Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Heart Lab: Goose Grease

I just sent Michelle of Goose Grease a convo a minute ago, asking to see if she had the time to make two custom dolls for me. I don't have kids yet, so for now I'm hoping to own his and hers dolls!! I'm so excited!!! Aren't these the cutest??? And she makes cake toppers too!!

Step 1: Inspiration (a minute or two - 1 hour)
Inspiration often finds me, but if I have to go searching it can take up to an hour (over the course of the day) for me to make up my mind. The perfect color scheme can come from Etsy's front page or online shopping. Sometimes I do get stuck on a certain family member, and at those times I enlist the help of my wonderfully talented husband who always thinks up the perfect ensemble. He's a far better dresser than I am. ; ) Now and then I have a client who provides the inspiration for me with pictures of them in their favorite outfits. That's always fun!

Step 2: Sketch the Family (40 minutes)
I always outline the eyes, hair, arms and clothes before I start painting. It would be a mess otherwise. Well, in my mind it would be. I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

Step 3: Mix Colors and Paint (2 - 3 hours)
Most custom families require a few new colors that have to be mixed. After that I just paint away. The dolls get two coats of paint when needed. Depending on the detail, this part can take up to 3 hours for a family.

Step 4: Top Coat (10 minutes)
After the paint is dry, I put one or two coats of matte finish decoupage on top to keep them lasting longer.

Step 5: Photo Shoot (40 minutes)
I pull out my wonderful Canon (and small off-camera flash) as early in the morning as I can. Sometimes I find a prop or two somewhere in baby Chloe's toy box. After adjusting and resizing the photos in Photoshop, I upload them to Etsy along with descriptions. I also try to upload them to the facebook fan page and to flickr.

Step 6: Packaging (15 minutes)
When the dolls are bought, I print out their label, wrap them individually and then box them up together in a gift box with a bit of ribbon on top. Then into the second shipping box they go. And I whistle while I work to know that they're mailed out in almost completely recycled materials.

Step 7: A Nice Walk (30 minutes)
Then the cure for cabin fever comes just in time. Chloe and I walk to the post office about six blocks away. She charms Miss Alma with her baby blues partially hidden behind some flashy sunglasses and is always sure to point out her new shoes from grandma. Then we're off to make our daily grocery run or the park. . . and then home to do it all over again.


Melissa de la Fuente said...

Oh, I adore Michelle of Goose Grease! I have had my eye on her little nautical gal forEVER. Pining for her really....Also, her photos are so clever and so witty!
I just love them and am so happy to hear about her process! Thanks Marichelle and Michelle!
ps I can't wait to see you and Jonathan in Goose Grease form, too cute! :)

Cindy said...

i love goose grease, too. i just can't decide if i want to paint them myself or pick up some created by michelle. this heart lab is so great, but i still can't decide! love the cake toppers.

Anonymous said...

Great entry (: I love hearing about the process artists go through!

Unknown said...

thanks so much for the spot on your wonderful blog marichelle! i'm quite honored!! :)