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Interview with Gina/GBaby and Giveaway!

Written on August 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Featured, Giveaway with tags:

I met the lovely Gina (a.k.a. GBaby) at BlytheCon this year in Portland, OR. Before that I was a quiet admirer of her gorgeous customs, all the way back near the beginning when she was working on a little CanCanCat named Billie. Since then, Gina’s work has become sought after and people just know it’s going to be something good when there’s a new GBaby custom being created. Besides the pouty lips that a lot of Blythe collectors know and love, Gina also handpaints eyechips, sews doll clothes and does the most beautiful reroots. I had the pleasure of interviewing Gina and I’d like to share it with you.

Bailey GBaby Customer

Hi Gina! What can you tell us about yourself and how you came to discover Blythe?
I discovered Blythe in Oct 2008 while searching the web for photos of Roisin Murphy. I was browsing the yahoo images section when I found a photo of a Blythe dressed and posed just like one of Roisin’s photos. I was very curious about this doll so I looked into it more. Then I discovered the whole world of Blythe on Flickr and never looked back! Now Blythe has become much more than a hobby for me. It’s my job, but I say this in a very good way. I love that I have been able to make a mini business out of this thing that I love so much and I’m having a lot of fun doing it!

What made you start customizing?
When I first discovered Blythes I fell in love with the customs. I would browse Flickr for hours and hours everyday just admiring all the custom dolls. So, from the beginning customizing was always something that I wanted to do.

Who was the first Blythe doll that you had customized? What did you learn from the experience?
My first Blythe was a CanCanCat named Billie. My original plan was to buy one doll and customize her to be my mini me, but that didn’t really work out. I learned so much from that first attempt. I learned that I was completely inexperienced no matter how many times I read and went over the Puchi Collective tutorials. I learned that black RIT will stain your dolls head, arms, body, and everything else if not washed out all the way. I learned that you will carve a hole right through your dolls mouth if you go too deep. I learned that flat ironing your dolls dry bare stock hair will burn it. and I learned all this the hard way. So you can imagine what Billie turned out to look like at first with RIT stains, over carved lips, and burned bangs! but it was a good experience for me. Since I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, I really had to experiment and try different methods, use different materials, and find my way of doing things. I redid Billie at least 3-4 times after that but never was able to get her right. I actually still have her but now she exists as just a head that I use as a tester for piercings, paints, msc, etc.. the tragedy!


What has been some of the inspirations behind some of your custom dolls?

I get inspired by colors. Sometimes I have no plan for what I want to do or what kind of theme I want for a doll, but I will know what colors I want to use and from there I get ideas on how to use them together. To me it’s the most important part of my creations. I always think of color combinations first and everything else follows. But sometimes I also get inspired by themes. I love making slightly goth looking dolls, I think I have a million ideas for that style. Or I can get inspiration from things. I thought of the idea for Magnolia after seeing a pic on Flickr of a Magnolia tree.

How did you get started in handpainting eye chips?
When I first started customizing I was trying all kinds of crazy things. I wanted to be able to customize every aspect of the doll but I had no experience or knowledge so I would just experiment. I was using glitter ball point pens to scribble all over the back of chips and then put a foil over it to try and keep it in tact. It wasn’t quite the look I was going for so that didn’t go very far. I realized that glitter pens were probably not the right type of thing that I should be using so I tried metallic paints instead and it worked a lot better. At first I was only painting solid colors because I loved the look of the glitter. But there were a handful of people who were doing some really amazing things with painted and custom resin chips. Some people were even using Photoshop to make custom foils, so I wanted to do more than just paint solid colors. I didn’t have a clue how to use Photoshop and the thought of resin scared the crap out of me so I thought I’d give painting chips a go. There are no tutorials out there on how to paint chips so it was all a trial and error type of learning process for me. It took a ton of practice, but now I finally think I have found my own techniques and personal style of painting them.

