When Judy Pollard watches a fantasy movie, she could almost claim it as a business trip! While viewing one of these epic films, Pollard finds herself immersed in the costumes, the characters, and the quests. Then the artist meticulously takes these magical cinematic moments and translates them into her lovely fairy dolls. Her outpouring of dolls is like a big movie cast. Each of her creations is a character in its own right.
“I find my happy place is a world of fantasy and whimsy. When I see something that I find whimsical, to me it’s a place of peace and beauty, so I’ve tried to do my share in hopes of creating this magical feeling to those who may be drawn to my interpretation in my art,” Pollard said.
To that end, Pollard has dreamed up fairy dolls as small as 3.5 inches or as tall as 5.5 inches. Some of her enchanting characters occasionally measure as tall as 8 inches. She hand sculpts them from polymer clay and then concentrates on giving them otherworldly clothing, wigging, and amazing accessories. Each of her little pixie dolls is a testament to her empathy with fantasy filmmakers.
“I have always loved movies like ‘The Dark Crystal,’ ‘The Neverending Story,’ ‘Labyrinth,’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ I am a big movie fan, and I love these fantasy movies,” Pollard said. “When I sculpt my dolls, I imagine these fairies live in a magical place of beautiful, rolling green hills, with wildflowers all around. While there, you can only hear the natural melodies of bees, birds, and crickets in the background. It’s a place that I’ve visited from time to time in my youth, and it’s a simplistic beauty, but it makes your heart sing when you’re in that frame of mind.”
Beyond the inspiration that percolates from her visits to the multiplex, Pollard also draws on her own memories and experiences. “My mother was always such a sweet, soft-spoken soul who always could find the best in individuals. She passed away from a long illness when I was 34. This is when I felt the need to tap into my artistic side,” Pollard said. “She had given me a fairy doll some time back. I believe it planted a seed in me to where I’ve found my bliss. I like to make my fairies with a soft kindness about them as a tribute to my mom and how I try to hold myself to her beautiful ways.”
The bond between mother and daughter was a powerful one, and Pollard honors her immediate family in other ways, too. Living in a house in Billerica, Massachusetts, with her husband and four sons, she has conjured up male fairy characters to honor the boy energy that surrounds her. With sons ranging in ages from 9 to 15, she has a lot of mischief, happiness, love, and playfulness to draw from — and she does. Frequently, the antics of her children have found their way into her final designs.
“I think the appeal of my dolls is that innocent sweetness we all remember as kids or that we’ve seen in our own little ones. I hope they exude kindness that we all want to feel in our everyday lives. My hope is that I’m creating a world we all wish to feel in everyday encounters with others,” Pollard said.
The role of motherhood has definitely colored her creations. Self-taught as an artist, she relies upon her gut feelings and personal emotions to guide her heart and hand. Being a busy mother — a part that she adores living — has influenced her handiwork greatly: “I imagine my fairy dolls come from the wonderment of childhood. I think as moms, when we are in the thick of raising children, it can sometimes be challenging. However, there are pure moments of joy and wonderment when you see your little ones, and that makes being a mom the best job in the world.”
It takes an optimist and a visionary to transform the little, mundane nuances of everyday life into a vast realm of fairies, sprites, and pixies. Pollard can view the smallest moment that exists between a mother and child and then mine it for the magical connection that it is. She’s been doing just that since 2010, when she began sculpting her fairy dolls.
According to Pollard, this is the career that she had always envisioned for herself. She is thrilled that she can dwell in her imagination and then release imaginative and creative creatures. She’s also begun to fashion ball-jointed doll (BJD) children, which are cast out of resin and are taller than her fairies. Her new venture into the BJD universe began in 2018, and she is thrilled to be dreaming up 11-inch dolls that embody childhood bliss: “I am so happy and honored that people want to take time to see into my little world. I hope I inspire happiness and love! And I am excited to see what the future holds for me.” Judy Pollard is an inspiration for aspiring artists everywhere. She’s proof that a person can pursue a brand-new field at any age, and can stop to smell the roses and watch the hummingbirds while doing so.