This was the first group of Oddnomalies Beni dolls that Kailyn Carr originally made for Austin BJDC in 2022. She said, “Beni is one of the only dolls I sell right now that I designed back in college. Beni started out as a character in a short animation I made about a little boy whose science fair project came to life.”

By Wil Peterson

For Kailyn Carr, 2020 brought both unexpected chal­lenges and career-altering opportunities. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in constantly evolving ways, the Austin, Texas, artist and recent college graduate weighed potential options and ultimately decided to follow a dollmaking dream. This led to a “Bucket” list of sorts and the founding of Oddnomalies, her rapidly expanding ball-jointed doll (BJD) line.

“Like a lot of others during the desperation of lockdown, I tried to find a way to earn money from home,” said Carr, who had just received a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Texas. “I did art commissions for a while, but the work was never satisfying to me. Discouraged, I thought back to the art I enjoyed creating most in college: a silly, ball-jointed doll alien I named Carl. That very week, I bought a cheap 3D resin printer and started on a new ball-jointed doll robot I named Bucket.”

Since then, Carr’s quirky creations have resonated with collectors who prefer a touch of whimsy in their BJDs. “I strive to create one-of-a-kind art dolls that serve not only as unique collectibles but also as lifelike companions,” she said. “‘Oddnomalies’ are uncommon and slightly ‘odd’ crea­tures. From robots to puppets to … who knows what else! Each doll I’ve made is completely handcrafted and truly a labor of love.”

This is Kailyn Carr’s first Oddnomalies Bucket. She said, “They’ve sort of become my mascot and are featured on my website and business cards.”
Kailyn Carr said this is one of the only photos she has of an older Cargo Dolls Bucket next to a newer Oddnomalies one. She added that current-day Bucket is larger and more refined.

Dolls are available in sizes ranging from one-twelfth scale to one-sixth scale, and each Odd­nomalies character comes complete with acces­sories and an intricate backstory. “Garage kits” — unsanded, unpainted, unassembled versions of Carr’s dolls — also are available. “All my dolls start off as characters in my head — some with whole stories at­tached to them, some who are more of an enigma, even to me,” she said. “As an artist, I became an illustrator first, so I always start designing a character by draw­ing them a lot.”

The design process for each doll is intricate, pre­cise, and time-consuming. Carr spends weeks tweak­ing and fine-tuning her characters before translating them into 3D forms. Prototypes follow, as do addi­tional alterations and 2D isometric blueprint drawings that document the final 3D design. These renderings are used for packaging and certificates of authenticity. “It’s a lot of work to design one doll,” she said, “and even more work to continue to produce them by hand.”

Pictured are a Bucket, Hatchet, and Mini Bucket. They were all made around the same time, but it was purely a coincidence that they all were painted shades of blue.
Rika, Kailyn Carr’s niece, holds a Bucket. “She’s a huge motivation of mine. You can find some of her drawings for sale on my Etsy,” Carr said.
“This is one of my absolute favorite photographs of any Bucket,” Kailyn Carr said. “When I was designing them, I chose random colors that I thought looked good together in order to make their color palette. One day while antiquing, I found a childhood toy that matched their color scheme perfectly! It made me wonder if I draw inspiration from things in my childhood without even realizing….”

Oddnomalies exemplifies Carr’s commitment to improve­ment. Her initial Etsy business was called Cargo Dolls, which she operated while also teaching part time at three of the four Art+ Academy locations around Austin. She said, “I tried for a while to do both jobs but ended up having to prioritize my teaching over making dolls. However, I really missed dollmak­ing. So, while I taught, I spent nearly all my free time practicing my doll craft. A whole school year quickly passed, and by then, I had redesigned most of Bucket.”

In May 2022, Carr bought an upgraded 3D printer and re­turned with a new name and business model. “I sold my first new Oddnomalies dolls at Austin BJDC (Ball-Jointed Doll Con­vention) in June later that year. I could never have expected the amazing support that I would receive from then on,” Carr said. “Since the relaunch, I’ve been financially stable enough to pause my part-time teaching job and have been creating my dolls full time since June 2023.”

As a solo act who designs, prints, and paints each doll in her apartment, Carr rarely sources items other than wigs, plastic plants, and occasional garments. “Pretty much everything I cre­ate is handmade. Not only my dolls but also my dolls’ packaging and merchandise,” she said. “I created my own logo, website, and even text fonts made from my handwriting.”

Carr’s plans for Oddnomalies include participating in up­coming BJD conventions, which allow her to interact with col­lectors. Meanwhile, she continually tries to balance seemingly endless creative ideas with undeniable time constraints. “I have dozens of characters sketched that I’m super excited to make into dolls! But since I’m only one person, I don’t want to release new dolls too quickly. So, for right now, I’m trying to stay focused on making my first — and most popular — doll, Bucket,” she said. “Eventually I’ll start making my other dolls more frequently and Bucket a bit less. And every so often, I’ll add a new doll to my repertoire. Some dolls will be more rare; I’ll only make maybe 25 or so before I’m done with making them. Other dolls, like Bucket, I might just make forever. I’m not 100% sure yet. I’m still new at this and mostly figuring things out as I go along.”

While walking through an antique store with Chester, Kailyn Carr came across a wall of frames. “I loved how messy it was and thought all the rectangles matched Chester nicely,” she said.
Pictured sitting on a ladder at the Austin Antique Mall, these are the first two Hatchets Kailyn Carr made for the Modern Doll Collectors Convention in 2023. “I like to imagine the little puppets living in the antique mall and going on adventures together,” Carr said.
These are the original seven Buckets Kailyn Carr brought along to her first convention. “Though I’ve improved in dollmaking since then, they will always have a special place in my heart as the Buckets who started it all,” she said.