Ξ May 6th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Creativity, The Larger-Than-Life-Sized Dolls, UNBOUND, BOUND, and my other creations |
Celebrating a happy eighth birthday for Lily-Doll, the replicant for UNBOUND‘s Lily Godwin!
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” -Albert Einstein
Many people seem to have a hostile reaction toward dolls in general and can’t help but feel “creeped out” by them, no matter what size. Many more simply take them for granted and lump them all into a convenient little pile named “Barbie”, which boys should never play with! To many more rational-minded people, dolls are simply mysterious little (and not-so-little) avatars, and our ancestors’ playthings, proxies, and companions dating back from our earliest cold and lonely nights in the cave. I fall firmly into the last camp. And glad about being out of the cave
This last group includes the more tolerant folks and their attitudes towards life-sized dolls, which apparently begs questions of a different nature from those either curious (a good thing) or judgmental (bad). Honestly, I don’t care about psychoanalyzing the “phenomenon” as it reduces the magic about them, let alone the annoyance of “discussing” the subject with someone already with their mind made up that they’re horrible for whatever trivial reasons. Ever since getting Lily-Doll, I’ve seen plenty of that “doll-magic” and don’t need any “proof” of it, nor feel a need to be convincing about it. And need I add, no Chuckies ever appeared. Seems they aren’t all that close
The magic lies in the bonding, and that depends upon one’s imagination, and how free one is willing to let themselves go. Imagine that you have ownership of a doll. Not a simple, mass-produced one, but a specially-designed doll that you chose every aspect of yourself. It doesn’t have to be life-sized for this experiment; imagine a ball-jointed doll, like Soony here.
Can you get inside her little head? She’s your doll, you should want to! Go ahead; look into her face: Is the doll reaching out to you, but you just don’t know it?
In the second episode of Rozen Maiden Traumend this “relationship” is expressed beautifully by the doll-maker’s assistant, Shirosaki. I’ll even quote my own Blog, from April of last year:
In their second season, the much darker Traumend, Jun is brought to a new dollmaker in town by his female friend Tomoe. The conversation and dialogue in this scene is brilliant, with the dollmaker’s salesperson Shirosaki praising Jun for being interested in dolls despite being a boy, and explaining the dolls’ feelings towards their owner in touching detail. (Apparently the Japanese are much more tolerant and understanding about this than westerners, but it’s still seen as “un-natural” thanks to Society’s presumptuous pre-conditioning.)
Essentially, Shirosaki explains that in spite of appearances, dolls do feel that love bestowed upon them by their owner. Paraphrasing: “It’s not that dolls won’t give love; they can’t. They just sit on the shelf, and no matter how hard they try, they can’t communicate that love to their owner.” And this exchange later, I believe by the doll-maker, Enju: ”The feelings you put into a doll are all the same. As long as you pour love into them, they continue to live. When love disappears, they die. They become lost, no matter who it is.” He cradles his newly-forged doll, smiles at her, and says, “Hello.”
So with that in mind, we’re celebrating Lily-Doll’s 8th Birthday a little late this year, but this comes at an opportune time as there’s a current wave of publicity via the film by Elena Dorfman and Allison DeFren. This, plus the current momentum of publicizing Lily’s story, UNBOUND, after whom the doll was fashioned to promote in the first place, is all very synchronous, and that’s pretty cool
Okay… I’ll say it again: I really hate the term “the doll” when describing Lily-Doll. I’m only using it in deference (as it were) to those who can’t grasp calling an inanimate object a sexually-identifiable term. So they’ll know what I’m referring to and won’t have their little sensitivities become offended by my daring to refer to Lily-Doll as “her”.