What would you say is a ‘signature’ aspect of your customs that make them yours?
Going back to the colors again.. Color coordination is really important to me and I think it’s a significant aspect of most my dolls. I try to give each new doll a different color combo that I have not used before and it kind of helps make them unique from each other that way. But other people might say that my signature type of doll is a mohair custom girl with two or three toned hair, pouty plump lips and a bad attitude. Hehe.

Your customs have become pretty sought after in the Blythe community, how do you feel about that?
I feel like I’ve come a looong long way because it was not always so easy for me to sell my dolls. It is such a blessing to me that people enjoy my dolls and appreciate all the work and love that I put into making them. I am very thankful for that :)

If you could go back to when you were first starting to customize and tell yourself one thing that you’ve learned since then, what would you say?
I would tell myself to reroot mohair DRY. It saves soooooo much time!!

What’s a typical day like for you when you’re working on your custom dolls or eyechips?
The way I work is, I absolutely have to have my coffee no matter what time of day it is. My coffee is my fuel. I also have to have some kind of chocolate nearby, that is also fuel. I have to be listening to my iPod while I’m doing the faceup, painting eye chips, or sewing. But if I’m working on a mohair reroot I have to be watching a DVD like The Office, or Southpark because rerooting is totally boring and does not require thinking, so I need more entertainment than just music. that’s just the way I roll and I cannot work in any other way!! lol. As long as I have those things I can get my work done :)


What would you say has been the best thing that Blythe has brought into your life?

This might sound like a broken record, as I’m sure I’ve said this a bunch of times before as well as heard other people say the same, but Blythe has brought so many awesome things into my life!! For one, it IS my life!! But other than that, I’ve met so many amazing and wonderful people both near and far, some in person but some only via the forums and Flickr. I love the people in this community and I never would have thought that I’d have friends in different countries around the world. The fact that a little plastic doll has made that happen seems really fantastic and funny to me. Most of all, this hobby has given me something to be passionate about and something to focus all my creative energy on :)

I have 2 questions for you from Erica (ericaduh): Do you plan on opening up your commissions list? And how did you learned to sew doll clothes?
Unfortunately I am not 100% if I will ever open my commission list in the future. I have been moving ridiculously slow with the list for the past year because I’ve begun to do monthly auctions for my OOAK dolls and this takes up a lot of my time. In the future I am hoping to organize some sort of a lottery for the purchase of my dolls. It may happen very soon as my 3 year Blythe anniversary is coming up in Sept/Oct so stay tuned!!

As far as the sewing goes, about 2 years ago I had this urge to learn how to sew so that I could make things for my own dolls. My mom then taught me the basics of sewing and from there I just learned things by trial and error. Even now when I sew the outfits for my OOAK dolls I am still experimenting. I have no idea how to do things the proper way so I just do it any ol’ way that it will work. Sometimes it’s not the neatest or even the easiest way, but I’m still learning as I go along :)

Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Gina! Just one last question: what kind of advice do you have for someone who’s just getting their feet wet into the world of customizing Blythe?
Thank YOU for giving me this opportunity to share a little about myself with you all!!! I appreciate it so much :) …..My advice for new customizers is, don’t be afraid!!!! Don’t think, just DO….

Handpainted Chips Giveaway!

Gina has generously offered up one pair of handpainted chips for one very lucky BlytheLife.com reader! There’s no photo yet because she was just finishing them up recently and haven’t had the chance to photograph them (but I will update with a photo as soon as I get one!).

You can get up to thirteen (13) entries for this giveaway draw and you can enter until Sunday August 14th 2011 at 11:59pm PDT. The draw will be held on Monday August 15th 2011 and the winner will be announced on BlytheLife.com. Remember to use a valid email address for all comments. If you win, your email will be forwarded to Gina for arranging shipment of the prize.

Please only use one email address and one IP address per person, those using multiple email addresses for more entries will be disqualified.

Mandatory Entry: Comment below about the interview with Gina! Do you have any questions for her? This is worth 1 entry into the giveaway.

