Dolly Dames’ Exstasie Harvey is a walking contradiction. Raised in Ohio, the artist creates her one-of-a-kind (OOAK) cloth dolls from her current Las Vegas home. From a childhood filled with Cabbage Patch Kids to her adult years lit by neon, Harvey knows that her lifestyle and her handiwork are truly unique.
“I would describe the work that I do as ‘strangely beautiful.’ It is different because it comes from my unexpected vision. I have never tried to copy anyone else’s style. I stay true to my vision, no matter what other people say,” Harvey said. “Sometimes I even surprise myself. I’m okay with what people say because there are so many others out there with the same mind-set as me. I really do love that!”
Harvey invites both monsters and angels, demons and holy images, into her active imagination. A devout Christian, she admits that she is also a fan of horror films and books about zombies. “I love scary movies. I love all horror, but Michael Myers from ‘Halloween’ and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ are my favorites. I admire Wes Craven (Freddy Krueger’s creator) a lot. I have always loved his movies, and I love the art of makeup, too,” Harvey said.
While her doll designs are often creepy, many still manage to convey a fondness for romance. They are supernatural creations that are seeking a home where they can be collected and respected. “I don’t box myself into creating any one type of doll — that would be limiting my imagination. Instead, I let it go freely and I create from my heart,” Harvey said. “In fact, what I like most about making my unique dolls is seeing the outcome. I will get a vision or an idea, and then I will make the doll. It is surprising to see what they actually look like upon completion.”
In addition to her glamorous ghouls and gothic girls, Harvey also conjures up heavenly dolls. “I do make angel dolls, and that’s because of my Christian faith,” the artist said. “So I tell my collectors to keep on the lookout at all times, because only God knows what this mind of mine will create!”
Harvey has built a loyal customer base since she began releasing dolls in 2007, and said she enjoys chatting with them online. “I love to hear what type of doll they would like to see. I get people from all over inquiring about my dolls. It’s exciting! For 2020, I would like to create more fairy dolls and more realistic dolls, too. This year, I want to find out what others want me to create for them that would make them smile.”