Interview with Blanca Diáz from Banochita

Serendipity seems to be the sidekick of Blanca Díaz. She discovered Blythe by accident and it was an accident that led her to her extremely recognizable style.

…the love for my daughter brought me into this world and the love for the doll kept me in the Blythe world.

Blanca Díaz / Banochita

DollyCustom posed 12 questions to Blanca Díaz 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 Blanca and I am a optimistic person.

I studied Applied Arts in the specialty of Artistic Metalworking. Professionally, I trained at a religious goldsmith workshop in Seville and continued independently until a few years ago.

When and how did you discover Blythe dolls?

In 2009 I was looking for a different doll for my daughter. Then I saw a Punkaholic on eBay and I instantly fell in love.

How long did it take for your style to emerge?

I found my style in the seventh doll that I made.

I wanted to make a cheerful doll but it was very difficult and my inexperience caused me to break the faceplate plastic. Since I had nothing to lose, I opened the mouth where it was damaged and I put teeth in it.

This accident showed me how I could create my own style.

Do you do this as a hobby or professionally?

As I said before, the love for my daughter brought me into this world and the love for the doll kept me in the Blythe world.

Five years ago the economic crisis in my country forced me to close my workshop and what then seemed to me as the failure in my professional life became the beginning of a new form of artistic expression and, ultimately, a new way of life.

I have worked for Blythe professionally since 2014.

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

I have a collection of smiles on Pinterest that inspire me.

When I start a doll, the only thing I ask me is whether she will be sweet or naughty or if she will wear braces. Then I let the work flow naturally.

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

My favorite part, without a doubt, is the moment I put on her eyes and the doll looks at me for the first time. It’s like the birth after labour.

The worst, usually, is the start, the first step.

Also a part that I don’t like is sanding. It’s very tedious.

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

In the goldsmith’s workshop, there’s a saying: “this is not an egg that is fried”.

 Making a doll is a such an intimate job, it needs a special energy which you don’t always have. Therefore it is difficult to give an exact time.

I usually do them one at a time, although sometimes I have started two or three at the same time. But I haven’t finished them at the same time.

It is always an individualized piece of work.

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

Yes, I have a room in my house that is my workshop. Also, since I live in an area with very good weather, I often work in my yard.

How would you characterize your style?

I try to have a realistic style. I do a powerful carving but for the makeup, I like soft and with natural tones.

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

My favorite mold to work with is the RBL because it is the mold that has more plastic where I need it.

To work with scalpel and drill, both tools are essential for me.

How did you develop the pricing model for your dolls?

I take into account the price of the raw material (doll, body, chips ….), I always look for quality in the materials I use and I try to respect intellectual property by avoiding to buy fakes. Starting from this base price, I set my price based on supply and demand.

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

I’m too young to give advice, lol.

When I see the work of my favorite customizers, I have a clear idea of ​​what their dolls have, good technique and impregnated love. That’s what I also try to do, improve my technique and express myself.

Everyone knows the naughty girls of Banochita. Her cute smiles, showing her small and still growing teeth are super adorable and give these custom Blythe dolls a strong personality and style that is recognizable everywhere. 

If you want to have a fun doll, you need one from Banochita. They have a life of their own, making naughty things, giggling and teasing you. 

If you want to keep up with Blanca’s work, don’t forget to follow her on social media.