How did you start dolling?

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How did you start dolling?

Postby LoverlySue » Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:16 am

Just curious, how did you guys start off in dolling?

Before, I had never heard of dolling. This was mostly because I didn't have internet until I was 15, and even then I didn't even know what a 'base' was. I was seeing a lot of nekkid and bald pics, which I later learned were traced bases. This blew my mind, and I started to get into pixel art. After awhile, my friend told me about DA and this started my journey into discovering pixel art and my love for art as a whole.

When I first started dolling, I really looked up to Wish04 and TheHWord...In fact, I still kinda do. Wish04 got me into dolling, but TheHWord inspired my style a bit (mostly with the eyes). After that, I started searching for other doll artists. I had met many dollers, but MouldyCat (DEAC) really got my bootay into gear.

I actually didn't start dolling until about 2 years ago. Before that, I used traced bases and just did whatever came into my head. I was new to everything, and I became addicted to the internet because of just how much there was to discover. Believe me, my art was bad even if it seemed like I knew most of the beginner rules for dolling.

But I eventually learned, teaching myself new things from looking at others' art while also looking up tutorials every once in awhile. Eventually, my art form became better as I am a very fast learner (even though I can procrastinate about it) and I just wanted to be as great as all the dollers I watched.

I did take a break for a year thanks to a crappy computer, but now I'm back and I'm ready to give some mad pixel skillz!

:P Even if I do tend to draw in .Sai more than pixels, I'm getting back into the swing of things and hope to be even better this year.
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby 4br4 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:18 am

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this doll here made by crazy-lola.

I was really beginning to lose faith in pixels and pixel dolling. I was 14, and an angry 14 year old at that. I was furious, how could people trace stuff and toss it into deviantart?? How could they.

And then I saw this doll. It was gorgeous, not traced and just struck me with a sense of peace, so to speak.
Then I also found Hollay, Wish, (among others!) and I found this little niche world of people doing little gorgeous pixels, all with simple programs and fewer with tablets (which I dreamed of by that time!)
Also lol we where both big fans of Hollay and Wish I see B)

Then I just did stuff from then. I actually just put up a dolling timeline, I've been dolling for almost 5 years on January 26th! It's been a long, sometimes difficult journey but I've enjoyed quite a bit of it. B)
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby Artzygrrl » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:15 am

I was a member on a LotR fansite, and one of my fellow forum members was making dolls as requests for everyone who wanted them. I was IN AWE...I had never seen dollz before & to me her tool/smudging skills were pretty much the best thing I had ever seen. (No one had tablets then, lol)

Anyway I tried it on my own after she told me she made it in Paint, and I didn't know what bases were...After 2-3 attempts which I was really unhappy with, she pointed me to Xandora and DHF...cue lots of horribly-made GIF-monster-eaten dolls on Xandorra & Suzy's poor unsuspecting bases...lol. Then I dolled and dolled and dolled and then got a cheap tablet & Fiona coached me a lot on painting etc., then I dolled a lot more, then got a new computer that wouldn't work with my cheap tablet, and took an involuntary 18-month hiatus, and then came back in December of 2013. And then made a lot of dolls till now!

I think I couldn't really fathom Suzy's and Sue (from Fainelloth)'s and Fiona's level of skill at most points...I just looked at their dolls and was like "I could never make that O_O"....but lots of experimentation ensued & I've sure learned a lot. Now I see that they found what worked for them & embraced their own style/likes/dislikes to make something uniquely theirs. So I've tried to do that on my own too. :)
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby ElfMaiden » Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:57 pm

I was on some forum or other where about half the people had dolls for their avatars back in 2003. It was for The Sims, I remember, specifically about skinning for The Sims -- but that's as much as I actually remember about that forum. I thought that it was neat, so I clicked on the base links in their signatures and started trying it out myself (as I recall, most of 'em had bases by Xandorra). So I ended up at the forum that was attached to her site at that time, and then it kind of went from there.

I didn't get really active with dolling until I joined what was then Twilight Cove (later became Coco Cabana, went under six years back or so). It was a small enough forum I actually got to talking with people, and that helped, because I started getting advice and such and it helped me improve, and after I started improving I enjoyed it more. I was too stubborn to look at tutorials, so I insisted upon figuring everything out myself to begin with. That was when I started pixelling instead of tooling, too, and for whatever reason that's what really clicked with me.

I wish I still had time for it! Thirteen years, man. Half my life. Feels weird. :P
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby Pyrochan » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:51 pm

NEOPEEEETTTS!!!

