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What is your name (and usernames)? Michele Drake. People call me Chele.

Where are you from? Born in Oregon, and I have lived in Alaska for over 30 years.

Age –51

How long have you been in the art industry? I have owned art based businesses since the early 90’s, and eventually it melded with my love of collecting dolls.

What got you started? I wanted what I saw for sale at the stores and shows, but couldn’t afford the prices, so I taught myself to make the items I wanted at a big savings.

What types of customs/art/crafts do you do? I restore and customize vintage (and some antique) dolls. The bulk of my interest is the Topper Dawn dolls and Palitoy Pippa dolls (UK) from the 70’s, though I work on all types.

What sort of mediums do you use? Acrylics and Saran hair. I create custom outfits from all types of fabrics, including silks. I enjoy using beads and embellishments on my customs, a holdover from my days as a bead work artist and teacher.

Are there any products you just can’t live without? Oh, my Golden Fluid Paints!! And my eensy brushes (very HTF here in Alaska sometimes)

What is your most favorite piece of work you have made?


What is your least favorite piece of work you have made?


What is the worst injury you’ve had from working on your art? Aside from the occasional needle stick, I have had a great safety record so far….but now that I said that….. haha!

What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while working on your art? I sewed a one piece patterned jacket together upside down, lining and all. It makes a great, but unusual shrug, my Blonde reroot Sindy wears it!

Who/What inspires you? My friends, my fellow collectors, and the beautiful things I come across, all play into the ideas that form in my head.

What projects are you currently working on? A Steam Punk Pippa, using silks and beadwork on the outfit.

Do you have any odd habits while working on customs/art/crafts? You have been talking to my children, haven’t you? Haha! Other than needing music as a backdrop, I don’t think I do.

What types of art do you enjoy? Mystical, ethereal, animal and female centric styles.

Do you take commissions? Yes, I do, just contact me though my business page on facebook with what you are interested in.

Where can people see your work and contact you?


Do you have any favorite tips or tricks? The best advice I ever got, was, use quality products, in the end, they save you effort and time (and frustration) I have also found it’s important to have a dedicated space to work in

What advice do you have for someone just starting to get into customizing/art? Believe in yourself, be willing to fail and learn, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A true artist believes in the harmony of sharing, and the community is full of people willing to help.