Etsy Tuesday: Simpli Jessi

Today's artist I can't gush enough about. Simpli Jessi creates one-of-a-kind handmade dolls for children (and adults-they're that cute!) While browsing the children's section on Etsy (a post I'm saving for friday!), I came across her unique and quirky dolls for a equally unique kid. These dolls are a great gift for a child or friend who is sure to love it for many, many years. I was so fortunate to ask her some questions about her dolls-here we go!

Where do you find inspiration to create your dolls? Are they based on real people?
-My inspiration for each doll does, in fact, come from real people! The very first doll I ever created was for a close friend of mine - who was having a birthday, and I decided to make a replica of him into a small doll. It turned out to be a hit among my friends - who in turn talked me into making more. Now, I pull inspiration from people I know or have met, strangers, funny stories I hear, and my imagination, to inspire all of dolls I create.

Describe your creative process: how do you make a doll from start to finish?
-The creative process for each doll does take some time - I like to change it up often so it stays fun, but typically it goes something like this:
1. It all begins with a sketch of the character/doll.
2. I dig through my large pile of scrap fabric to look for inspiring fabrics for the clothes - somehow this is the longest part, because I usually get distracted ;)
3. The body is hand stitched + filled
4. The doll then gets it's hairdo + cut :)
5. Clothes are handmade for the doll and the doll is dressed.
6. The doll get's it's name - from my boyfriend - and I create the funny story to go along with it. All in all, I would say it takes roughly 4+ hours for each doll from start to finish!

Describe a treasured item from childhood
I would say that the most treasured item from my childhood is my bear Fuz. When I was 3 years old, my grandfather (who always told me great stories - and liked messing with me) showed up at our house to present me with Fuz (a used bear at the time) - he told me I was to keep a very special watch over Fuz - because one day he would be needing him back. Sure enough, he would check in on him periodically to see if he was being taken care of properly. And although he never did ask for him back (ha-ha, yes I actually believed it) Fuz is still very well taken care of!

You can create a custom doll or find one you love at her shop, and be sure to check out her blog that is filled with cool pictures and new music! Great work, Jessi!

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