Bonus Entry #1: Tweet about the contest! Please retweet the following once per day from your public Twitter account! (If you look below, there is a box for you to include your Twitter username, if you do, I can easily verify your bonus entry!) Each tweet is 1 entry into the giveaway for a maximum of 7 entries into the giveaway. Please comment below to tell me that you’ve been tweeting (1 comment per tweet!)

Check out the @blythelifecom interview with GBaby for an awesome interview and giveaway! http://bit.ly/pTYhpx

Bonus Entry #2: Blog about the contest! Be sure to include some details about the contest and include links to BlytheLife.com and this interview/giveaway page. Do not copy and paste information from this page for your blog post. For 1 blog entry, this is worth 5 entries into the giveaway! You must comment below with the URL to your blog post.

31 Responses to “Interview with Gina/GBaby and Giveaway!”

  1. pooks AKA @pookalovestoms
    says:

    I spy my girl there (who will be coming home soon – yay!).

    I’d like to know which 3 customisers Gina particularly admires and why.

    • Gina says:

      ohhh gosh pooks… you are putting me on the spot here!!! I admire sooooo many customizers all for different things.. so this is really going to be a hard question for me to answer…… but if I can only choose three off the top of my head, I love the overall dolls style of Reina de Salem, (I have a girl made by her arriving soon and I am sooo excited about it!! eeeekkk). What I admire about her dolls is that they are sweet and a little spooky at the same time. Not only are they little works of art but, they are girls that you can play with everyday and take out and about with you. I admire the creativity of Picara’s dolls, it’s exciting seeing what new things she comes up with next. I always love Kitty Bee’s work. Something about her girls is so special and real, I wish that all her work was on flickr but I havent been able to find pics of some of her older dolls… :(

  2. TheBrassCupcake AKA @thebrasscupcake
    says:

    I loved hosting the traveling girl you created!! Amelia is probably the closest I will come to owning one of your babies!

    ? for Gina…. What do you do when you are not working on a Blythe? Any other hobbies?

    • Gina says:

      aw hey Jen!! when I am not working on dolls.. I’m on flickr looking at them!! LOLL… ‘true fact’….. but as far as other hobbies goes, I dont really have one. I just dont have a chance to get into other hobbies because Blythe takes up so much of my time 😉

  3. Lauren - Cakewalk Queen AKA @cakewalk_queen
    says:

    Oh man, I’ve always been a huge fan of Ginas! She’s one of my favorite customizers.

  4. Wendy AKA @thetinysea
    says:

    Great interview! Sad to learn the customs list will not reopen and crushing my dreams of owning a Gbaby someday. Gina does great work!!

  5. Wendy AKA @thetinysea
    says:

    I tweeted @thetinysea

  6. CB says:

    fab interview! Love Gina’s pouty lip girls!

  7. Steph! says:

    Oh…I bought some of Gina’s eye chips and I love them!!! What a great interview!

  8. Locksley says:

    I loved the interview, especially the part about her first Blythe, Billie! Using her as a “test doll”, so to speak, was smart and brave! I can imagine all the things Billie went through so Blythes that followed wouldn’t have to.

    I’m a sucker for color combinations and I always look for them on dolly photgraphy. The rich colors on the last Blythe shown above (Cleo) are stunning and the dress looks incredible! I love dolly seamstresses and customizers that think “outside the box”, going for unique and eye-catching looks. And those eyechips! OMG.

  9. Locksley says:

    Genesis in the black dress is sporting one of my fave eyechip colors! I love peppermint and other “minty” shades that go either toward blue or green. The eyechip color goes really well with the orange and pink blush.

    I also love the beige/nearly nude/brown lips on a lot of the customs; the color doesn’t take away from the others (blush, eyechips, eyeshadow, haircolor, etc) because it’s neutral enough, yet the lips are detailed since they’re carved. Just beautiful!

