WOLFVILLE – What do Lucille Ball and five Wizard of Oz characters – Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Wicked Witch – all have in common?
Not much, as it turns out, but six dolls with their likenesses were sold from Linda Kroezen’s LindiLuvCrafts Etsy shop to an American buyer on Kroezen’s first day of business four years ago.
The sale blew Kroezen out of the water and into action, as she continued full steam ahead with creating dolls of actors like Christina Ricci, David Bowie, Julie Andrews and Robin Williams –stepping up the challenge with each new design.
“Each doll is a new challenge for me. I never know if it’ll turn out because I’m trying something new every time, and I’m always surprising myself,” said Kroezen.
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Capturing a likeness in different ways
Each doll is made in a unique way, with Kroezen pivoting between repurposing used dolls, creating clay faces and painting directly onto canvas.
Keeping in mind the doll’s face shape and size, she browses images on the internet to find the right one.
“I focus on shape of face, and then pick a person that has that similar bone structure,” said Kroezen, referencing her Wednesday Addams – played by a young Christina Ricci – whose heart-shaped face matched the doll’s elf-like features.
Like her first sale, the dolls typically sell to American collectors. Special orders, like the Robin Wiliams’ Peter Banning, often come through, and are another challenge Kroezen will sometimes take on.
The feeling that came after capturing Julie Andrews’ likeness in her Sound of Music role is still fresh for Kroezen, who considers the doll to be among her best work.
“I look at the image, get the materials together, create my colours, and get it started. It’s all about seeing what I can do with each doll,” she said.
‘There’s something really rewarding about doing that’: Kroezen
But the thrill of capturing a person’s likeness is never gone, as Kroezen is newly surprised each time she creates a doll and it exceeds her expectations.
Being an artist, she still feels critical of her work, and always thinks she capture the likeness even better.
“I take what I see in my mind and create that with my hands. There’s something really rewarding about doing that because I don’t know if I can until I do it. So I’m critical, but I do surprise myself,” she said.
Another Etsy aspect Kroezen said she loves – in addition to making sales, of course – is the discussion her dolls foster between herself and the people browsing her shop.
“The feedback I get from people is amazing. When people tell me it’s a favourite shop of theirs to visit, it just makes me so happy,” she said.
“I do this in obscurity – very few people know that I do what I do. So for these people to tell me they love what I’m creating, it means so much.”
Visit Linda Kroezen’s LindiLuvCrafts here: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/LindiLuvCrafts.