things, but I'm making progress! In other news, this new logo means I'll probably be making new business cards sometime this year, maybe featuring some gold foil for extra fancy goodness. I'm probably also going to be changing a few of my SSN handles for more consistency between my accounts.

Coming out of my quarter-long slump has been very difficult but I've realized that looking at the hobby with my own goals in mind really helps the situation. I've still got a few February waitlist commissions to tackle, but essentially all the commissions I've accepted for the future are all sculpts that I handpicked from my want-to-paint list. I'm really excited to be just sitting back and catering to myself (essentially) for once :') In other news, I've got the doll plan wheel grinding again, and it looks like I've managed to get myself to a grand total of 11 dolls... I drew this chart up the other day picturing all my current and planned characters.

So far everyone up to Prunella is complete, minus Lenny who might be getting reshelled into a Delf Ann sometime soon. Tamako needs a FM60 body in NS to complete her (I'm still looking for one for sale! Or maybe I'll do a split?) and the rest of the dolls I have planned will come slowly in their own time. Julian is currently planned as a Switch Waseon on the HD65 body, Mie will be either a Daydream Noah or Grace, Aster a DIM Jullis, and Edan (my poor excuse to have another tan doll in my family) will either be a LUTS Carmine in Real Skin Brown on the Delf body or a Little Monica Eden in brown skin. Looking forward to spending... say... the next 10 years of my life amassing enough money to bring my doll dreams to life?

That's about it for this update. I'm debating whether or not to wipe Polaire's face and redo it before Doll North, but I think she'll tell me when she's ready. By falling into my camera like last time, or something.

❤ Kai

Friday, April 1, 2016

updates from the household

Long time no talk, everyone~ It's always like this. I recently received a message on my faceup shop Tumblr asking if I'd quit blogging - the answer's no, I just tend to forget about this blog sometimes and only post when I have something I feel is worth posting about :') I've also been pretty busy as of late, with graduation coming up soon and a spectacular commission backlog I've managed to rack up due to having almost no time to work at all last quarter. Things have been a little bit rough on me but I'm slowly coming back, and my new doll purchases are helping me out quite a bit. The commission queue is up and running again, and I'm hoping to have whatever's left in my drawer cleared out by the end of April. There's also some huge news I'm very excited to share, so this is going to be a pretty info-packed update on my end.

First things first - new dolls! Back in November I signed on for an exclusive collaboration with Sephie Doll Shop, a few of my faceups in exchange for one of their dolls. Earlier in March a package from Spain came in and I got to working straight away.

This is Prunella, my artist-cast Sephie Doll Shop Tr├ębol in sugar (white) skin. Cloudburst Dolls & I worked together to create her unique peachy hairstyle. She's an adorable little peach fairy with a penchant for mischief. To be honest, I had no idea what kind of character I would create with her since I've only owned SD girls up until now, so it's been difficult imagining what I would do with a doll of such a small size. I'm glad everything worked out, though!

Here's my latest impulse buy - an FLA60 event head whom I've decided to shell my character Tamako into. I'd originally imagined her as a F60 Chloe or if Fairyland chooses to ever release one, a F60 Mio, but I thought it would be fun and interesting to try doing a faceup on a less popular event head. I've also taken the liberty of giving her some scrapes and bruising on her cheek, which I've never done on any of my own dolls? I can't wait to get her a body, maybe sometime this summer :) She'll be the same height as Essie, but even shorter because she's always wearing Converse!

Tamako's a tough girl just like Estelle - and maybe that's what drew them together. Born and raised on the streets of Los Angeles, Tamako is no stranger to confrontation and altercation. Her backstory is kind of a mess right now, but the general concept I'm going with is a pizza delivery girl on roller blades who spends her paycheck on raves and vintage records. It's a bit fanciful, but given that she's really inspired by video games, internet subculture, and chiptune music (aka my side project Kazoo Quest) it's really not all that surprising :')

Lastly, the big news:
I've taken a temporary "hiatus" from some portions of the hobby, so I don't post pictures of my dolls regularly or accept new faceup commissions (the latter is mostly because I'm so backed up on work). Burnout's been eating at me since August and I'm glad that last quarter gave me the chance to take a break even though it wasn't the most favorable of conditions. I've been really stressed out about my internet presence, my identity, my future after graduation - everything just kind of fell on me mentally for the past couple of months and it ended up being too much to handle. I'm currently getting professional help and things are starting to pick up again for me so I'll work my way out of this funk eventually...
There is some good news though, and this is something I've kept secret for a good couple of months now. If you're going to Doll North at Anime North this May in Toronto, I'll most likely see you there! I am attending as a featured guest and I'll be leading two workshops: one for faceups, one for doll manicures, and I'm really looking forward to being able to do this for everyone who attends. It's going to be an exciting (and kind of scary) experience for me, but I've got high hopes for it nonetheless.

That's probably the lengthiest update I've posted in awhile. I'm signing off before I fall asleep at my PC.

❤ Kai