Art Dolls Only Member Spotlight with Myriam Powell
My name is Myriam. I’m a self taught artist who loves art, music, antiques, and learning about people and their culture. One of the reasons why I’m here in Etsy is I love the fusion of different cultures and countries communicating through their amazing art.
I grew up in Colombia, South America surrounded by many talented people who helped instill in me a deep respect and admiration for handmade. In my family for example, my brother was an amazing painter and fashion designer. My mom, who has the most gifted hands, always inspired me through her painting, sewing, and knitting.
I am passionate about Art Doll making, sculpting, and needle felting. I like to make pieces that are unique and meaningful in some way. I find inspiration in colors, music, textures, people, styles, materials, antiques, and places. I hope you enjoy my creations as much as I do!
Myriam, What Type of art dolls do you create?
I create gothic, steampunk, Halloween, primitive, and whimsical art dolls. Most of my art dolls are stone clay sculpted, but I also create mixed media art dolls – primarily cloth body with a stone clay sculpted head. I like to work with different fabrics and textures.
What’s your primary medium, or do you have a favorite product to work with?
I worked with paper clay in the beginning. Later on I found stone clay and like it much better. If I need to make certain body parts really strong I add apoxie
Myriam How long have you been creating dolls, did you have any influences that helped you become the artist you are now?
There are some skills I learned from my mom that I use in my creations. I created a lot of things growing up with my mom. She taught me most of my skills and we created some cloth dolls together. I taught myself sculpting watching videos on YouTube. I’m still learning and evolving.
I started sculpting art dolls in 2011. I created some for a good friend of mine who designs fashion eyewear. She was doing a show at SXSW Austin and wanted the dolls to decorate her booth. I think that was the beginning were I really felt motivated to create more and more. Not too long after that I opened my Etsy shop and created a fan page in FB. Little by little I started selling my art dolls around the world. Now, I’m lucky to have some amazing collectors and customers supporting my art.
Some artist get very attached to their dolls, holding on to them for a long while before they allow them to be adopted, do you have a favorite?
I guess sometimes I get attached to some of my Gothic art dolls. One of my favorite dolls was a Steampunk fallen angel doll I made recently. I almost kept her, but she went to a loving home.
What research do you do before you create a doll ? Do you sketch, write a story, or follow some other practice when coming up with the concept for your art dolls?
I don’t really sketch before I create my art dolls. I usually do all the initial creative process in my head. I do a lot thinking, like some sort of meditation. When I have most of the art doll figured out I start sculpting and transforming all the ideas into reality. Sometimes I need to make changes as I go, but most of time whatever I picture in my head is what comes to life.
Myriam, all creative personalities seem to have things they gravitate to, where does your inspiration come from, or what inspires your art and your style?
Most of my inspiration comes from materials, experiences, friends, and subjects that interest me. I love the rush I feel inside when I have an idea or a cool material inspires a creation. I also have had creative blocks in the past. It’s usually due to tiredness or health issues.. It’s frustrating, but I try to rest or do whatever my body needs at that moment. Eventually the creative mojo comes back.
As artists, we are seldom ever perfect at every aspect of our craft, what’s the most difficult aspect of creating a doll for you?
The most difficult part of my creation process I would say, is sculpting hands and costuming. I would love to be proficient in both, but I’m still learning. My favorite part is to see how the doll is transforming and start coming to life.
When you are creating your dolls, what part of the doll you spend the most time on?
When I’m creating art dolls I spend most of my time sculpting their faces. Sometimes it goes faster than others.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
I guess the best advice I’ve received is to keep learning and experimenting and to not be afraid of changes. My advice to new art doll artists is to not compare yourself with other artists. Everybody is different and unique. We all continue to grow and evolve and it’s important to believe in what you create.
Do you have tips or tricks to take great photos of your dolls?
I like to take my pictures outside very early in the morning. Natural light is the best light. I use photoshop elements to edit my pictures. It’s a very user friendly program.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
The most memorable responses to my art work are probably when I was published in magazines, when I received touching reviews in my Etsy shop, or when customers commissioned my work as a special gift for a dear loved one.
What other art do you create? What do you do for fun?
I also love needle felting and painting. I enjoy them equally and find them so relaxing and therapeutic.
What is your dream project? or who would you love to do collaboration with?
My dream project would be to have one of my art dolls chosen for one of Tim Burton’s movies. I just love all his little characters. Some of my dolls have a lot of him in them.
Myriam just finished her glorious doll for the Art Dolls Only Masked and Mysterious Challenge!
You can see all of the photos of her fantastic doll by clicking on the photo