MeekyDoll BJD Plans

I don’t know if anyone’s going to be reading this blog, I’ll link it in my youtube channel next time I make a video in case anyone out there is interested, but I think it’s about time to seriously document my journey into opening a BJD company of my own. And if you came here because I shared this automatically through Facebook, then congrats, you now get to know that I not only collect dolls, I want to make them.

A little bit about me: I’m not just your average hobbyist turned bjd sculptor, even though that is exactly what I am. I also have a degree in Fine Arts. I focused on Painting in my last year, but I studied sculpture throughout. I even took a year of casting classes. So the problem for me isn’t about whether or not I can make this. I know I can make this work. The problem for me right now is time.
I work as a graphic designer in Germany right now and I’m working full time. Where I used to make projects in three months, working six hours a day at least twice a week, I simply don’t have that sort of time to get into the mindset of sculpting with clay like this again.
Here are a few of my recent sculpture sketches for my first doll head (keep in mind these are just quick sketches. No where near final drafts:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s my problem: the process isn’t time efficient for me, right now, with my current schedule needs. The second problem I’m facing is making the inside of the head look nice and neat… and making a headcap which is also neat, with a mechanism that keeps the head cap on nicely with magnets. I’ve seen a lot of headcaps, and I’m partial to caps that prevent the back from sliding off even if the magnets aren’t working.

So, that all being said, I think I’m going to take the plunge into Zbrush. I studied 3D design in college as well and I feel confident working in such a program. It’s now just a matter of teaching myself how to use the interface and get the results I want. Before I buy though, I’m going to try the tutorial. I’ve done some research on other programs but if you’re reading this and have experience and opinions on programs I should look into, please let me know in the comments. I would love to gather more user experience and stories before I settle.

Now. The breakthrough.
My SO was browsing the web and had a Eureka! moment to share with me. (also I cannot tell you how nice it is to have SO interested in my projects even if SO doesn’t care one lick about dolls xD ) Apparently, we can use a CNC machine to make the molds. This to me sounds like something that would be most beneficial if I was 100% sure the doll would be perfect right from Zbrush, however I do know from watching and listening to and following other sculptors that this isn’t always the case.

I think the way I’m going to proceed is pretty simple. I’m going to sculpt the 2D drawings I have made for my dolls and print them. I’ll see if all the mechanics work and then fix everything that doesn’t work with hands on sculpting materials. Once I get something like that, I’ll begin casting myself… provided I can get my hands on a pressure chamber. If not I’ll try and get my dolls cast by a company until I can grow enough to cast myself.

I have a few ideas for different lines and I think the best way to go forward now and figure out if all my ideas work is … to just do it.

I’ll keep you updated here on this blog in case you’re interested in my progress 🙂

-Meeks

Updated BJD Faceup Prices

MeekyBJD-Faceups

BJDs

Hey Everyone,
My name is Aubrey Meeks and though I only joined the hobby in 2016, I have a BFA of Fine Arts, focusing on Painting and Sculpture. I live in Germany but am from New York City. I’ve been in the hobby for a little under a year but I’ve been sculpting and casting in resin and painting it since 2009

Services and Pricing:
Faceups – $35
Body Blushing – $50
Tattoos – $5 per tattoo
Everything is plus calculated shipping. Heads usually go insured for about 4-5 dollars and SD size full dolls are about $37 to the US, just for an idea.
Terms
All items will be sent from me by DHL or DHL Express and insured so that if anything is lost, we can track the item and get the money back for it. For this reason, I will not under-declare the item. However, I can always mark it as your personal effects so customs fees will never be an issue.
If an item chips within six months of my painting it because of something I may have done wrong, (not because of scuffing, dropping, scratches done by the doll owner) , I will redo the faceup or blushing for free, provided you pay for shipping again.
I will send updates every step of the way.
**Legit BJDs Only**

Please send all requests through the Contact Page

All the clichés about turning around when life gets weird.

