1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am from the United States and live in the wonderful state of Iowa. The heartland of America!
2. Have you always been interested in dolls?
No! I was a tomboy growing up and only became interested in dolls when I discovered reborns in 2005.
3. When did you first become interested in sculpting?
After I had discovered reborn dolls. I started researching in 2005 and discovered the whole process of reborns from start to finish. I had no idea that a vinyl doll kit began as a sculptor's vision and putting that vision into reality through clay! And from there, having it produced into a vinyl doll kit.
4. How did you first encounter reborn dolls?
I had a friend from my church family that had started reborning and she brought one of her recent works. I was totally amazed and captured by the beauty of the art of reborning.
5. Have you sculpted dolls from the time you started sculpting, or did you start off with something else?
I started by sculpting mini babies, which I still do to this day. But have incorporated the larger dolls and production into vinyl just recently. I dabbled in doll production in 2007, but most recently have jumped in full force in 2018!
6. How long have you been sculpting?
I started sculpting in 2006. I spent 2005 researching and learning the process of reborning and then sculpting. I bought my first bar of clay in 2006.
7. What medium do you use to sculpt your babies with?
I have used Prosculpt Baby and Perfect Finish Clay. Those two being my favorite mediums.
8. What inspires & motivates you to sculpt?
My grandbaby, Alexa Marie and other sweet little one, currently with our family. When I see newborn babies. Scrolling through Facebook and coming across pictures of babies! And honestly, I just love working with clay and seeing what develops out of the clay! It is very satisfying!
9. Do you sculpt full time & do you have other hobbies?
I sculpt when I have time. I am a stay-at-home mom and also homeschool my children. So finding time is difficult. I sometimes work in the mornings and sometimes at night when I am resting after a long day! I also love knitting, crocheting, sewing, and gardening to name a few. I think I have too many hobbies to try and juggle them all!
10. Do you only sculpt for kit production or do you do custom ~ portrait orders too?
I sculpt ooak minis to sell and for kit production. I will be expanding into resin and silicone this year, 2019. I also do custom ooak mini babies, portrait orders and memorial sculpts.
11. When did your first kit come out and what was the baby's name?
I had an amazing friend, the late Elena, from Bloomers and Bows that produced 3 kits of mine. At the time I was going under the artist name, J.Lynn. She took a chance in my work from the beginning. I look back and cringe at the kits, but she loved them and they sold very well for her. The kits she produced of mine were, PoohBear, Puddin', and Blossom. She inspired me to continue in my sculpting so many times, when I wanted to give up. I later produced a kit on my own in 2007 called Maddison. As well as a kit for Melody Hess and Dawn McLeod.
12. How many kits have you produced to date?
4 to date. Madison, 2007; Addison 2013; Alexa Marie 2018; Araya Sunshine 2019
13. Do you have a list of names of all of your kits you have produced as we would love to have an archive directory for your sculpts?
14. Which baby of yours has been your all time favorite and why?
I would have to say my Alexa Marie, because she was sculpted after my granddaughter, Alexa Marie! Araya Sunshine is a close running though!
15. Do you plan to continue sculpting babies for kits?
Yes I do. I love seeing the results in vinyl. Nothing is more exciting than to receive the prototypes and see your hard work in vinyl!
16. How do you feel about the reborn doll industry?
What excites you and what upsets you?
I absolutely love the reborn doll industry. From the Reborn Artists, to the Reborn Collectors. Without these wonderful people, I wouldn't be able to do what I love. I appreciate each and every one of them for their support! There are some things that certainly frustrate me in regards to the doll industry. Seeing all of the illegal copying that has been done from Chinese manufacturers to personal artists who think it's okay to reproduce a vinyl kit into silicone without an artist's permission. I am hoping that with being educated, this illegal practice will stop soon.
17. How do you feel about the progression of the art of reborning over the past 10 years?
It has been fascinating seeing the progression in the reborn art. It amazes me the new techniques these wonderful artists are discovering and creating! The realism that they have achieved in the past couple of years has been mind-blowing! It's sometimes hard to tell if a reborn is a real baby or not! I am a huge fan of the art!
18. Do you think that this industry has a long term future or do you think its just a fad that will blow over?
I do believe that the market for reborns will always be there. I feel that as long as the goal of the reborn artist is to achieve extreme realism, there will always be a market. Reborns have gained more exposure in the past 5 or so years through Hollywood as well, as we have seen reborns being used in movies, commercials, etc. Which is great exposure for the community.
9.What are your plans and hopes for the future?
I plan on expanding into the silicone community this year, 2019. I hope to be able to continue sculpting for as long as the Good Lord allows! I truly enjoy the art and am so thankful that He blessed me with the talent.
20. Do you have something new in the works?
I am currently working on another baby for kit production. She will be an open-eyed 0-3 month sized baby!