DollAKon has exciting news! In 2014 we will have a ball-joint doll specific vendor room in Plum Blossom A w/market sessions each day of the convention. Doll sculptors, artisans, crafters and retailers are all eligible for market booths.
Information and application can be found on the DollAKon webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/
DollAKon continues to grow, and this year will have programming in TBA throughout the three days of A-Kon®. Look for programming information and other announcements here, as well as through the groups Facebook page.
Here are the exciting guests that will be taking part in DollAKon.
Donn began his career working in puppetry with his first art-related job in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 creature shop. After Ninja Turtles, Donn worked on several national and international puppet projects including The Fox Cubhouse, a combination of three shows produced by the Jim Henson company, Film Australia and DIC Entertainment. During work on the Cubhouse, Donn began to experiment with computer animation, created several short films that played at SIGGRAPH, and one short, Steve Saves the Universe, that went on to be nominated for an award at the London Effects and Animation Festival.
For the next nine years, Donn would do animation work on a variety of projects ranging from a series of commercials for Singapore’s M1 Telecommunications to animated elements for Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.
On a stroll through the artists alley while attending Otakon in the summer of 2003, he was accidentally introduced to the world of BJDs and was instantly inspired. Within the next year, and after much experimentation, he had created his first BJD sculpt and in 2004 founded Bishonen House. Bishonen House has now been in existence for ten years, and during that time Donn has handmade over 450 BJDs which are in private collections worldwide. Don’s BJDs have been featured in Doll Reader, Haute Doll, Fashion Doll Quarterly and Dolls magazine.
Donn continues to create and release new dolls and just recently finished construction on the new Bishonen House studio which includes an expanded doll workshop as well as classroom space where he intends to teach doll making, casting, and mold-making workshops for model makers and doll artists.
When Donn isn’t working on doll commissions, he spends his time working on a top secret web-comic project!!
You can check out Donn’s latest photos and updates on the following links:
DeAnne Stefanic is a full-time graphic artist who bought her first BJD in May of 2008, planning to use him as a drawing model. One doll.
That lasted less than a month. Her second doll arrived in June and she never looked back. She figured since she has an art degree and can draw a little she’d enjoy doing faceups. Easier said than done! DeAnne searched for and finally found a face-up style to call her own, as well as the skills to do additive and subtractive mods, tattoos, and scarring. She loves doing face-up work and is thrilled to have the chance to help others learn to do them at A-Kon. Visit paintitblackstudio.blogspot.com to view her work or for information on commissions.
DeAnne’s free time is usually spend finding ways to rid herself of free time by inventing crazy projects involving drawing, painting, writing and, of course, dolls. She has an ongoing comic starring the characters she bought her first dolls to represent, and is involved in the indie art and craft scene in her area
She currently lives in the Saint Louis area with a crotchety cat, a spastic dog and an army of dolls named Alex.
The girl decided at about age five that her dream in life was twofold. First and foremost she would be a mother and second only to that she would be an artist. From that point on nearly every waking moment was spent reaching for those dreams. While the first goal would of course have to wait until a later date, she did all she could to work toward becoming the artist she hoped to someday be. Many times she cried in frustration that her hands could not express on paper the beautiful images she could see in her mind, but she was stubborn and refused to give up because she wanted it so badly.
Being homeschooled, she found time to pour into her art while most kids were at school for she discovered, if she finished her schoolwork quickly, the rest of the day was hers to do what she wished. So while most others were socializing she was usually caught up in drawing. This led her to be a bit shy but she eventually overcame this through attending conventions and forcing herself to compete on stage for costuming contests for which she won several awards beginning with Best of Show for her very first entry and also by country dancing which is where she eventually met the love of her life.
Through the years, after trying her hand working for others as a frosting artist for a candy company, building fake trees, and a few other odd jobs, she decided to follow her dreams and open her own business along with her amazing friend Jessica Douglas. She loved sculpting dolls and sharing her art with the world to provide for her family, for by this point she had also accomplished the other half of her dream and now had three beautiful children of her own. Though her life was often troubled by challenges as all are she was content in knowing that she had reached the dreams of her youth and she was determined to forever strive to share her work with the world…
Funny how time goes by so quickly and when you try to sum it up into a few paragraphs it seems like it just soared by you in a blink. I have enjoyed and endured so many things over the years.
