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What is your name (and usernames)?
Monica Miller – Still Plays with Dolls

Where are you from?
Born and raised in Arkansas – live in Ohio.

Age-
I’m a child of the 80s!

How long have you been customizing?
Over four years. I started with Barbie dolls.

What got you started?
My best friend and I had some skippers from our childhood that we wanted to “grow up” into Barbies. Silly, I know! But we are silly creatures. So, we found some Barbies and made them look like our old Skippers. It was quite fun.

What types of customs do you do?
Mainly Monster High. I was exclusively Barbie for over a year and then went on hiatus. When I came back I focused solely on Monster High, then filtered in a little Lalaloopsy minies, and the occasional Barbie. I’m going to be doing my first Blythe by the end of the year.

What sort of mediums do you use?
Saran hair is my favorite. I use nylon when I want a good curl. Acrylic and enamel paints. Chalk pastels. Loads of glitter, beads, rhinestones, etc.

Are there any products you just can’t live without?
Fabric Tac. It’s right up there with the hair. I have more than one bottle on hand at all times.

What is your most favorite custom you have made?
If you asked me 2 months ago and then again in 2 months, I’ll never have the same answer! But for right now Stella is my favorite: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=432956536755691&set=pb.185144718203542.-2207520000.1349054289&type=1&theater

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What is your least favorite custom you have made?
Hands down Mystivia Jinx. She got the better of me! http://www.flickr.com/photos/25929835@N03/6012391737/in/set-72157629337329100

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What is the worst injury you’ve had from working on customs?
I can’t think of anything specifically BUT I will tell you that almost every doll has some blood, sweat or tears in it!

What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while working on your art?
I make LOTS of mistakes. My mistakes are usually what make me say, “O, dear! How am I going to cover that up?!” And it’s what usually makes the doll even better. I have yet to laugh because usually I want to cry. Haha! But, the one mistake that makes me laugh now is when I did a remake and forgot the freckles on a doll-I mean that was my personal favorite feature and I overlooked it!

Who/What inspires you?
Color! I love colors! I love to mix them and play with them. I’m inspired sometimes by just the doll in its natural state. Sometimes I see hair and I’m like: O so pretty-must have! Doll clothing. Greek mythology. Super heroes. And good stories (that I like to make up myself).

What projects are you currently working on?
Everything and nothing all at once! I have some Katy Perry dolls that I’m doing for a customer. I’ve got a custom Rochelle in the works for a customer. I’ve got a Monster High Rock band named Love Skull in the works. Plus, She-ra and Cat-ra! (And LOADS more.)

Do you have any odd habits while working on customs?
I like to watch Supernatural episodes. It’s counterproductive sometimes because I miss the eye candy that is the Winchester boys or I enjoy the eye candy and don’t work on my dolls.

Also, when I’m working on dolls I destroy my house in the process. It can take me two days to clean up after a week of making dolls.

What types of art do you enjoy?
I enjoy character art. I can’t draw/sketch/paint so I really enjoy that!

Do you take commissions?
I no longer take commissions. I will accept commissions on occasion from established customers.

Where can people see your work and contact you? (facebook, da, website- give us them all) 🙂
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Still-Plays-with-Dolls/185144718203542
Deviantart: http://arkohio.deviantart.com/
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25929835@N03/
Twitter: stillplaysdolls

Do you have any favorite tips or tricks?
Don’t use too much hair. Partlines are your friend and the key to making a hairstyle work. Don’t be afraid to RIP ALL THE HAIR OUT and start over. I’ve done it before but it was worth it.

What advice do you have for someone just starting to get into customizing?
It’s hard and it’s tedious. If you are a patient person who can look at themselves critically then it should be fine. If you are like me and impatient and highly critical, then it’s a great way to keep yourself in check! 😉

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