There were whole websites full of dolls (I learned were made on drag and drop sites, the old preps kind) which had codes underneath you could copy and paste onto your profile or neopets shop. (just HTML tags with a photobucket link to the doll I later learned)

Of course very quickly I grew frustrated with the lack of variety in the premade ones. So I found the drag and drops which occupied me for maybe another month (in which I learned to upload my own to photobucket) and in furiously trawling google I found Xandorra's site and DHF both of whom hand made preps dolls on bases of the same height, and it never occured to me I could DRAW MY OWN! (I honestly first thought DHF and Xandorra had found some magical dollmaker site I didn't know of XD)

And through their websites they had lists of links, Josie's Dolls, Angy Chan, Bond Dolls etc... and the Realm forum... and so I grew addicted.

This would be like 2001ish mind you. I used a lot of weird bases back then, but kept gravitating back to the realism of Xandorra and DHF's preps style. And hey look I still make realism! XD
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby PunkieMunkie » Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:21 pm

How I started dolling?
I started dolling back in June of 2002.. until then I had never heard of the dolling, let alone how to make one.

I actually stumbled upon the dolling world by accident actually. I was researching tattoo flash inspiration and some how ended up on a doll maker site. I would play around with those for hours.. but it wasn't until I came across a couple doll sites and learned how to make dolls using bases that I fell in love with dolling.

When I first started out I would combine both tooling and pixel shading... until about a couple years ago when I started to fully tool shade. I have meet you so many very cool and very talented dollers throughout my 13 years of dolling. I have learned a lot throughout those years as well and I still continue to grow as a doll artist.
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby Shixam » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:51 pm

Real life!

One of my friends in high school was a doller who went by Achromia/Achro, and she got ANOTHER friend into it who went by Mesmachrome/Mesma. We would be hanging out at school or rping on AIM and they would start talking about dolling. And I was really interested, and also had a feeling of "I want to be included too," so one night during an rp I started asking more questions about it.

They convinced me to try out making a doll, and at first it was so horrible that I was about to swear off it forever like every other visually artistic thing I've tried. Then as I was telling Achro this, she started talking me out of it and gave me some critique. The most discouraging thing was the hair. It was really light critique on that and the shoes, so I tried it on my next doll. And my second doll was nothing fancy either, but she told me how much of an improvement I had already made and it help me stick with it and I got excited to do even more dolls.

I really looked up to Achro early on. She was the most talented out of the three of us, and was really into art in general, not just dolling. She would draw in school and save up for fancy art pens. Stuff like that. I think she even got bumped into the AP art class one year of high school, with the requirement that she take the course that came before it at the same time. She isn't active in dolling or even on dA anymore, but her account is still here. She was pretty well known in the "alternative" dolling circles, and some of her later dolls are still up. Her older ones are stored, though, which is a shame. She did a pretty badass pageant entry in literally 24 hours once.

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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby Mogget » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:57 pm

Shixam wrote:She isn't active in dolling or even on dA anymore, but her account is still here. She was pretty well known in the "alternative" dolling circles, and some of her later dolls are still up. Her older ones are stored, though, which is a shame. She did a pretty badass pageant entry in literally 24 hours once.

she's alive!!!
and has joined us here C: http://pixel-glam.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22367


It was 2002ish and i found drag and drop dolls during a random google search C: from there i did further searching to find a forum for those types of dolls but instead found The Realm Of The Forbidden where I leerked for several months watching all the wonderful unique dolls being submitted, and learning what bases were and that people drew on them in programs until I finely got up the courage to try to make a doll on my own in paint
My first doll is up on deviant art but for some reason it no longer is viewable :C She was a siting elf all done in blues :)
I decided that paint wasn't my cuppa of tea for dolling (I need layers!) and so my bf at the time hacked the latest and greatest version of photoshop for me and my dolls progressed rapidly
Never finding myself strongly drawn to focus on just pixeling or just tooling I instead found my self using a blend
due to a few life altering events around 2005ish I found myself cut off from the internet for a few years and then when i came back online I focused more on photo-manipulation and only recently came back to dolling in 2014
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby Shixam » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:26 pm

Mogget wrote:
Shixam wrote:She isn't active in dolling or even on dA anymore, but her account is still here. She was pretty well known in the "alternative" dolling circles, and some of her later dolls are still up. Her older ones are stored, though, which is a shame. She did a pretty badass pageant entry in literally 24 hours once.

she's alive!!!
and has joined us here C: http://pixel-glam.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22367


Oh, I know xD I saw her post last night.

