South African artist and Doty Award NOMINEE Romie Strydom has taken some time to tell us a little about herself.
You might know Romie from her Reborn kits such as Bella and Dana, which have had worldwide popularity. She has been working on lots new things and we are happy that she has taken some time out of her busy schedule to tell us about herself.
Over to you Romie!
Hello, my name is Romie Strydom and I have been making and sculpting dolls since 1989. i was very fortunate to have found my passion in life all those years ago and I still strive every day to improve my skills in doll making, painting and sculpting. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and can´t imagine my life without dolls.
It all started as a little girl. I was always fascinated with creating things using my hands, and my first memory is that of making my own outfits for my dolls. I was about 5 years of age and I treasured those play dolls of mine.
Over the years i have tried my hand at all inds of craft. I have done a lot of pottery working with all types of clays etc, as well as sewing and designing my own outfits, but i kept coming back to dolls.
I discovered the Reborn babies about 2 years ago on the internet, and I was so taken with their realism that I completely changed my direction from sculpting and making the bigger girl dolls, to making these babies that I have totally fallen in love with!
I get a lot of satisfaction with seeing the results of hours and days of sculpting, painting and rooting and am never finished with a baby until it is at the highest standard and quality so I would keep it for myself.
The biggest joy is to see the joy they have brought to my customers, or the feedback from other artists who have Reborned my kits. That helps me to bring variety into expressions and the faces and also to stay in touch with what people want to see in a baby.
When sculpting I strive for realism more than anything else, and sometimes I think I am my worst critic! i work at a sculpt for a long time, and change it often until I am completely happy with the way it has turned out. I draw my inspiration from real life babies, looking at babies and
children, and always trying to make a mental note of what I see. I dont like to do portait babies as I find there is no creativity in them, rather I prefer to let the clay evolve into whatever comes from within me. That helps me to choose a name for the baby too, when i see the sculpts face a name "pops" inside my head. An example is a latest model "Noo Noo", when looking at the happy little thing that was the first thing I thought of!
I have also had many funny experiences with the babies, people thinking they were real. These are the words of the customer who told me!.....
"When I recieved Brandi last friday I first went to my husband to show him, (my husband is a medical doctor in a hospital). The nurses where he worked were so impressed that they showed the baby to everybody in the room. One nurse decided to play a joke on one of the doctors and ran to
him claiming the baby had stopped breathing. The doctor jumped up from his desk and only after removing the babies clothes did he realise that is was a doll! We nearly died laughing!!"
I am so grateful for this gift and knowing the joy it brings others. I am also grateful that I can pursue my dream of creating dolls. I love every minute of it and i want to thank all the ollectors and Reborners etc who support me as this allows me to do what i love the most!
Chat about the article or Romie and her work here http://colliii.com/en/content/romie-strydom