Interview with Coral from Babycatface Dollies

Babycatface dollies is the synonym of the perfect dolly world. It’s a magic place where dolls take a life of their own and that we can experience in photographs and animations. Coral goes beyond the customization of the dolls and works amazing compositions and setups for her dolls. She extends her work to the doll’s surroundings and relationships. No one can be indifferent to her sweet fantasy world where these amazing creatures inhabit and make us dream.

I think sometimes I focus on them [the dolls] my deep feelings, that’s why they all have their own different personalities and ways to show on her facial expressions.

Coral / Babycatface dollies

DollyCustom posed 12 questions to Coral about her history as a customizer, her process, and techniques. Here are those questions:

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

My name is Coral, but I adopted “Babycatface” pseudonym many years ago when social networks like Fotolog, DeviantArt or Blogger… started to become very popular. So when I started customizing dolls it was a kind of organic decision to choose Babycatface again as my alter ego.

I live in Madrid and studied Fine Arts in Salamanca. I’ve dedicated my whole life to create since I was a child, so it was also natural for me to decide to study art to continue developing my creative soul and my artistic skills. 
When I finished my career I continued training academically and during these years I’ve been working as graphic designer, photographer, and illustrator.

Coral and her dollies.
Coral and her dollies.

When and how did you discover Blythe dolls?

I discovered them in 2013 thanks to my friend @wayaiu. I’ll never be able to thank her for introducing me to this amazing world. I first discovered her stock girls, but I didn’t feel the love until I discovered the custom ones, and then I started to seek tirelessly for custom Blythe pics on the internet.

“How to draw Blythe Dolls” timelapse video. Taken from Babycatface’s YouTube Channel

How long did it take for your style to emerge?

I think when you are so concentrated in your work you completely lose track of time, and you feel so into it, that you are not really able to completely see what others see. I think I really realized it when people started to repeat they liked my girls because they had pouty mouths and very thick lips. But I really can’t tell when that really happened. Maybe when I did my Katt? Really don’t know ?

Do you do this as a hobby or professionally?

It started as a hobby, but, at the moment, I’m doing it professionally.

What is your creative process like? Do you plan your custom dolls from start to finish or just go with the flow?

It depends on the doll, if I’m planning an specific doll (based on an idea or character I have in mind) I tend to plan facial expression, colors, shapes, drawings… but most times I just let it flow, I start working and let the doll speaks to me, as if she told me what she would like to be. I think sometimes I focus on them my deep feelings, that’s why they all have their own different personalities and ways to show on her facial expressions.

What is your favorite part of this process and your least favorite?

Every part has its interest, but my favorite part is carving for sure. The parts I hate the most are assembling, sanding, giving pull strings… and of course waiting for the girls to arrive their new homes.

“When you’re sick and your handkerchiefs end up burying you” stop-motion video. Taken from Babycatface’s Instagram.

How long does it take you to customize one doll? Do you do one at a time or multiple?

I can spend hours staring at their faces while in progress, trying to decide what to do next, how to improve any part, looking carefully at every single detail… so I can spend many weeks on a single doll, about 3 or 4. I’m very slow at work because of that, but I prefer to spend my time observing until I feel completely comfortable with my work.

As you can see about my process I can only focus on a single doll each time. I think the girls deserve all my attention and I think focusing on one at each time I’m giving all my best. I tend to think if I work on two or more they get part of the others and it turns into kind of a mixture inside my head ?

Where do you work on your dolls? Do you have a dedicated workplace?

I have a part of my living room dedicated to work on the girls and drawings. I live in a little flat and I don’t have much space, so it all has to be extremely tidy.

How would you characterize your style?

I think I love to make my dolls really childish. I imagine them as if they were of very young age, that’s why they sometimes have pouting mouths. I love to feel they look at you with those huge eyes willing for a hug or comprehension because they’ve had a temper tantrum.

“When your mommy asks you to behave well while waiting for her” stop-motion video. Taken from Babycatface’s Instagram.

What are your favorite tools? What is your favorite Blythe mold to customize?

Scalpels without any doubt. My favorite mold is RBL, so much plastic to carve… love it.

How did you develop the pricing model for your dolls?

It tends to depend on the market, I mean, on the demand. I’ve made some direct auctions by contacting, and that gives you an idea of what people are willing to pay for your work.

For the beginner customizer, what advice would you give them?

As told previously I spend much time watching, looking carefully at the doll and her details, even when I see people, films… I stare at face details, that makes you create a kind of shapes dictionary in your mind. Even spending time watching what you’re doing will let you see deeper than only working without thinking. But of course, you have to practice, practice, practice and never stop practicing, that’s the main way to learn because you never stop learning, so keep practicing is essential.

“We believe in magic!!” stop-motion video. Taken from Babycatface’s Instagram.

Coral always delight us with her creations. Her sweet childlike dolls live in naughty and innocent worlds along with their felt friends. Their clothes, accessories, personalities, all are worked with great detail and thought. If you are lucky enough to get one of her dolls, you will be adopting a little being that has a life of its own, mischievous or friendly, but always sweet and endearing. 
Don’t forget to follow Coral and her dollies on Instagram and her other social media profiles. Don’t miss their adventures!