Interview with Lita Chan

Lita Chan started customizing in 2014 and in 3 years became one of the favorites of the Blythe customizers community. Her dolls are full of detailed carvings and personality. She is currently developing the asian Blythe doll where she applies epoxy to create the dropped eyelids and asian shaped eyes.

You need to make yourself happy with customizing first. Be brave enough to start. Don’t hope for a perfect doll on your first try. Do your best. Practice a lot.

Lita Chan

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

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

You can call me Lita in daily life. I am over 40 years old, but since my 25th birthday, I try to forget it lol. I have a Bachelor degree of Art in Fine Arts. 
I never had the chance to use my talents as an artist, because most of the people in my country at that moment can’t believe an artist can earn enough money to stay alive.

Asian doll with added dropped eyelids.
Asian doll with added dropped eyelids.

When and how did you discover Blythe dolls?

Basically, I am a Neo Blythe collector. Five years ago I started sewing clothes for my dolls. Meanwhile, someone commissioned me a job. At that time, I opened a store on Esty.  A few months later, I needed a custom Blythe doll as my shop model, but all the dolls I liked were too expensive. So I started with the Lita creations.

How long did it take for your style to emerge?

I have many carving styles and always try out new ones. My style finds itself in how I adapt it to my personal ideas. Sometimes a totally new creation is born, and other times I just change old things. I always try to improve my carving. People see it as my signature.

First asian Blythe doll in process.
First asian Blythe doll in process.

Do you do this as a hobby or professionally?

At the moment I do it as a hobby, but if people are more interested in my work it might change.

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

In the beginning, I carved and painted without any previous idea. I did it by intuition and that made me carve or paint in a different style each time. Now I love to plan of how she will look like: smily, pouty, sad or serious. Then I start the carving process. I do change my plans sometimes to fit the girl if some idea changed in between or by accident. Blythe dolls have different plastic in every mold so sometimes I need to fit my original idea to it.

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

If I could choose just one, then carving would be my favorite part.  I love to check the detail and do a clean job so I spend most of the time in the carving process.  Sanding is the boring part LOL. I think it’s the same as most of the other customizers said.

Work in progress.
Work in progress.

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

Well, it depends on many things.  As many people know, in Belgium we have many types of weather. Sometimes it rains in the morning, then again sunshine and later it’s windy all on the same day. 
Customizing a doll really depends on the weather. It can take from me 3 days to  3 weeks, but usually, I do carving in bad weather and makeup when the sun shines.

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

I have a small working table where all kinds of hobby stuff stay on LOL. All is done in the same place: customization, sewing, and airbrushing.

Lita Chan's workplace.
Lita Chan’s workplace.

How would you characterize your style?

I would love to try all styles but realistic is my favorite style.

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

I started with wood carving knives and I try many other tools too. In the end, the wood carving knives are my favorite ones.

Carving tools, brushes and faceplate.
Carving tools, brushes and faceplate.

How did you develop the pricing model for your dolls?

Usually, I use a basic commission fee plus base doll, hair (original or rerooted), body type and eye chip. The price depends on each doll.

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

You need to make yourself happy with customizing first. Be brave enough to start. Don’t hope for a perfect doll on your first try. Do your best. Practice a lot. Don’t be afraid to mess up your doll. Don’t be embarrassed to work from a tutorial. There is no rush, try it at least once. Try to carve and sand then let it sit there for a week. When starting again and you‘ll see that you will learn from your mistakes.

Custom Blythe doll by Lita Chan.
Custom Blythe doll by Lita Chan.

Lita is never afraid to try out a new technique and even inventing some new ones. She came a long way since starting in 2013 and her hard work has paid off in recognition and style. Don’t forget to follow Lita on her social media, she posts regularly on Instagram and Facebook – click on the Profile button below.