Accomplishments are great about 99% of the time but for me, my accomplishments of 2016 seem (like the rest of the year) shitty.

I published a book. I think that’s great. I think publishing a book is amazing. I got it funded successfully on Kickstarter and brought together artists and writers from around the globe. Now it’s sinking in and we’re making our royalty checks and I can’t help but think “This isn’t as cool as I had hoped it would be.”

Crows on Heartstrings was great, but I could have researched my story more, I could have paid another editor to look over the book just five more times on top of the countless number of reads went into it as it was. I could have done so much more but I didn’t and now I can’t focus on anything but those things. I don’t feel like I rushed Crows, but I feel like now that I’ve done it, I would go about it differently. So now I have this book that is successful on so many different levels that you might want to look at it, and I feel… unfulfilled. Like I didn’t do the best I could. And maybe that’s just a symptom of being naive and making all the first mistakes I needed to make.

If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it.

I got into the BJD hobby this year. If you know nothing about BJD’s it stands for Ball Jointed Dolls. They’re made of resin and are limited run casts of art dolls. They’re not like barbies or action figures. They are 100% customizable works of art. Some people may say they’re weird, because dolls are weird right? But what I ended up doing, and what most collectors end up doing, is I made them into my characters from all the books I was working on. In doing this, I was able to flesh out characters and see them better. In doing this, I decided to scrap my Archer and the Lust Boys project. But the characters and some story elements didn’t die.
BJDs helped me see that on a broader spectrum, if I wrote about what I loved instead of what I felt I owed my characters, I could make some kind of fantasy masterpiece.
All the characters from my worlds fit nicely into one single Urban Fantasy/Alternate history world. They all exist on the same plane now. Archer and the Lust Boys still exist and are an integral part of the story, but they’re no longer boring teenagers who don’t do ver much as far as external plot is concerned.

I am focusing on world religion. I took art history as a minor in university and I loved learning about the religion and cultures that produced works of art I loved so much. I don’t want to spoil anything about the project I’m working on now, mainly because I am still in the research phase of it and anything I say now is likely to change, but I’m happy. I’m researching. I’m researching things that I love and find interesting. I might not be ready to write this first book until next year, but when I do it will be a well mapped out and researched world and I’m proud of myself for having realized that I needed to improve my world-building. It seems so stupid now, for me to say, “yeah I rushed the world building” I just feel so stupid about that.

While I research, I am creating more traditional art. I realized I wanted to draw characters and illustrate because I admired so man illustrators. But I’m not an illustrator. I’m an abstract artist. I’m a fine artist. So my two main focuses are that. I am working on creating more original abstract pieces and expanding my skills as an artist. I am also working on sculpting my own dolls, because I’ve always wanted to make dolls and the more I fall into this BJD hobby, the more I feel like this is what I was meant to do.

2016 helped me reprioritize my life and realize what I was doing for me and what I was doing because I thought I had to.

I will start posting more blogs, but they might not be writing related. They might just be art updates and commission updates. I definitely won’t be doing illustration anymore.

My point is that I was doing all of these things that vaguely lead me to this place and when I sat down to think about what I wanted to do, it all clicked. I am so excited to work on all the things I’ve got planned now. Everything I’m doing excites me.

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – Sarah J. Maas

I need to start out with saying I think this series is on the right track for things we need in YA Literature. I loved it. I shamelessly loved it, and I will continue to read it, probably even after the publisher ruins the plot with those added six books they signed.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

So that’s the excerpt from the first book. It’s going to get spoilery from here on out as this is more of a discussion than a real review. The review is: I loved it.

So anyone who’s read the books knows everything goes to shit in the second book and Feyre and Rhysand are mates and DEATH TO TAMLIN… right? Well. While I love Rhysand, and I truly believe he and Feyre were meant to be, and I love where the plot took them, I want to take a little time to argue for Tamlin.

