Interview with Wes Wu from Black Kings

Wes Wu from Black kings is a versatile customizer with ingenious solutions for creating custom Blythe dolls. From his 'porcelain doll' to Miss Piggy and other well know characters, he puts his heart into every creation that he does. His craftsmanship is amazing and beautiful.

Be patient, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't copy anyone else, create your own style.

Wes Wu – Black Kings

DollyCustom posed 12 questions to Wes Wu about his history as a customizer, his process, and techniques. Here are those questions:

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Hello, I am Wes. 32 years old. I come from Hangzhou, China. I'm an illustrator, designer, and now I customize dolls for a living.

Wes Wu from Black Kings.
When and how did you discover Blythe dolls?

The first time I saw a Blythe doll was in a movie. And then again in 2011, when it was my career bottleneck. Every day’s repeating and without breakthrough works made me bored, so I decided to slow down and have a rest for a period of time after resigning. Then, I bought my first Blythe.

How long did it take for your style to emerge?

My major is animation, and I especially like stop-motion. One day, an inspiration flashed through my mind, “why not combine my favorite elements and Blythe together?” So the first animated series of Blythe was born in 2013. My favorite movies and artists influenced me to create the dark style Blythe. I love to challenge myself constantly, and each challenge is a great satisfaction for me.

Do you do this as a hobby or professionally?

As a hobby at first. Now it feels like a dream that comes true. It's so amazing when you do your favorite job for a living.

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

Each doll of mine has a theme. I collect a lot of information (makeup, costume) before I start carving the face. Then I do some sketch in my head. But sometimes I choose to go with the flow – it might inspire a different kind of solution.

Circus Girl Blythe doll custom by Black Kings.
What is your favorite part of this process and your least favorite?

Carving and makeup are my favorite. The least favorite part is sanding, it hurts my thumb badly ☹️ .

Zombiegirl by Black Kings.
"Handmade eyeballs, you can move them with your finger☺"
How long does it take you to customize one doll? Do you do one at a time or multiple?

I do one at a time. I need to focus on one project. Sometimes it takes a couple of days, sometimes a couple months. It depends on the complexity. If there are scenes and props, it will take longer.

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

I work at my home studio, and always a mess.

How would you characterize your style?

A little like myself, one side is happy, childish sometimes even silly. The other side is more dramatic and dark. I love to create tragic characters. They are more powerful and impressing.

Versatile customizer with an amazing array of styles.

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

My favorite tools are the wood carving tools, very cheap, I’ve been using for years. RBL is my favorite mold, because they are the thickest.

 How did you develop the pricing model for your dolls?

It depends on what type you choose, and how much time I spend. For example the zombie girl and the broken porcelain doll collection – their makeup takes more times and energy.

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

Be patient, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't copy anyone else, create your own style.

Circus Girl Blythe doll custom by Black Kings.

Wes Wu also know as Black kings, is an amazing artist. His dolls are beautifully crafted and so are their sets, clothes, and accessories. He envisions totally different worlds and styles and is one of the most versatile Blythe doll customizers. He can make plastic look like porcelain. He creates animations with his dolls. He is original and has multiple unique styles.

Keep up with Wes' work by following him on social media. Check all his links on his profile page.