Friday, October 21, 2022

Doll Making: Artworks turning into life ft. Kat Lacsina

Kat Lacsina: Doll Customization Artist

Doll making or doll customization is a type of art that can be done in a wide range of styles and mediums consisting of both pre-made components and entirely creative techniques. Producing customized dolls requires a variety of different tools and skills, such as sculpting, painting, and customizing different kinds of work approaches. Making or customizing dolls takes weeks and even months to complete as artwork, it depends on the design that is applied.

It really cannot be denied that despite the confusion in the making, there are still many admirers of doll customizing around the world. Many doll makers and doll artists are now emerging in the Philippines, and Kat Lacsina is one of them. Kat Lacsina is a 31-year-old doll artist now based in Quezon City and for her, customizing dolls has greatly helped her financial, mental, and emotional stability.

Kat’s life as an Artist

Around 2017 when Kat started collecting dolls. According to her, she saw some Monster High dolls in a mall and she liked them because of their unique appearance, they were still cheap at that time because they were on sale, so she thought of collecting them. During those times, Kat also discovered that there are many existing doll artist communities online, just like on Facebook where she became friends with fellow collectors as well. She started customizing dolls using her collection of Monster High dolls but eventually sold them to buy the first Ball-jointed doll that she had dreamed of having since high school. She has always loved ball-jointed dolls, her passion started when she discovered "Mistula" in a song magazine. "Mistula" is a band with a concept inspired by dolls. She was very fascinated when she saw them and out of curiosity, she searched for them, and this is where her love for ball-jointed dolls started.

Kat really likes to customize things, so when she built her own ball-jointed doll she started exploring how to "face-up" or paint the face of the BJD. When she created her first work, her friends liked it and eventually pushed her to pursue accepting face-up commissions. With the help of this, Kat was given the opportunity to expand her knowledge of art and learn different customization techniques such as temporary modifications, piercings, fixing sculpts, and adjustments in the molds of the dolls. Kat just enjoys discovering new things, especially those related to arts and music, so for her, she did not feel that learning this type of art was difficult. Instead of struggling, she felt excited and enthusiastic to work and since she somehow knew how to draw, she just thought that she needed to draw and color with other materials, so with these, she immediately learned.

Kat doesn't have specific steps in designing and customizing a doll, only her imagination and proper utilization of the tools she has are what allowed her to improve. As per Kat, the only important thing is to use the right materials so that the dolls don't break, and of course, trial and error in practicing. With the help of these, eventually, you will be able to hone and discover the specific style that is in line with your preference and you will also avoid being afraid to explore.

Doll Making as Kat’s tool in his life

Kat began to love and consider making and customizing dolls as her passion when she had her first ball-jointed doll. Her love for it deepened when she learned to do face-ups for other people, the very process of learning this hobby gave her great pleasure in her life. Kat feels that through doll customization she can do the two things she enjoys doing, the arts and assembling or modifying the doll's hybrid parts as if she were building a puzzle. When her friends first saw her works, they immediately pushed her to commission art and in fact, they became her first customers. Because of this art, she is very grateful for the trust and all-out support is given to her. The price of the dolls entrusted to her is no joke either, so her joy is different every time she sees her customers being satisfied with what she has done. Because of this, nothing can measure the depth of his love and passion for this art.

Doll Making has contributed so much to Kat not only as a passion but also in her personal life. This art has helped her with her financial stability, and it also made a way for her to escape from her mental and emotional storms that she went through before, this became her therapy to make her life better. As others have said that art is our way of expression, and this made her go from scrambling on the sidelines to pouring her all into this hobby. This art gave her the ability to trust herself and her own abilities, she even had the eagerness to try different things to improve and avoid her self-pity in life.

“Every time I achieve or learn something new in this art, my anxiety in life is reduced. When I see clients happy with my work, I feel the same about myself.”

                                                                                                                - Kat Lacsina (Translated to English)

Kat’s advice to young and aspiring artists

“Maybe what I always like to say the most is, Don't be afraid to explore new things! you'll never know you might be the first to do something. And practice, more practice. Trial and error, it's okay to make mistakes or not be perfect in your eyes as long as you learn something. You don't have to be a master of something right away, don't be hard on yourself. Don't rush and don't put pressure on yourself because this often happens when we're just starting out, we want to be like our idols right away, I was like this too, I know the feeling that when you see a great improvement, you immediately feel discouraged because I think it's not possible. Enjoy the journey. You'll eventually discover a part of yourself that can be a reason for your self-love and self-esteem to become healthier. Celebrate small victories no matter how small they are, and be proud of yourself for the improvements and what you have achieved. Sometimes it may take a while but you will surely get there, and you will also be good in the field you have chosen. Let's not be afraid or discouraged by people who judge or negative comments about our work, let's use this drive to improve. I always remind myself that imperfections are what makes a thing special and unique... one more thing, you are already a beautiful masterpiece yourself!. I also believe that we can learn something if we really want to do it. Art is everywhere, Art is infinite...there are so many possibilities so keep exploring and learning!”

                                                                                                                - Kat Lacsina (Translated to English)

Some of Kat Lacsina’s best artworks

All Photos above are courtesy of Kat Lacsina

Written by: Jan Audrey Francisco

Jan Audrey Francisco is a Digital Marketing intern at PS Media Enterprise. He is a 4th-year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

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