I took to tumblr to get my fill of Feyre x Rhysand fanart and found everyone and their mother talking about how they knew Tamlin was just an abusive relationship from the start and how grotesque he is etc etc -___-

-___-

But let’s talk about Tamlin for a second because there is a very important lesson here that a lot of discussions miss. I just read a point by a tumblr user that pins Tamlin as irredeemable because he killed Rhysand’s family, or idly watched.

Tamlin’s father felt threatened by Rhysand’s court. That was the point. Tamlin’s only fault is that he followed his father. His father told him that, as a king, this is what had to be done to keep their families safe. Tamlin standing on the sideline and watching Rhysand’s mother and sister die was purely a matter of “whose side are you on?”

When a war breaks out, each side thinks they’re on the side of the righteous. No one ever fights a war because they think they’re wrong. We are horrified that Tamlin watched because we love Rhysand. We are on Rhysand’s side. We see him as the righteous leader we would get behind because we are reading through Feyre’s unreliable narrative.

Now, is Tamlin a shitty ass boyfriend? Sure he is. But was it justified? Absolutely. Feyre keeps saying that he stopped trying to woo her after they got engaged. Which might be true. But he was upset and heartbroken when she didn’t break the curse at first. He could have helped her, but maybe he was hurt and outraged by the 50 year curse he had failed to break. He probably blamed himself as well as Feyre.

Now. When they got back to the Spring Court, the boy who lost everything is trying to protect Feyre. The boy who already demonstrated for us how controlling he had learned to be from his father’s fae tradition, is being a dick. Tamlin is a product of his environment. The only problem with Tamlin is that he is ignorant.

Tamlin has feelings. He loves Feyre. He just thinks he is displaying his love, and going to the ends of the earth to help her, to find her, to make up for what he didn’t do under the mountain for her. (Because keep in mind, Tamlin doesn’t know Rhysand the way we do. Tamlin knows the Rhysand of the Court of Nightmares. Please keep that in mind. He knows that Feyre hates Rhysand. He has not seen what we’ve seen.) The problem with Tamlin is that he needs to be taught how to love and Rhysand has already been taught how to love.

Tamlin is a victim of circumstance.

Rhysand is a good person because he has had life experiences that have lead him to understand true empathy and Tamlin is ignorant to that kind of love.

Tamlin is shitty and redeemable. His heart is in the right place.

** Edit**

I got a response here basically stating that Tamlin shouldn’t be excused because he “Doesn’t know any better.” Because he is not a child. And I agree, this is my response:

He has to learn how to behave differently from how he was raised. Tamlin follows the law and does not question it. Because he is an adult it is taking him much longer to learn to question the establishment, where Rhys grew up with that mindset. He didn’t help Feyre because tradition told him not to. Be isn’t someone who doesn’t know any better at all, that is not the point I was trying to make. He is someone who was taught values and truly believes he is on the side of the just. He believes in tradition. But he is willing to change ad displayed in the last scene with Feyre. It’s just taking him a while because he is so old and has grown up with this set of values. I think he’s shitty and I’m glad we got to know Rhys who is undeniably a better character no matter how morally ambiguous he is, but again, Tamlin doesn’t know Rhys as we do.. so if we knew Rhys as Tamlin does, we probably would have acted as Tamlin did. And regarding watching Rhysand family die, again, he thought his father was right. He believed his court was the righteous. It isn’t that he didn’t know better, it’s that this is what he believed to be true and because he believes in tradition, he doesn’t have the mind to question anything.
Tamlin has a lot of learning to do. To be redeemed he has to stop doing things he thinks are right, and start educating himself. I don’t think he has very many unique opinions or ideas. He needs to step outside of tradition and become his own person.