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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby Lilly » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:26 pm

I was dolling before I even knew dolling existed. Waay back in the 80s when I was a kid I'd attempt to make 'paper doll' like images in MSPaint, and experimented with that for a long time. Years later I rediscovered my love for historical fashion, and started drawing my own designs and things on the computer using The Gimp. I was browsing the web, looking for historical fashion, and came across a site that had little pixel dolls all over it. Curious, I discovered the dolls were actually linked to Josie's doll site, and from that moment on I was hooked. The dolls were so cute! I visited her site almost daily, and practiced making my own dolls and bases using her tutorials. Then I found Suzy's site, and finding her tutorials, was like finding a gold mine. I practiced Suzy's techniques as much as I could, and was in love with that soft painterly style she was so famous for. XD I was a closet doller between the years 2002-2006 (too scared to join the community) and in 2007 made my first dolling friend...Fiona (Pyrochan) convinced me to join my first forum, and the rest is pretty much history. <3 I can't imagine my life without dolling, it's my all-time favorite hobby and I love every minute of it.
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby SubjectCyanide » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:42 pm

I was super young when I originally began, 12-13 maybe?

The artists who stood out to me the most in my very beginnings were Shouri and Lorelei.

I wanted to try, but I had no clue as to where to begin. I shared a computer with both of my parents at this time.. so it was a little bit of an awkward discussion when they saw their 13-year-old daughter saving 'nude' images (bases) to draw on them (with a mouse at this time).
Never once did I actually use MS-Paint like most people seem to have started with. I had this odd program, which wasn't even properly suited to the needs of this sort of art called "MGI-Photosuite"
Because of my parents I ended up sneaking into the living room in the dead of night for the first year I was trying to work to produce a doll of my very own. Everything was so blocky because I used the line tool, which as it said and my skill level was only going in straight lines. But it was mine; in all of it's blocky, flat-colored glory... I had stayed up all night (on a school night too!) and made the very first digital draft of my OC, MeiMei, a Sailor Moon inspired Amazon Girl.

A few years later I'm in my early High School years when I start to realize I had been doing this for so long with little to no improvement... I was in quite a despair. My mother had finally began to support my practice of this means of art and got me a simple Gateway Laptop, and a 5" Pen Tablet for my Birthday that year. I had been given a copy of Adobe Photoshop 7 by one of my online friends and I took to it fairly quickly. I tried for so long to learn how to do things the pixel way, afraid to be different and tool shade at the time. It was so sparkly and pretty.. Pallets, Dithering, Gif monsters? I still barely only grazed the surface of these concepts. Then in the Era of "What The Muffin?!" I met NonInvisibleBob, and had seen Pyrochan's works, I spoke to Bob on MSN for a while and eventually looked to them for critique. They had shown me their shading tutorials, and it just made so much sense to me! I've been tool shading ever since then around 2009.
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby Taluna » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:12 pm

It was way back in the early 00's and I remember going to that one website back in the day with the tiny pixel dolls that you can add clothing to just by clicking on it. Then, by using MS Paint, I started to make dolls that looked like my rpg characters. Later on, a cousin got me a copy of Photoshop 7 and I started using that on dolls by AngyChan.

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I ended up updating that doll years later (found my photobucket account with all the images!).

I really enjoyed all the tiny detail work. The last doll I made was for my sister really far back when I think Myspace was still around. After that I only did tiny pixels like my av and sig.
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby Captain.v2 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:57 pm

Holy crap. My dolling experience from the beginning was a wild ride.

I started back in 2007 on The Doll Palace, actally. I have no idea how I found it and I kinda wish I never did, tbh. I think I was on GirlsGoGames because I got bored and found it through Cartoon Doll Emporium. There were a lot of dress-up sites and stuff and eventually I found these little "pixel-dolls" from The Doll Palace because CDE and TDP were linked somehow. So, I went on there at the age of 11 and was in awe. There were these cute little dolls and stuff people would make and go into the chat with and stuff. Then, I found these websites that these people would make, yknow like websites for layouts and stuff. People would post their dolls to their websites and it looked like soooo much fun. So, I taught myself how to code basic html and css at the age of 11 or 12. Because I was teaching myself CSS too, I made A LOT of forums. (I usually linked back to the previous ones I'd made so it's really fun to remember the names of the forums and stuff and go back through them and cringe from time to time.) Often times, I might've gone out of my way to get people to join them and chat and hang out on them but it never worked because forums always seemed like a dying thing to me (but not Glam!). I remember I made this really cute site and I put all my dollmaker dolls on them and stuff. It was really funny because once when I was in the den on the computer at 7 in the morning, my mom came downstairs and saw me on webs.com just coding my home page and she was like, "What is this?" and I was like "Oh I'm just coding" and she was like "Oh okay". Idk why I remember that so well.

