What is your name (and usernames)? Gem Howe – Midnight’s Trinkets on Facebook, Deviant Art, Ebay and glhowe on Flickr
Where are you from?
I am from the UK and i live in a little county called Cornwall.
I just turned 24
How long have you been in the art industry?
I went to college when i was 16 were i stayed for 4 years doing art and design courses. I then went onto University to do fashion design for 3 years.
What got you started?
I was in school during art class and my teacher encouraged me to express my work through different media. So i started customising porcelain dolls and barbies for installations.
What types of customs/art do you do?
I have used many doll bases. I have used Barbies, Little apple dolls, Living dead dolls, Monster high and the occasional My little Pony. I tend to do any idea that pops into my head at the time, be it fantasy, film character, original character or even the gorier kind. I love to try and make my ideas as different as i can.
What sort of mediums do you use?
I love to use anything i can find in general. I love to use acrylics and mix it up with water colours. I have used pastels, pencils and even make up! Yes i said make up, i experimented with using real eye shadows for shadowing in the past. I use a lot of glue with my glue gun or pva. I re root or buy wigs and i love to sculpt using air dry clays, expoxy clays and sculpey products.
Are there any products you just can’t live without?
Mr super clear spray, my glue gun and acrylic paints!
What is your most favorite custom you have made?
– This one was a gift for my best friend and i had to fight myself to send her on.
What is your least favorite custom you have made?
– This one purely for her scary factor. I tried to remake a zombie Frankie but i feel i took her too far and she even scares me gasp
What is the worst injury you’ve had from working on customs?
I have done all sorts from burning my arms with glue from the glue gun, sliced fingers, needle jabs from sewing and even had a needle snap out of my sewing machine and hit me in the eye (thankfully just as i closed it).
What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while working on your art?
I have had many mistakes and some funnier than others really. I have had limbs pop off and fly across the room. I also altered a doll to be thinner than she was which ended up looking quite rude till i finished her and some friends pointed out she was a tad on the naughty side 😛
Who/What inspires you?
I love to create dolls, i like to think that i make the dolls just for myself but sometimes during the making process i loose the love and place them for sale. Sometimes i get an idea in my head and i just have to do it. I have a list of dolls i want to do and i slowly work on them when i find the right base for the job.
What projects are you currently working on? I am currently working on Monster High dolls at the moment. They are a challenge with such a small base and i love the detail that can be achieved. I am currently working on a steam punk inspired by the stunning model Kato!
Do you have any odd habits while working on customs/art?
I do, i tend to paint on my jeans unsure i either use a baby wipe to clean my brushes in-between colours but if not my jeans become a palette of colour.
What types of art do you enjoy?
I love dolls mostly, i could spend hours looking at custom dolls. I am like a kid in a toy store, but window shopping. I spent four years in college visiting museums and galleries and i have seen all types of art that you can imagine. I just love how much creativity can go into such a small object!
Do you take commissions?
I do, i started out by selling my random dolls on ebay till a girl who is now a very close friend commissioned two dolls from me and it went from there. I love trying to create someones idea in a doll.
Where can people see your work and contact you?
Deviant Art: http://midnightstrinkets.deviantart.com/
Do you have any favorite tips or tricks?
When i paint a doll i find a base coat of white always helps, i like to remove all factory based paint. I then use a thin white acrylic in two or three layers to add a base for the paint to stick to and then work on in details. It also make it easy to paint over or remove if you go wrong.
What advice do you have for someone just starting to get into customizing/art?
Don’t be put off by other peoples skills, we all have to start somewhere. Know your limits but don’t be put off by other peoples art work. I have got better with practise and i look back at older dolls and think “did i really paint that?” Just keep going even if your think your not good enough. If your having trouble with a custom put it down for a day, week or month even and come back to it with fresh eyes and you will be surprised at what will come to you. My last tip would be do it in your own time, don’t rush and put as much time as you need to into your work as it will be all the better for it!