Jul 22, 2014

May You Live In Interesting Times

Ever heard that?  It's supposed to be a Chinese curse.  Cracks me up whenever I hear it, because I know exactly what it means.  Although, I'd have to say it's more of a mixed blessing when I experience it.  Who wants a boring life, right?  Be careful what you wish for, chere.

The UFDC Convention was exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, and sometimes exasperating.  The facility--a resort hotel that looks like a castle when you drive up--is a monster of epic proportions, with the convention center part sprawling up the hill in three levels.  Fascinating to see, and of course I goggled like a country cousin upon first seeing the inside.  BUT that arrangement leaves attendees with no choice but to walk literally hundreds of feet from one level to another, and even the elevators don't help.  There were some elderly attendees who genuinely suffered from the quarter mile between elevators.

Oh well.  I got off track.

So...the event itself: lots of programs, seminars, and workshops to take.  My cloth and clay doll seminar was a blast--despite leaving my outline at home!  The sales room was a miracle of doll antiquity.  It was like visiting a museum, one where you can get up really close to the exhibits.  

Included in this miracle of antiquity was my fourth Close Encounter with Izzy Kind. She broke my heart.  She really did.  I didn't take my camera--I stink at remembering to take pictures!  But I did use my phone to take this one of "Agatha".  (That's my name for her, ugly as it is...for some reason I can't unthink it.  It's a mystery.)

By Saturday morning I was convinced I should have her, despite the $8500 price.  I mean, we bought Phil a Harley for more than that, right?  Well, when I talked myself down from the tree I'd climbed up in (the tale of which follows below), I was glad I resisted, though a kernel of regret will always remain.  She isn't the most beautiful of these dolls, condition-wise, but she has my favorite Izzy face. And those little hands...oh my.  I hope Edyth is right that "my" Izzy will come along when it works out best for me.

In an environment of emotional turmoil, Phil and I talked about JDConwell Art Dolls as a business.  His rationale about that much in doll money was this: he'd rather see me attend several expensive conferences, take classes and get known.  He asked me to think about it, but said if I really had to have the doll, then go for it.  Pretty brave, if you'd have seen me blubbering like I was!  But he was right.  Up til now, I'd never considered that kind of travel and exposure.  I'm pretty sure he'd never thought of it either, but by the time the Artist Showcase was over, we were both evaluating things in a new light.  So, thank you Agatha!  I hope your new home is wonderful.

I am convinced that faith is a key that opens doors.  The hard part is that the door doesn't open until you have the key...and generally there's no evidence it exists until you just close your eyes and believe it's there.  This kind of convention costs several thousand--who am I with my little dolly hobby to spend that kind of money on plane fare and hotels?

I'm a doll artist.  That's who. The response to my dolls at the Artists Showcase surpassed my wildest expectations.  I won't bore you with details, but I now have orders stretching into January of next year. And more than a few students for my upcoming online classes.

To further this business of art dolls, I will begin the stringently juried process of joining NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists).  This can take several years.  Those years will pass anyway, right?  I will attend two conventions in 2015: the Susan Quinlan Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Convention in May, and the NIADA conference in August--(the first round of judging for membership application).  One of these is paid for, thanks to last week.  Now to earn the other. 

Interesting times, indeed. 


  1. I can't wait to hear ALL about EVERYTHING when I can hear it in person! I'm so proud of you and I hope you are equally proud of yourself.

    1. I think I'm still a little in shock, Mary Jo. :~)

  2. Sounds like your convention experience was exciting, productive & enlightening. You are truly an "artist" Jan & your goal is certainly attainable. Yes, those years will pass anyway & here would we be without goals? I used to tell the kids that luck is talent, hard work and preparation meeting an opportunity.....you just need to recognize the opportunity. You certainly have all the luck you need! (Agatha IS lovely. Awesome trim on the dress)

  3. I would be thrilled just to actually see an Izannah doll! I am sure Edyth is right; your Izzy will come along when the time is right. Yes, Jan, you are a doll artist, no doubt! And, a darn good one! But, it is no easy job...lots and lots of hard work. Thanks for sharing some of your experiences from the convention...interesting times, for sure!

  4. Very exciting! I'm looking forward to following the adventure. :) - Martha

  5. Very good post. Testing if I can comment


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