Collector Convo: Emma Bea Jay Dee

Another new feature I will be doing on the blog this year is a series of interviews with people who are in the hobby, either as “collectors” or “makers” (of BJD related items etc.).

Emma & Mina

I’m kicking off with an interview with one of my very best friends, Emma, who many people will know as Emma Bea Jay Dee on Facebook or emmr_{bjd} on Flickr.

Emma, How and when did you first discover Ball Jointed Dolls?
I was in a toy photography group on flickr in 2008 to try and improve my photography, I kept seeing these amazing ‘toys’ owned by other people, through that I fell in love with Blythe, Pullips and eventually BJDs.

Emma's BJD FamilyYour current collection is largely Fairyland based. What is it you like about their dolls so much?
For me the posing of a doll is very important, I like them to be able to look natural and relaxed, and Fairyland make dolls that are wonderful for that. The LittleFee in particular are great to play with and sit down. I also love a lot of the sculpts from FL, and once I started getting dolls it seemed that only the Fairyland dolls had characters to me, I can enjoy other dolls, but they tend not to speak to me and be in the same world – which is important to me.

Fairyland seem to have been changing direction a little lately, with more fantasy based dolls and stronger faceups etc. How do you feel about this change?
It’s good for me, as I’m less keen on the stronger faceups, specially on the tiny dolls. I love seeing what they come out with, and seeing the new dolls in other people’s collections. But on the whole they don’t appeal to me as much as a lighter faceup would.

MinaWhich doll in you current collection (okay, dolls! You can pick 3!) is your favourite?
That’s an almost impossible question… I think Rowan (my LittleFee Ante) would have to be in there as she’s my oldest doll now and very important to me as a character, then Mina (MiniFee Miyu) of course, I can’t imagine having dolls without having her, she’s the heart of my family. The third would vary depending on who I was playing with at the time, it would probably be between Pixie (MiniFee Rena) and one of the tinies, maybe Rose (PukiFee Ante).

Do you have a favourite size of doll?
My favourite for characters is definitely MSD. But for photographs and props possibly YOSD size, I like that I can get them a new toy from a supermarket, and it doesn’t take much effort to put a nice space together to take pictures of them in.

BowieDo you have a grail doll? If so, has it always been the same doll or has it changed over the years?
My grail doll used to be a MiniFee Soony, and I was totally safe as it was a doll they hadn’t made… then they made her and I had to find a way to get her! I’m so glad they did as I love mine a lot. Now I would like a PukiFee Piki (another doll they don’t do!)

If you could start your collection over again, what doll or company do you think you’d gravitate to?
It would probably be Fairyland again, I’ve tried a lot of different companies and I know they’re right for me. If I had to choose something different it would be Luts or Iplehouse.

Are there any dolls you have owned over the years that you really didn’t get on with? Why?
There have been a few that as soon as they’ve arrived I know they won’t stay. A lot of these I have time photographing and doing different things with before they leave, but some have been in and out within a week! Most noticeable have been full set LittleFee, where I’ve fallen in love with the pictures on Fairyland site and once they’ve arrived realised there’s nothing I want to do differently with them, and often that the faceup is too strong for me! Other than that Anthros and really, really small dolls, I never get on with them!

BeaBesides Fairyland, what other companies have you been impressed by?
Lots, I love the Lati dolls, though I don’t like the company and their wait times make them impossible for me to order from. Iplehouse do beautiful dolls but most are too different in size and looks to the rest of my family. Luts dolls are a constant temptation and I need to add a permanent Luts doll at some point. I had an Atelier Momoni girl for a while and she was just gorgeous, I have a Doll Legend body which is just wonderful, I’d love them to do more… hmmm… I’m sure there are others, but those are the ones that stick out that I would definitely have again.

21354257493_f473d78837_oYou are well known for your photo stories. Do all your dolls have their own characters and background stories? If so, do they all reside in the same “universe”?
My MSD characters all fit together in my story world, though they haven’t all been introduced yet! My LittleFee are mostly outside the stories, some have stories on their own and one is just a pretty picture doll. My Tinies vary… they have a place in the stories, but I usually just have them as cute picture and travel dolls.

What do you enjoy most about keeping Ball Jointed Dolls?
I like the creative aspects a lot. I have them mostly to take pictures of, but now the stories and characters are a big part of the hobby to me. I love that I can use other crafts that I enjoy with the dolls, like knitting, sewing, creating things. I also love the friends I’ve made through the hobby, I’ve been very lucky to have a group of wonderful friends nearby and further away that I can see regularly. All these friends are now very much ‘life’ friends as well as dolly friends!

ZephieDo you think the hobby has changed since you joined? Are there any aspects of the hobby that you don’t like?
I think the hobby is a lot larger since I joined, there are a lot more people collecting, which I think has meant more doll companies and more people making for dolls, as well as more people to talk to and more pictures to look at 😀 When I started most things were on either Flickr or forums, now there are so many different places it’s hard to keep up with everyone and everything!

AdaWhat are your plans for 2016 doll wise?
I’ve already made a few changes… I’ve bought a MiniFee Chloe to replace my Liria as my Ada character, she’s much more of a ‘me’ doll, I don’t do well with dolls that are too sad or grumpy generally! With her arriving two MiniFee will be leaving. I’m waiting on a RealFee Pano girl, but I’m not sure she will stay or not, I don’t have a place in mind for her, but we’ll see. I’m trying to seriously limit the number of dolls I buy this year, but I’m thinking when the two MiniFee have gone I might add an Iplehouse JID boy. Other than that I’m doing a doll a week photo challenge, I want to take lots more pictures of all my dolls and I want to make a lot of stories to tie up loose ends on my stories – but not all of them as loose ends can be interesting!

You can find Emma on Flickr, Facebook and Youtube 😉

All images used to illustrate this interview are the property of Emma Bea Jay Dee/emmr_{bjd}. Please do not use without permission.