  10. Heather AKA @claribari
    says:

    All of Gina’s girls are so gorgeous! It’s nice to know what she went through with her first custom; ie, the first attempt isn’t perfect for anyone! No questions…just admiration :)

  11. Heather AKA @claribari
    says:

    Oops. Twitter account added, and I tweeted about the interview. Blog entry coming along next!

  12. Suzanne AKA @suzanneb1123
    says:

    Thank you for doing this interview. It was fascinating to say the least. I’m fortunate to have had one of my girls worked on by Gina and to this very day I still can’t get over how gorgeous my doll turned out. Gina is so incredibly talented and this interview was terrific :-)

  13. Stacie AKA @stacie_blu
    says:

    Yay! How fun to see a pic of my “Kitty!” :) I loved this interview! Gina is one of my favorite customizers, and it was so cool to learn more about her process.

    My question for Gina: When customizing your dolls, what is the ONE tool you couldn’t do without?

    • Gina says:

      Hey Stacie and Kitty!!! ohh gosh this is a hard one too because I need ALLLLL of my supplies and I couldn’t do without any of them…. but the number one thing that I couldn’t do without or replace would have to be my needle files.. only because I think all the other supplies I use can be substituted with other similar tools… but I’ve used the same type of needle files since I started out customizing 3 years ago 😉

  14. Kara AKA @karawilliamson
    says:

    Gina was one of the first customizers I discovered and she is still one of my favorites. I hope to someday be able to afford a GBaby! It was great reading the interview and learning more about the trials and errors a customizer faces.

  15. Sue AKA @weplaywithdolls
    says:

    Great interview!

  16. Katie AKA @noituudenaika
    says:

    Gina your work is amazing, I’d love to know if you have to have another job or does Blythe customisation support you?

    • Gina says:

      Hi Katie!! i dont have any other job right now so yes, the Blythe hobby does help to pay da bills!!! hehehe.. 😉

  17. Katie AKA @noituudenaika
    says:

    Tweeted the interview.

  18. Heather AKA @claribari
    says:

    Tweet for the day.

    Blog entry is here: http://claribari.blogspot.com/2011/08/gbaby-interview-and-giveaway.html

    Hope you don’t mind; I borrowed the adorable pic of Kitty. =^-^=

  19. Jennifer AKA @jenniferabe
    says:

    Great interview!! I see my wonderful Octavia there – such a fun idea to work on with Gina with amazing results! Gina is one of the most creative and talented people I know and also one of the nicest! I feel lucky to have met Gina early on in collecting and to live in the Bay Area so I can see her (and her mom, who I used to work with believe it or not) and her beautiful dollies in person!

  20. Jennifer AKA @jenniferabe
    says:

    I tweeted about the interview too!

  21. Nikki AKA @luxielou
    says:

    Great interview! I am a HUGE fan of Gina’s work! I feel so incredibly luckily to have 2 of of customs and 1 being the only vampire she has created! Zella and Tiger truly mean the world to me. I’ve had an idea for a custom for a long time that I hope I can get from Gina one day in the future! It was great to finally meet Gina at Blythecon this year, she is the sweetest!

  22. Nikki AKA @luxielou
    says:

    tweeted :)

    • Gina says:

      Not sure if the question was for me, but I will answer it anyway!! hehee.. do you mean, what is my favorite custom doll that I made? If so, I would have to say Kitty or Cleo only because I came very close to keeping them, and that is a VERY hard question to answer because of course I love all my dolls!!!!! ;(

  23. Sera AKA @nevrtakemealive
    says:

    This interview was amazing! So many of my questions answered. I love her work. Stunning. Do you have a favorite customization?

    Tweeted :)

    Blogged as well: http://chemicalcuriosity.tumblr.com/post/8890185891/gina-gbaby

  24. Fae says:

    Gina’s work is amazing. I hope I can add a Gbaby girl to my collection one day!

  25. Gina says:

    Thank you SOOOOO much for taking the time to read my interview ya’ll!!!!!! I really appreciate it a ton… and thank you all for the lovely and sweet comments :) they mean a lot to me <333333333333

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