Monday, January 30, 2012

Interview with Tina aka Crazykimochi

Shopping for the right kind of doll clothes can be a problem in such a niche hobby. Because of this, people flock to those who skillfully wield a needle and thread for commissions.

Tina, better known to the BJD world as Crazykimochi, is one of those skilled people. Her colorful, quirky hoodies have gained quite a following among those in the hobby, proof of which is her never-ending commission list! I have commissioned Tina myself and was impressed by both the quality of the product and the manner she handles her clients.

One of my plans for this blog was to hold interviews with artists and people in the hobby I admire, and as a fan of Tina, I'm glad she agreed to be the first! Now, on with the interview!

Hi Tina! To start off, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm 24 years old dating the most awesome guy ever for almost 7 years now. Currently going to school and majoring in Physics, minoring in Astronomy & Mathematics. Other than school, I enjoy photography, sewing, reading, & star-gazing. I also enjoy gaming a lot too, mostly Ragnarok Online right now (Ymir server); I did play World of Warcraft for a while on the Maelstrom server as a Draenei Resto Shaman. I love TV shows such as Roswell, Vampire Diaries, Spartacus, & True Blood. I'm also a total movie junkie, I love going to watch newly released movies! My favorite singer is LIGHTS and my favorite band of all time is MAE, I can't live without their music. I also really love Owl City and Taylor Swift.

What's the story behind your screen name "Crazykimochi"?
I guess you can say that I'm a corny romantic! "Kimochi" in Japanese means feelings or sensation, and that's what love is to me, a crazy feeling!

Tina's dolls: Catalina, Titan and Evie.
How did you get into the BJD hobby?
Back when I was into Pullips, I met Knibitz and she had just gotten into Pullips as well. After a while, Knibitz left Pullips and got into BJDs, ever since then, I pined and pined for one of my own! I had a Doll Factory Otter that my sister bought for me for my birthday one year, but little Nikki didn't cut it! I wanted a human BJD. So I saved up and eventually got my DOD Calla as my first human BJD.

What made you decide to put up commissions for doll clothes, hoodies in particular?
In my own personal life, I love hoodies! And I wanted my dolls to dress in just regular, everyday clothing, not just lolita and such. I know there are many companies out there that offer hoodies, but I wanted to make things more personal and unique, and it seems that's what everyone else is looking for as well.

Your high-top hoodies have a distinct look and design. How did that come about?
My mother actually came up with it, but hers was hurriedly put together and it wasn't as high as I have it now. After a while, I wanted to make it look more uniform so I came up with my own pattern!

Commissioned high-top hoodies
Could you describe your work process? Do you have any quirks or habits while working, like having the TV on, working in a place of organized chaos, etc?
I always, always start with the hood/top trim first! It's a must for me. My little sewing area is a complete mess until I finish the orders of hoodies that I have. I'm sure it irks my boyfriend when I leave the mess for a few days, depending on how long it takes, haha.

Do you prefer sewing for a particular size?
I love to sew for Minifee! It's so easy to sew for them and I love the fact that I have both a male and female model for my creations!

Tina's favorite creations
Which of your creations is your favorite so far? 
I really love this one because it's unique! It was an old shirt that I had and loved so much, I figured I could put it into more use if I made Zephii something out of it. This one because Compa is such a cute character! And one of Brink's! It has a cute little TKDK tiger coming out of the pocket, so cute!

Have you ever experienced handling a "bad" customer? How was it and how did you deal with it?
Not really, I've had a couple that didn't like what I made for them, but they really wanted to work with me on it. I did my best to make what they wanted and hopefully something they liked.

Your pet corgi, Kairi, is super cute! I noticed you like taking photos of her. Tell us more about her and why she is your mascot.

Kairi is my baby, the other love of my life! She is named after the Kingdom Hearts character. She was one of the things that helped me when I was depressed about my first dog, Pepper, passing, I was a mess and she brought me out of it.

Kairi, the mascot of Forever Kimochi.
Share three interesting things about yourself! Any special talents or odd experiences recently?
1. I love Astronomy, that's ultimately what I want to do with my life.
2. I want to ride in a hot-air balloon some day.
3. I got my whole family into wanting/liking Corgis.

Tell us more about your resin crew! What are their stories?
I don't think I've shared their story anywhere, haha! They're all just characters in my head. The only ones that don't have a story are my Dalsoo (Nikki) and Calla (Catalina).

Zephii is a commoner elf that lived outside of the kingdom of Knighton with her parents. When she was very young, she met Brink, the prince of Knighton, near the stream that ran up to the kingdom and they became the best of friends and eventually fell in love. Kimmie and Titan are their Spirit Beasts, ie. their guardians (I think I'll make Evie, Zurii's Spirit Beast). On the day that Brink was going to propose to Zephii and introduce her to his father, the king, Zephii was kidnapped by a mysterious person (who doesn't have a name nor mold yet) and ultimately turned into a vampire, but because of her elven blood, Zephii can walk in the daylight without getting hurt. Years after her disappearance, Zephii escapes and returns to Brink. He accepts her wholeheartedly, even though she had become a "monster", he had never stopped loving her.

I'll eventually get into more details and release photostories about Zephii & Brink because they will eventually have a baby, a PKF Luna named Zurii.

Zephii and Brink
Lastly, what tips do you have for those who are interested in getting into the business of BJD clothes commissions?
Find something that is unique to work with, something that you can see your own dolls wearing. If your dolls can't wear it, why would anyone else's? I like to put myself in my customer's shoes and ask myself if my own dolls would wear that and such.

Find out more about Tina and her work through deviantART and her Flickr group. She takes commissions at the Den of Angels forum. You can commission her through her thread, Forever Kimochi (registration is required to view it). Updates regarding her work can be found at her blog.

All photos featured in this post are by Tina.


  1. Janine Vicencio3:12 PM

    Wow! This is awesome Kass! :D I enjoyed reading it! :D

  2. Thank you, Jan! I'm glad you did. :D


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