They are a fantastic team of two friends who gathered to create the wonderful dolls of Blythe_magic. Their styles mingle perfectly together in a boho, romantic and sometimes edgy feel. It’s impossible not to have noticed these Russian artists who’ve been creating an amazing body of work since 2016.
Always try to be a better version of you as a customizer, learn new things and be passionate about what you do.Diana and Kseniya / Blythe_magic
DollyCustom posed 12 questions to the Blythe_magic team about their history as customizers, their process, and techniques. Here are those questions:
Can you tell me a little about yourselVES?
Blythe_magic is a team of 2 girls: Diana Etkind and Kseniya Smelyanskaya. The most frequently asked question about us is are we sisters or couple. But we are neither, we are friends and we’ve been friends since forever. Our friendship began in 2001 and since then we’ve been breaking the rule that women’s friendship doesn’t exist. And in the last 3 years, we are happy to share this Blythe addiction.
When and how did you discover Blythe dolls?
It happened quite recently in 2015. Blythe images started to appear in our Instagram feed. At that moment Diana worked as a textile dolls designer and Kseniya was a family photographer. The first doll we had was a fake version of a Blythe doll.
How long did it take for your style to emerge?
We share an Instagram account and an Etsy store, workspace and general ideas regarding the customizing process, but we don’t work on the same doll together. Each of us makes her own dolls. So you may (or may not) notice two different styles. Diana loves to create different characters from glamorous divas to kids and Kseniya loves fantasy mysterious looks. But we both always try to achieve new goals in carving, makeup, and hair. So our styles are constantly changing.
Do you do this as a hobby or professionally?
We do it professionally.
Custom dolls by Diana Etkind
Custom dolls by Kseniya Smelyanskaya
What is your creative process like? Do you plan your custom dolls from start to finish or just go with the flow?
Both of us have a lot of unreleased ideas and we always feel inspired. Our creative process is unpredictable. Anything can be an inspiration: a picture from a child book or a pretty girl from the street, sunset colors or movie’s color scheme. There is not enough time in a day to do everything we’d like to!
What is your favorite part of this process and your least favorite?
We enjoy every little part of the process.
How long does it take you to customize one doll? Do you do one at a time or multiple?
Both of us don’t usually do multiple dolls, but if some project takes longer, we do that simultaneously.
Where do you work on your dolls? Do you have a dedicated workplace?
We always do the makeup of our dolls together on Diana’s living room. It’s kind of a tradition. All the pre-makeup processes we do mostly separately at our own workspaces.
How would you characterize your style?
Realistic and natural.
What are your favorite tools? What is your favorite Blythe mold to customize?
Wood carving tools. It’s hard to say which mold is our favorite because every mold is special and dolls from different molds have different looks in the final result. But the easiest to work with is definitely the RBL.
How did you develop the pricing model for your dolls?
The price is the summary of the cost of the base doll, materials, work complexity, and a few other details.
For the beginner customizer, what advice would you give them?
Always try to be a better version of you as a customizer, learn new things and be passionate about what you do.
Romantic, realistic, sweet and sometimes edgy are the dolls that come from the hands of Diana and Kseniya, the team behind Blythe_magic. With an astounding body of work with more than 400 dolls combined, these two are making a real dent in the Blythe customization world. Make sure you follow them on social media to keep up with their evolution.
- Dolls: 400+
- Started: 2016
- How to Purchase: Blythemagicshop (Etsy) / Bohoblythe (Etsy)
- Favorite Customizers: Diana’s – Lita Chan, K-Dolls Heaven, Tiina Vanhatupa / Kseniya’s – CJDOLLS, abbiocco doll, catmo_doll