Friday, September 28, 2012

Interview with bombom of Tiny Feet & SugarDoll

Filipa, better known as bombom in the doll hobby, is a lady I greatly admire. Aside from creating the cutest doll clothes for her shop, The SugarDoll, she is also the force behind the popular doll magazine, Tiny Feet. I absolutely love the work she does for both her shop and the magazine.

In this interview, Filipa talks passionately about her craft and love for the hobby. It's a little lengthy, but it's an interesting read. Enjoy!

1. Hello Filipa! To start things off, tell us 5 fun facts about yourself.
Hi Kass! Thank you for the invitation for your blog! It's great to be able to talk a little in your corner of delights!

So I'm Filipa, most people in the doll world know me as bombom (from flickr), I am also the owner of SugarDoll Shop and the creator of Tiny Feet magazine. Fun facts, let's see: I am a designer, grown in the city but living in a little village by choice; my favorite colors are pastels but I wear only black tops and jeans combined with nice colored details such as jewelry or scarves; I am scared to sleep alone, even in my own home; I don't have pets because I'm not much of an animal person and last one... I love marshmallows!

2. Can you tell us how you got started in the doll hobby?
It was long ago, almost nine years actually. I was active on Livejournal at the time and found dolls by accident. I first got a Pullip because one of my friends there also had one and she helped me out with it. We are still very good friends actually! Soon after, others followed and I have been in the BJD hobby since 2008. I've met wonderful people in this community and learned a lot a long the way!

3. You have a variety of dolls in your collection: you have Pullips, Blythes, BJDs, among others! What makes you want to have a doll? Do they have to have a certain feature or look?
Yes, I do have a variety of dolls. They all came in their own time, and I keep them because it is very hard for me to let go. They are all special and came for a reason, so I keep them with me! Most of the time, what gets me to buy a new doll is seeing amazing photos of her everywhere! I don't do it as an impulse, I always try to mature the feeling, and look again and again until I click the buy button or adopt one! Most of my dolls are adopted from someone else because I am impatient and hate to wait for a company to ship. I get itchy!

I don't know if there are special features that I look for. I like cute and blush-y faces when it comes to Blythe. I like sweet MSD and I have a crush for Unoas; they are versatile and the same mold with different artist faceup looks so unique! I currently have 4 Unoa heads (shame on me!). Oh and my SD has pink hair... I never thought I'd have a fantasy hair girl, until I got her. After that I also got pink hair for my Lati Yellow. They are so cute together!

My latest acquisition was this week. I adopted a MNF Mirwen and she should be here sometime soon. I wanted a MNF for long but never got around to get it, so I am happy I finally did it!

4. Who or what inspires your work? Who are the people you look up to, in and out of the hobby?
Most of the time I feel inspired by fashion, mostly because my dolls are always models for my clothing shop! Colors also inspire me very much. I love to play around with those in photos and sewing up new outfits. I am very active on Pinterest, I use it a lot for my professional work, for Tiny Feet and for SugarDoll. It inspires me to make new beautiful things!

Inside the community I have many people I look up to, some come from way behind like Renata (she is not active much these days, but we still talk sometimes), and Sevastra (I know her from years back when I was active on Pullip Fiction forum); Roz for her Blythe photos; Fragile Existence with her BJD's; Cyristine; Dani has amazing photos and I had the chance to meet her in person this year at Blythecon Europe in Berlin where I also met Mirella, who is the sweetest most happy girl one could ever find; photos of Launshae are an adventure to look at; Poison Girl is very talented and makes me keep my Pullips, love her work; Princess-Di-o-Rama is a perfection with dioramas and miniatures... oh and I could go on an on for hours with this and still there would be missing a lot of talent to mention... of course everyone that has ever taken part of Tiny Feet. They were the reason why the magazine was created!

5. You're the girl behind Tiny Feet Magazine. How did the idea of making a dolly publication come about?
I am... Every time someone says it, I feel goosebumps... You know when you make something and when it's finished you can't believe it's done and that you worked so much to make it come true? That is how I feel, every time...

As a designer, I like working with editorial; as a photographer I like creating beautiful images; as a collector and part of the community I see a lot of good content everywhere. Tiny Feet works as a showcase of these amazing collectors and their work. It is a combination of all things I love and so it can only make me happy to be able to deliver all this content! I am always happy once a contributor accepts the challenge to take part! And although it is a long process to have each issue out, it is rewarding and I can't describe how happy I am that it has become so popular and gets such attention and great reviews!

6. Can you share with us how you go about the process of producing one magazine?
It is a long way before an issue is out. It takes about 2 and a half months to set up everything (speaking of which, it is almost time to start working on the next one!) from choosing the theme, building the inspiration, inviting contributors, organizing information, exchanging a large number of emails, receiving contents, designing and building up the pages, etc.

For the last issue it took longer than planned and got postponed. It takes a lot of time, needs dedication and it is a lot of hard work and long hours, especially the last 2 weeks before release, but I try to do my best to always deliver a good graphic magazine that shows the contributors content in the best of ways and also pleases the readers.

7. What has been the greatest challenge you have encountered while running Tiny Feet?
That's a hard question... I must say the biggest challenge is to be able to manage time around all my other activities and my work. I am always incredibly busy and running a few projects at the same time. Some of my friends say I'm crazy. I always have something to do, and the last days of Tiny Feet just kill it. I have to intensively work in the magazine so I need to find time to do it. I struggle with time, that's it. Everything else just runs smooth if I have an hour a day to reply to emails and send out digital orders, etc. The facebook, blog and website also need to be updated... so yeah time is my big deal, but not only with Tiny Feet, with everything I put my hands on. I think it's because I do it with conviction and when I set my mind to do something, it has to come out perfect.

8. What can we expect from future issues of Tiny Feet?
I really don't know. Each issue I try to make it better then the previous one, trying to bring new collectors to the spotlight and give older collectors a space to talk and share ideas.

It will always feature Blythe, Pullip and BJD, with others in the middle, and have the main theme to give the feel of it and to take readers on a journey into our world. We have non-dolly (hobbyist) readers that had never seen these dolls before and still they get the same feeling as we do. This gives me the best feeling ever and I'm proud that Tiny Feet reaches such different audiences around the world.

9. You also have an adorable doll clothing shop called The SugarDoll Shop. How did it start?
Yes, SugarDoll started a few months after I got the first doll. Being a student and not always being able to buy clothes for my girls, I started making them and getting requests and orders. The first "shop" was still on LJ, and a while after came Etsy.

I like making clothes, but mostly I like to play with colors and patterns in the fabrics. I make simple pieces; they are not elaborated and their style is very casual. I just enjoy the use of color!

10. Who or what influences the style of the clothes you make? Is there a certain fashion style that inspires you?
Like I mentioned before, fashion is what inspires me most, but I am also very inspired by ice cream, candy flavors and colors. I think that is very obvious in my items and in the shop name. There's not really a style, but if I had to choose it would probably be Fruits. I like that they don't mind combining colors and accessories with no apparent reason. My dolls are the same and I make clothes for my girls mostly and only after I make them for the shop!

11. In your opinion, what is the best part of the doll hobby?
The best part about this hobby is to be able to share it with so many others with the same or similar interest. It's like a huge bubble of creativity flowing freely. I have met and became very good friends with other collectors and have seen things that are of incredible beauty. Most of all, I am able to do what I love the most, Tiny Feet, because this community exists. It is the combination of all these things that makes the hobby enjoyable, and I do enjoy it a whole lot!

Learn more about Filipa and her work by visiting the following links:
Tiny Feet Mag (site + tumblr)
The SugarDoll Shop

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