Anyways, I did the same as anyone else on TDP who loved drag n drop makers, and I opened a requests shop. But, eventually I got tired of having to find really unique makers and stuff, and you had to pay for premium to get to the animator so I decided to start "editting" the maker dolls and adding the animation my own way using what is now called "ezimba". It had a different name when I started and I can't really remember it, aww. I had to do the frame by frame animation and it took forever but I was so good at it.

Anyways, it got to the point where one of the Mods on the forum for TDP saw I was editting these maker dolls a lot and pointed me in the direction of making dolls on bases instead, which I thought was cool. I was a little brat though, and I messed up my relationship with the forum and got banned (LMAO). BUT, I left with basic knowledge on how to make dolls. I found Deviant Art through one of the mods because they had a link to all their pixel art in their signature and then I signed up and started making A LOT more dolls. All of them, really terrible. This was basically the start of my dolling in 2008.

I can't remember the first Doller I ever came across, but I know the first base and the first tutorial I ever used and actually uploaded was one of Mariiii's. I do remember going to DHF for bases at some point as well. These dolls are the products of my beginnings:

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The worst part was that I thought I was so good but now I look back and cringe. I had no idea how to do hair! Ahhh!!!

It took me a while but I slowly got better. I think a few people on this forum have seen this terrible beginning, lol. I remember when I first started out, I really looked up to Mouldy, Hollay, and Mariiii. After I joined here, though, I'd found Consonanta and kinda just fangirled, aaaand I've been that way ever since...lol.

I had practically no idea how to edit bases or even shade clothing right, and tbh I still don't let's be real lol. Because I didn't know how to do hair or clothing correctly I actually just copied the techniques off of some other people, shamefully might I add. Like, when I started learning how to do hair with GIMP, I was pretty upset because often it wouldn't come out the way I'd like for it to. I spent a lot of time on here, and I think I stumbled across a lil lady by the name of Amy Natasha on here and I LOVED her way of shading hair. It looked so pretty, but she was a tool artist I believe and I wasn't that good, so I pixelled it instead. This only lasted a little while, though, and eventually I just experimented with a way to shade hair after seeing some other people who's dolls were always amazing and I was like, "I'm gonna experiment with my style". After 5-6 long years of on and off dolling, though, I'm still terrible! :D
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby ElfMaiden » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:38 am

Lilly wrote:I was dolling before I even knew dolling existed. Waay back in the 80s when I was a kid I'd attempt to make 'paper doll' like images in MSPaint, and experimented with that for a long time.


This reminded me that in an odd way I've been doing it since I was a little kid. My brother and I used to use Neopaint (yeah, the good ol' DOS days, eh?) to make all sorts of scenes, and one of the things that we would do was use the "stamp" system to make particular characters. We used the one frog stamp they had as a base and drew different costumes on them (they were usually some sort of magician, I believe). Some of the robes and such were very elaborate.

That was more of when I was seven or eight, though, so there was a big gap between that and when I started dolling.
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Re: How did you start dolling?

Postby queenxwitch » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:02 am

When I was about 9-10 years old I started using the computer and going online. This was like, 2004 and 2005 and I used AOL lmao. AOL had a feature called AOL Radio and I would listen to Avril Lavigne station. Her music had a (even if it was wannabe) punk/alternative edge to it and I was super into that, and the station sometimes played actual alternative rock artists. At some point I heard a song by My Chemical Romance and I was super into it, eventually becoming obsessed with the band even though some of the songs probably weren't super appropriate for a young child to be listening to LOL. I eventually found my way onto a MCR fan forum; one of the sub boards included a place to share artwork. Three Cheers recently came out and the Helena music video was gaining popularity and someone had made a doll of the Helena character from the video. I think I had also seen the dollmaker style dolls before or around then too, but seeing the hand-pixeled doll totally rocked my socks. I thought it was SO cool and I messaged the girl asking her about it and she just showed me everything and told me the basic gist of it.
The first doll I made was totally terrible, but I just thought the whole pixeling thing was cool as heck. I had liked pixel art for a long time and this seemed more of like an accessible version to me I guess? Like, seeing pixel art in games and stuff or on artists pages and portfolios gave child-me the idea that you had to be some kind of pro. The doll community just seems more accessible and down to earth or whatever and so I felt like I had a chance to jump into pixel art because I definitely never would've felt comfortable at that age to just draw my own stuff completely from scratch, so the bases made me feel like I had help getting on my feet so to speak. Of course, I was also really into the social aspect of it all, I definitely made a few friends from dolling.



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My chemical romance helped me get into dolling LOL
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