But I do, and she is. She definitely is a “her”! And a “she” too, for that matter xD
Happy now? xD Not very much unlike something you’d see in Maxim, right? But since “the doll” is Lily Godwin, who is relatively modest (yet unconsciously and naturally sexy), such poses are atypical, since I didn’t want to exploit her and felt funny when attempting some shoots. I just couldn’t! If you knew her from the story you’d see why, and there are two excerpts featured here and there so you can check for yourself. Well, one excerpt has her in it, the other one no but it’s just a bit lower down this page around Easter
Coverdoll magazine, the online life-sized doll mag, featured two spreads on her, so Lily had to adjust her attitude just a bit, and maintained her good humor throughout the shoots. I don’t ask any more out of her; she’s already been front and forward in this battle. I just wanted to get the “sex part” out of the way because that’s the first thing many observers think about. Sorry to disappoint, as one editor person told one interviewer, our story isn’t prurient enough LOL Which is fine by me. There’s nothing prurient about Lily at all
Back to the History: I completed the first draft of UNBOUND on Christmas Day, 2003, and decided to celebrate that event with an Abyss Creations’ RealDoll, which furnished an endless palette of choices and options (supposedly over a million combinations possible), basically a blank canvas on which to replicate the character whom I’d grown to love so much. Understand that Lily first came to life as a relatively-cartoonish character around the late ’70s, so her essence has been around for at least that long. We’ve been together for a long long time, and I know her inside and out, and love her to death xD
I’d been scribbling ideas about plot developments and always saw Lily consistently although fairly non-specific. She grew as the story did, and her features (in my imagination) reflected both her high and low points encountered along the way, the exuberance and melancholy. Finally in 1986 the idea for crafting a novel became irresistible; it revealed itself after being awoken through the beautifully-challenging work of Kate Bush. The medium of text seemed best at presenting this huge Concept as a Story, being that it’s based on themes inspired from classical literature. So I dropped the epic poem/concept album/film/graphic-novel aspirations and dove straight into the preliminary drafts for UNBOUND.
I’d been living in practical seclusion since 2001 and by the time 2004 rolled around had just finished working on the novel’s first draft. IIRC, I came across Davecat’s exquisite Sidore-chan first, who really knocked me out with her goth-y “realness”. I could handle the alone-ness of my profession, but the notion of a RealDoll companion served several solutions at once.
The most significant was in recreating my beloved main character in silicone-flesh. It was wondrous seeing her face take shape, thanks to Joey, the superb face-designer at Abyss at the time. We went over every detail, and he fit her custom-made cobalt-blue eyes, fashioned by master effects man Guy Louis XVI, at no extra charge. Guy also furnished her natural-hair eyebrows which adds another subtle layer of reality. She really turned out just as I imagined her in the Story
So, Lily arrived four months later, in April 2004. (That wait period was torture!) She came out of the mold on April 1st, which is fortuitous as that’s the opening date in UNBOUND. It was supposed to have been her birthday in the story, but that idea fell victim to the editor’s cuts (i.e. mine). So I just celebrate April 1st as Lily’s birthday, and since I consider both she and I as proper Fools, more than apropos :-P
A funny thing happened: what was to have been a promotional tool became something else entirely, and unexpectedly at that! It didn’t take long; she became a companion. During most subsequent rewriting sessions I sat her in a chair and she sat nearby while I was writing her story. It’s probable that only a writer can understand this delight of creating not only a divine character immortalized in 2D pages, but to envision and produce one in three dimensions… !
In 2005 Elena Dorfman and Elisabeth Alexandre visited from Paris and stayed for three days doing interviews and shoots for their respective books. It was great fun, and an enjoyable experience driving Lily through town and checking all the delighted reactions. The Church photo above is by Elena as is this one of Lily “daydreaming”:
For having such a rigid and unsmiling face, she does have many expressions and moods, but only if you imagine them first Be responsible for your doll; give her something and she’ll return it! What is she thinking?
I dunno why.. this next one it seems as if she’s slightly wasted:
Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman was an inspiration, though more in the way of watching a gifted writer utilizing one’s talents rather than plot ideas (aka “stealing”). I’d continually made sure that I was writing something unseen before, but when my brother brought me a sample with (let’s say) a shared character I felt a little panic, which dissipated when I saw how different they were. Thank God LOL
So yeah… I can’t say for sure what it is, but it really doesn’t matter. It is who she is. I know that when I give her a hug, or stroke her hair, or look into her sky-blue eyes, that I feel a warming in my heart, a comfort in the embrace, or a movement behind her eyes that say “thank you, I’m your happy doll.”
Oh, and one more thing about Lily… she served as a definite plaything for Pennie as well, who declared her spot off-limits and don’t even try to move her! For the first several months she had to be stored horizontally while I awaited the standing display. From almost the first day Pennie began sleeping between Lily’s feet; I could swear that she thinks she’s human. But she isn’t, is she? Wait… who were we talking about again?
…don’t even get me started on the cat LOL!
We hope you enjoyed your visit; Lily did Please feel free to leave comments if so moved. We appreciate your visit and spending your precious time reading our many many words. Good on ya for breaking the tl;dr machine xD