The Doll Collector


Hello my friends!  I am here today due to several requests to do a little tutorial on using my art dolls.  It has come to my attention that many of you LOVE my art dolls, but end up wondering sometimes how to lay them out in your work.  Especially since many people are more used to doing traditional scrap rather than art journaling, but have always wanted to try art journaling or using art dolls.

I LOVE creating art dolls.  For me, it was never a question that popped in my head.  Doing art dolls is what I do.  I almost always have an art doll in my products, so it’s natural for me to use them easily.  But, just because it may be easy for me, doesn’t mean it is for everyone. I forget that sometimes.  So, I am here to show you different ways to use my art dolls.

  1.   Focal Point:  The first, and obvious way is to use them in your layouts.  Here, the art doll is the focal point of your layout.  Take a look below to see what I mean.  You will see as soon as you look at the layout, you are drawn immediately to the art doll.  She is the focus and she is generally very large, taking up almost the whole background paper.  She has a message or she just sits there all pretty.  That is up to you how you want to show her off when using an art doll as your focal point.


This is a layout I personally created using my Your Life kit.  Here I have my art doll as tall as my background paper.  I have her off to the side and some word strips to create meaning.  So, while she is off to the side, she remains the focal point of the layout.


Here is an example by Beth using my Validation kit.  She has made the art doll as a focal point and she has meaning as well.  You will notice the tape over her mouth to draw our attention to the quote Beth has written.  Here she conveys a message.


This was a little art journal layout by Irene using Beach Beauties.  Here, the art doll, while larger than life, just sits there all pretty.  She is perfect for a card or an art journal print out.  While she doesn’t have meaning here, the whole layout is lovely and playful nonetheless.

2.  Tucked Away:  In this case, the art doll may be larger than life or just a small thing, or both!  But, she is tucked a way.  She is not in full view, but still is a focal point.  Art dolls don’t just have to sit there on top of a layout to get notice.  Tucking away an art doll is also a great way to open up space on your layout for large amounts of writing, quotes or journaling. Below are some examples of what I mean:


Here Jacqueline tucked the little art doll from my Your Life kit.  While the art doll isn’t large and is tucked away, your eye is still drawn to her, but she doesn’t overwhelm the page so you don’t miss the little beauty there in black and white :).


Astrid used my Quirky Self kit.  Here is a unique way of tucking away an art doll…she cut off the upper body lol!  But look how cute that is!  Little legs popping out from beneath the image of her stunning daughter.  While this wasn’t exactly the art doll from my kit, just the legs, it is something that can be done with a full-bodied art doll.  Super creative way to use an art doll!


In this image, I used the art doll from my Validation kit.  Another example of tucking away the image.  While I’m trying to keep the art doll as the focal point, I wanted to show her “peeking” out to give meaning to my quote in my art journal layout.

3.  As An Element:  This is about using the art doll as an actual element/embellishment. You can see her in the layout, but she is not normally the focal point.  She is just part of the larger picture/layout.  Below are some examples of what I mean:


Nessa here used my Young At Heart kit.  She also used the tucked away method.  But, in the general sense, the art doll is used as an element here.  The retro lady is the focal point instead of the art doll.


Sherry is a more traditional scrapper.  She used my Explore Your World kit and turned it right into a more traditional layout and using my art doll as an element rather than the focal point.  It shows that art dolls can be used in the more traditional sense as well.


Again, another example of a more traditional scrapper.  Yasmine used my Beach Beauties to create a more traditional layout with the cute little beach going art doll as simply an element and part of the overall layout.

4.  Embellished:  Rather than just turn the art doll into an embellishment, you can add embellishments/elements to the actual art doll to make her into something more than she already is or turn her into something else altogether.  Below are examples of what I mean:


Elysah here a while back created a layout using my Explore Your World kit.  I love her creativity in this.  She took the art doll head and turned her into a beautiful flower to give a visual reference to her quote “Bloom where you are planted.”


Irene, using my Living Out Loud kit, added some eyes (my art doll had closed eyes) and a butterfly to her hair.  While this is a more subtle form of embellishing the art doll, it turned her into something else that what she originally was.


I love this one by Beth, who used my Young at Heart kit.  She embellished the art doll with glasses and word art.  Giving her layout a sense of humor and fun, which represents a Young at Heart :).

5.  Hybrid:  Now you don’t have to use art dolls digitally.  They can be transformed into projects.  I print out my art dolls all the time to make journal covers.  My team has been starting to create their own hybrid projects, make their own journal covers or cards to send to friends.  You can just print, cut out and paste onto your papers and covers. Below are some examples:


Book cover by Rylea


Card by Audrey


Card by Ger

Art dolls have so many uses.  Other uses are to use your blend modes in your program to make them part of your background paper.  You can clip them onto clipping masks.  You can clip them onto you tags.  On digital art journal layouts. Make ATC (artist trading cards) with them. Put them on inchies (little one inch cards).  You can print them out all by themselves on white paper and frame them (I do that too).

I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial on how to use art dolls and that it gives you some inspiration what all the different ways you can create with them.  My tutorial only lists a few ideas.  The possibilities are limitless!

Thank you for reading!

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