I am very pleased and excited to be able to bring you a very special interview with renowned fashion doll purveyor, designer, collector, photographer and DollObservers.com member, George Gonzalez. George is the CEO of Angelic Dreamz, one of the finest fashion doll and collectable retailers in the world and was voted Online Fashion Doll Retailer of the Year in the 2012 DollObserver.com Fashion Doll Awards.
So without further ado here is the exclusive interview with the very lovely George...
DollObservers: How long have you been running Angelic Dreamz and what made you want to open a doll/collectables store?
George G: Angelic Dreamz has been in business for 20 years next year. We originally started as a Luxury Linen business in 1993, and it wasn't until 2004 that we began selling dolls. Originally it started with us selling Barbie Dolls, and quickly evolved to Madame Alexander and Tonner; from there it just took off and grew and grew.
DollObservers: What are the best (and worst) things about running a doll shop?
George G: Well the best thing is obvious: I get to play with any doll I like! I get to see the dolls and photograph them fairly early and I sometimes have manufacturers who send me their prototype to photograph before they are even released. Of course with JAMIEshow doll line I also have complete creative control of the lines design, look and feel. I can't really think of anything bad other than running out of a doll someone wants and not being able to get more because the manufacturer is sold out. I hate letting anyone down.
DollObservers: What is it that draws you to fashion dolls?
George G: The biggest draw for me is fashion and ability to pose. I studied photography in university and have a degree in photography and fine art. I wanted to be a fashion photographer that was my true passion. Unfortunately it did not work out. When I discovered BJD's several years ago I picked up my camera again for the first time in maybe 25 years and began photographing. I soon realized I could enjoy what I really loved with these miniature models. The rest is history. In order to find the perfect model with the right ability and movement we created JAMIEshow.
DollObservers: What dolls are in your own collection?
GeorgeG: I have, probably, one of the most eclectic collections. They are almost all Fashion dolls, from Barbie, Integrity, Alexander, Sybarite, JAMIEshow of course and I have some Pullip and some Monster High (they’re great fun to photograph!) and have some JIEdolls.
DollObservers: What was the inspiration behind your JAMIEshow doll line?
George G: As I said before I was looking for a doll that could move the way I wanted them to move, so they could take poses that real models would do. I wanted to create the perfect 16" model.
DollObservers: Do you take the amazing photos of the JAMIEshow line (and other dolls) yourself?
George G: Yes all the photography we do, I do. It is my passion.
DollObservers: So what are your top tips for beautiful fashion doll photography?
George G: The best tip I could give is this: when posing a doll take a look at the pose and say to yourself, would a human stand that way? Try the pose for yourself; if it is un-natural it will probably look un-natural in the photo as well. The other tip is to watch for the hair, make sure hair is not in the dolls face (stray hairs that is) and try to fix this before taking the picture, editing hair in a picture to remove stray hairs is not easy and it saves lots of time if you make it right before taking the picture. Finally just take the time with the pose and the doll before taking a picture. The difference between a good picture and great picture is taking the time before shooting.
DollObservers: How are the preparations going for the first JAMIEshow convention and what can attendees expect?
George G: The convention is coming up next month, we are very excited that this will be our first event and no expense has been spared to make it a memorable event for all who attend. We have some surprises in store as well. Both Dolls Magazine and FDQ will be covering the event so make sure you check out those magazines for pictures!
DollObservers: What is next for the JAMIEshow line?
George G: We have signed on to do a very special collection of OOAK dolls from Gou Pei the eminent Chinese fashion designer. Those should be coming out late in the year. They will be completely hand made by the artist in her studio.
DollObservers: What are your predictions for the future of doll collecting in general?
George G: As long as there is hope and desire there will be doll collecting. I think collectors are becoming more discerning and more aware of quality and price and being much pickier about where they invest and spend their money. We too operate with this in mind and are becoming much more critical of what we sell, and you will see a turn towards less dolls but better dolls in the future.
George G. Thank you for this interview, dolls are a passion which illuminate different collectors lives in many different ways, I am glad to be a part of this doll community and to be able to inspire and introduce new generations to what we do is a joyous thing.
I would like to extend a big thank you to George for agreeing to this interview and I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. George has also generously agreed to donate a doll for a Giveaway Prize! Be sure to watch this space for more details soon.
* All photographs courtesy of George G
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