It’s been nearly a decade that Canadian doll artist Kim Arnold has been “seriously sculpting.” Yes, it’s true that Kim has been working steadily for nearly 10 years as a doll artist. However, the “seriously” part is up for interpretation. When a collector looks at Kim Arnold’s dolls, they see everything but “serious.” Asked to describe her work, Kim knowingly says they are “adorable/quirky/comical.” She insists that her Trinket Box BJDs are what the world needs today.
“If I were to come home from a hard workday, I’d like it if I saw this happy-go-lucky, adorable doll sitting on my shelf. Well, my spirits would lift right up and I would smile from ear to ear,” Kim states.
Kim Arnold does, indeed, have a lot to laugh and smile about. She is doing what she loves best, and she is sharing her outpouring with her collectors. Having a penchant for collecting herself, she understands where they are coming from. “I love compliments from my customers, because it makes me feel like I’m on the right track. That’s really encouraging when it comes to designing dolls,” she shares.
“Besides the compliments, there are also, of course, those pretty Diamond Industry’s Choice Awards! It’s a huge ‘feel good’ experience,” Kim admits. A recipient of doll awards, Kim Arnold has also received the respect of her colleagues and collectors. The artist has very firm opinions about how her dolls are perceived by the public. She knows that when they leave her home, and travel to their new environments, they are out of her hands.
“I do not have storylines about each of my dolls. I am already worn-out in the design department of bringing a doll to life. I might have a meaning behind a certain sculpt, but that’s about it,” the artist confides. However, Kim Arnold’s fans do love to spin their fictional tales.
“Some of my customers make up their own stories about a doll and some of these stories are super-fantastic! I am taken aback by reading customer stories about a doll they have bought, and they have their own doll names. The imagination they show is really amazing,” Kim reveals.
It’s fitting that in October, with Halloween pageantry lurking right around the corner, Kim mentions how “serious” doll collectors are. She also observes how “oppositional” their relatives might appear to be toward their hobby.
“Doll collectors are serious people! It’s funny how some say that family members make fun of their doll collecting. They say that dolls are ‘creepy’ or ‘spooky-looking.’ Well, I say, do not mess with a doll collector,” Kim Arnold stresses.
“Look, everyone likes something. And if men and women like dolls, so be it! If one of my collectors has a storyline in his or her head about my doll, I’m all for it! I say that it’s flattering that my doll has that kind of influence. All of these family members, they should not get in the way of a doll collector’s collection,” she laughs.
A few years back, Kim got to play the part of devoted fan and admirer. She gave two of her dolls to one of her favorite Canadian singers, Jann Arden. “I actually got to meet up with her while she was in concert. She was a very nice lady, and she loved my dolls! I was so thrilled by that,” Kim exclaims.
Given another chance to chat with an admired entertainer, she’d bring a pair of dolls to a Sarah McLachlan concert. “She is one of my all-time favorite singers. I would love it if my dolls were in her home,” Kim Arnold notes about the animal activist.
When she’s not busy sculpting her own creations, or attending concerts, Kim carves out time to do re-paints. “If I have some spare time, I enjoy re-painting My Twinn Dolls. I also love doing many other vinyl dolls. I usually do re-paints when I am in downtime. That’s when I am waiting for my own dolls to arrive,” she explains.
“I must say, I do not take on commissions. I really do prefer to do my own thing when it comes to re-paints or anything else doll-related,” Kim Arnold emphasizes. She’s serious about her doll artistry, her doll collectors, and her doll reputation.
I think Kim’s got a point. Doll people are serious, and anyone not on board should get out of their way!