Now my days mostly involve sculpting dolls and all the things that go along with preparing them for my fans, painting beautiful fantasy things, and doing my best to be a mother at the same time. I am often excited, inspired, overwhelmed, tired, stressed, enthusiastic, determined, stubborn, and overjoyed. I love sharing the things I love with others, and that is what makes it all worth it.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved drawing very much. She drew in the morning, she drew at night. She drew when she was sleeping once, and the walls were never the same after that. She drew with markers, she drew with crayons, she even drew with mashed potatoes on her plate.
Her father would watch her draw, and knew that something had to be done. The drawings were everywhere! In their clothes, on the walls, even on the neighbors dog! (Remember boys and girls, never let a child near a dog with paint). That kind man was at a loss, not wanting to stop his daughter’s art, but wanting her to not draw on EVERYTHING. Finally at his wit’s end, he brought his daughter to a lady who ran a very special art school. As he made his case to the Dean of the school the little girl got bored. A little too bored. She had smuggled a pen into the school and drew faces on her fingers while her dad was talking. The Dean looked over.. and started laughing to see the girl making a puppet show for herself with her fingers.
That’s how it all began. At six years old I started school at the Visual Arts Institute in Utah. I learned fast, and took every single class I could. I became a jack of all trades, spending my winters obtaining a classical art’s training in painting, sculpture, photography, really anything that they could teach. In the summer I would fly to California and learn from my father. He is a professional props master, set designer and costumer as well as a musician and author (so you can see where I got my jack of all trades habits from). From him I learned to do woodworking, build sets, do faux finishes on walls and build props for plays.
At sixteen I worked part time as a mural artist, painting the walls for video game stores around the Southern California area. With my father’s help, I got my first published gig doing illustrations for a book called “Saturday Afternoon” which was published for people in the film and theater industry to get their storytelling out. It was a fantastic experience, getting to see actors I knew and respected explore a side of themselves that they had always dreamed about. It struck a chord with me and made me step out from doing part time art to going full time and putting everything I had into it.
When I moved to Utah in early 1998, I made friends with several incredible artists. One of them was Mike Dringenberg (of Sandman fame), who took me under his wing and taught me to use watercolors. I would spend nearly every weekend at his studio, learning the ins and outs of painting and how to do cover art for books. After his teachings, I moved on to working for Baen publishing and illustrated many short stories, including some for Garth Nix. I worked part time with Baen and a few small publishers, and part time selling my original work through conventions, but as time went by I began to get more acclaim and work for my original art than for my work through publishers. I realized that while working for others was great… working for myself and expressing myself would be even greater. So I took the first steps to starting a business with my best friend Sarah Seiter. We published a book titled “The Mushroom Peddler’s Handbook” which was received wonderfully well and began to work on our first ball jointed dolls. Things were going great for us!
Unfortunately the wonderful times did not last. I became seriously ill before we could finish the first doll, and had to take a break from work for several years. After many hospital stays, medications and obtaining a service dog named Zeus, I returned to the art world. Fortunately, Sarah chose not to let the business fall apart in it’s early stage, and went on to create The Mushroom Peddler. When I was well enough to return, she and I renewed our business relationship and Sarah began to re-educate me on everything I had forgotten about doll making while I reminded her of everything she had forgotten about print making and illustration. It’s a match made in heaven.
These days I make wigs, sculpt, paint, do faceups, being a jack of all trades has it’s advantages! In the fine art world I chose to step away from working with publishers and commissioners. Instead I turned my focus towards using my paintings to explore the thoughts and feelings that artists go through as well as explore the repercussions of my illness. From self doubt to anxiety attacks, I use the medium of fantasy art to try and find a way to speak out about mental illness and stress, and let people know that they are not alone in feeling this way. I also work full time on motivational blogs for fellow artists, exploring art as well as discussing the business of art for those who might have questions about it.