I’ve been asked how I come up with names for my repainted dolls and works of doll art. There is no easy answer to that. And, if you’ve been reading my blog or have known me for any length of time, you’ve probably come to know that brevity and I are not the best of friends. Why? I love the English language. I love words. As a result of those two factors, it’s almost impossible for me to watch the local evening news. The consistent annihilation of our language and the frequent misspellings of words in the photo captions combine to make current events an excruciating ordeal for me. I love Shakespeare. I love poetry. I love word games such as Balderdash, Boggle, Scrabble, and Sniglets. Yes, Sniglets. Another of my odd loves is making up words. My sister and I have done this since we were kids. An example: I was telling my sister that I didn’t have a cell phone anymore because my eldest child absconded with my first phone. I then got a new phone, and we added a line to our plan. My daughter then took over THAT phone. We have not yet added another phone or line. Therefore, I am without a phone. I have no phone. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So, I am, at the present time, “phonada”. Yeah…my brain is a scary place.
Doll names…well, if you collect dolls, you know they talk. Yes, the dolls speak. Don’t try to tell me otherwise. I don’t know HOW they do it, but they do it. And usually, not all the time but usually, the dolls speak to me while I am working on them. The personality of the doll starts to form as I’m stripping the face and the blank canvas is revealed. I no longer see the vision the factory or original doll designer had for the doll in my hands. And when my brush touches the canvas, the doll begins to tell me who he/she is. Very rarely does the vision change from that first stroke. On occasion, I’ll gaze at a newly completed repaint and we’ll have a heart to heart talk about how things are going to be. But more often than not, the doll gets his/her way, and I am forced to relent. However, I must admit that after 4 years of painting and naming hundreds of dolls, the name game is beginning to change. Occasionally, a doll will speak to me of his/her mood. Or they will simply give me a phrase and leave me to interpret that upon the vinyl. This is what happened with a recent Gene repaint. Over and over again, she kept whispering, “As the Crow Flies”. That was all she would tell me. So, that became her name. Who she becomes at her new home is not up to me. I have fulfilled my obligation to her, and she is now free to speak to her new human. What will the next doll choose to say to me? I have no idea. I’ve learned not to second guess the vinyl. 🙂