**Edit Edit**

Another user replied “So abuse is excusable under certain circumstances?” and I just thought it was a good part of the discussion to address

My answer for that is:

No, Abuse cannot be justified. But he is not irredeemable because he made decisions based on his past experiences. He was acting in a state of war, trying to keep her safe the only way he knew how based on how his own family was slaughtered in their beds. He tried to keep her safe as he was taught to, and traumatized enough to do, and she left and found a good relationship. He went to find her, not because he wanted to chain her up, but because the last time he saw Rhysand, he was Rhysand of the court of nightmares, the dickhead Rhysand who we know Feyre understands to be a false front. Let us not forget that Rhysand drugged Feyre so she wouldn’t remember him kissing her and grinding on her and having very lewd dancing for all to see. That is how Tamlin remembers him, and that is why he went after Feyre. Tamlin being redeemable does not mean he didn’t do things which are inexcusable. It is up to him to learn from his mistakes. Every character in this book is morally ambiguous and our side in the war determines whose actions are excusable and whose are not.

5 Days To Go! Let’s Fund Crows on Heartstrings!

b46e8e6853cf2c1e2fb3d3e3a4b41bc8_original

WE’RE 85% FUNDED AND NEED ONE MORE PUSH TO GET FUNDED IN THE NEXT FIVE DAYS!

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

We only have FIVE DAYS! We can do this with your help!

crows_on_heartstrings_cover_spread

Crows on Heartstrings is a fully illustrated anthology of short stories. We have a little something for everyone, no matter what your gender, sexuality, or color, we have something for you. We are proud to say that we are mostly created by, for and about lgbtqa+ folks. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. We are also comprised of 23 women, and 3 men, so READ WOMEN!

The project is in its last FIVE DAYS on kickstarter and we need all of your support to bring our dream to life! please pledge if you can, and spread the word. thank you for everything, guys. we would not have made it this far without you!

 

Here are some of our contributors:

@aegisdea @aubreymeeksart @pannan-art @sonialiao @maxwickstrom @weatherfox @alisabishop @heavenlyeros @dodtt @spectre-draws @thevioletknight @shutterbones @artofpan

@theconstantvoice

What Crows on Heartstrings NEEDS:

We need FUNDING. We need your pledges to make this a reality. If you can pledge even just five dollars if you can, and tell five friends personally to pledge as well, we can do this! We want to give you the characters you want to read. Please help us make this inclusive book written and illustrated by 23 women, and 3 men, some or most of us LGBT+ writers and artists.  Come on! We can do it!

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

We only have FIVE DAYS! We can do this with your help!

0eb8bd6fab8072b368d58e2a3fc7fa48_original

Crows on Heartstrings: Only 9 Days Left on Kickstarter!

Check out Sneak Peeks of all the story illustrations from Crows on Heartstrings!

Please click here to back us on Kickstarter!

Sneak Peek #3: A Bullet for Death’s Rifle by Emily Duncan, illustrated by Sonia Liao

8e3c58ec9e19f56385dbfd7815dc3621_original copy

Death is a girl named Caterina Kazakova. She harvests souls with her sniper rifle and watches as war tears through her country, as it always has and always will. When Caterina falls in love with a soldier in the warlord’s army, she knows what they have will be a short and bitter thing. A girl who is Death cannot love; a boy who is a soldier in this war is fated to die.

She collected the tethers like strings tied to her fingers, some black, some red, some in colors that Caterina had no name for. There were many, the aftermath of this battle was grim. A shot. A tether tied to her index finger. Another shot. A string tied to her wrist. She did not discriminate, she tied strings from both sides around and around until her own gloves had disappeared underneath the weight of the souls and their stories.

But it was dangerous to listen. It was dangerous to bend an ear and allow the soul their final words. If one spoke, the rest would hear and demand their turn. Too many tethers, too many strings, too many souls to ever hear their woes and their unfulfilled dreams. Better to set them free.

– Except from A Bullet for Death’s Rifle from @glitzandshadows , art by@sonialiao

Please help us spread the word! If you’ve pledged and want to see us funded, please share our kickstarter link across social media!

Click here to pledge!

Thank you for your support!