Is this really art if

I wish I speak better English…

I tend to think like you. Paint by number, yes. Sometimes.
Hive mentality. Restrictions. Specially for weighting and stuffing.
Low prices.
A craft or an art ?

In the same time, there are some rules to in canvas painting, for realistic portraits. Quality of paint, light and shadows, proportions…basic. same with reborns, there are some basics. To achieve the realism. Now how artists use those basics is up to them.

The fact is that reborning is more similar to wood painting, porcelain painting, glass, fabrics, etc. Aren’t those considered craft ? If I paint on a wood jewelry box or a vinyl baby…
Someone here was making “hochets” (sorry forgot in english,the thing that makes noises for a baby to play with) is it art ?
Or knitting or crochet a beautiful piece ? Art or craft ?
Often we say that if you knit an outfit, it’s craft. You follow a pattern. If you knit a kind of mural piece (yes that exist), it’s art. You start with nothing.

With reborns, we start with a sculpt, already realistic and we just add a jewelry box. The sculpt is art, no doubt, it’s create from nothing. We put paint on something already created. Is that makes sense?

The more I think about it, the more I see it like a craft, where we express ourself in an artistic way.

But whatever we call it, I dislike the fact that some artists think they know better than the others and dictate the rules. There should not be rules. We are not a factory with standards to follow.
There should not be any standards. People should not expect to get the same in any reborns. I think it’s up to the buyer to decide what’s acceptable or not. When we give standards to follow, we became mass producers.


It’s an art. Absolutely.
If it were simply a craft then after a few years time we should all be able to create works like Silvia Creations, Etc.


I think it’s an art, not a craft. We all reborn differently, and even though there are basic steps to follow (just like other art forms) we all do those steps differently and add our own steps. I have followed so many different tutorials from different artists, they have the same basics but give different ways of doing them, different orders to do them, and different “other” techniques/not basic techniques. I picked and chose from them what I like, and I even do steps that no tutorial or artist has ever taught me, nor have I ever seen anyone talk about doing these steps I “made-up”. I’m sure other artists do these steps too, but I’ve never seen them talked about so far. Anyway, the point I’m trying to say is I learned from many different styles and came up with my own style, so I very much feel it is art and not a craft.

I think reborning should be creative, and if people want to throw the basic steps out the window and come up with something completely new then great! It’s art, we truly can do whatever we want despite what anyone says or thinks. I personally want a reborn that looks like a real baby, so the basic steps serve me well. But they are just a starting point for me, I get very creative and add my own steps, my own style, as I paint. And I always try to get better and try new things too, to keep growing as an artist.

The reborn community as a whole is very kind, but it can get cruel at times, the same as any other community. I think it is good to talk about this, it reminds the community that this is an art and people are allowed to use their creative freedom to make reborns however they want to.


I feel like it’s a matter of perspective. For me, reborning will always be considered my artwork. It’s my outward interpretation of my visual creativity on a 3D canvas.

There’s no rules in art. Art is subjective. If I’m aiming for realism on my newborn, then giving him freckles, teeth or nose ring maybe considered unusual. But, it’s not wrong…it could be an alternative baby.


I’m glad you all could understand what I’m trying to say. Even if we don’t all agree.

For me tho. I consider knitting. Crochet. Seeing and such. Art. My aunt is amazing at all those things. They take so much skill.

I guess I see the word "craft."as sort of cheap and easy like those craft kits at the store that melt down already made soap and add color. Or string beads for bracelets.

Not the same as more complex and intricate art that takes skill.

If that makes sense.

And let’s be honest. How many do think following a tutorial and slapping some paint on a sculpt is reborning. And then get annoyed when it’s not that easy.


It’s absolutely not a paint by number gig. If it was, they would all be equal quality. Nobody does this the same. Even with tutorials, I’ve never followed one from beginning to end, and I doubt many do. We all find little tidbits of other people’s suggestions and then we combine them without our own techniques. As for the “don’t do this” suggestion…it’s just a suggestion. We see dolls every day with “don’t do this” features.


It is an art. I have always wanted to paint. It takes a lot of skill and creativity IMO.


I get what you mean. When I started, around 8 years ago, I used a tutorial. My dolls were very basic for sure and more like what you describe. The tutorials helped me learn a lot, but I feel like my painting only improved when I experimented with different techniques, paints, tools and my OWN steps I created. In fact, I don’t do the same steps on any doll I make now.
And I think there are always those individuals who try to make others feel like they are doing it wrong because it’s a “different” approach than they would take. But to me, it’s when you make it your own that it starts to be more of an art form.


Reborning is definitely art but people have different artistic perpectives. Some people like, and buy, babies with ‘don’t do this’ features. I like my babies to look as realistic as I can possibly make them. I’ve learned a lot about technique from people saying ‘do it this way’, ‘don’t do it that way’, but in the end I just do it my way and I haven’t had any complaints.


I like to think of it as art. Although it’s been a longgggg time since I’ve been reborning. I love dabbling in a lot of different mediums so I think I do put myself into every baby. There is definitely a stress of perfection seeing the super realistic babies and criticism but I do my best and try to improve because I simply want to get better at it not copy people.


I think this way: alternatives or non-alternatives, rules or no rules - to me it’s all about quality.
If someone produced cr@p with horrible paint job and even more horrible painted or rooted hair - I will never see it as freedom of artist to express himself.


Why you see it as ‘ripping’ and not constructive criticism? I am relatively new wannabe artist and I can say that comments as ‘Great’,‘Beautiful’, ‘Stunning’, etc. never help me. What helped me to grow and improve is when people are saying ‘I think you would improve this or that by doing this or that.’
I see lots of cr@py work posted here with nothing but praises, and then that artists think they are so great and can charge same or higher prices just because same sculpts (extremely well painted dolls) were sold for that price and because this forum say that they are great :wink:


Here is my dos centavos

This is craft.

This is also an art form.

This can also be what ever you want it to be.

I don’t think it should be a paint by numbers get rich quick gig. I am not the boss of the reborn world but I think it devalues those of us who work hard, are good at what we do, have integrity and do this as a side hustle or a business.

I am a trained artist. I went to art school. I am a freelance illustrator, I do public installation art.

I am also an accidental reborn artists. I never thought in a million years I would be doing this (and actually loving it). I have turned it into a “business”.

I think for most people this is a hobby, they make babies for themselves, family, friends, neighbors, they donate babies to nursing homes. That is really cool. I think (and I shouldn’t speak for others but…) for them they are trying to paint the best baby they can paint. They are also painting for the pure joy of it. This is a beautiful thing.

There are those who are painting for collectors. I think it starts to get messy because you are mixing up a bunch of rules and expectations.

Art is suppose to be self expression. That alone can mean a lot of things.

You may have a person who paints canvas after canvas chasing a feeling or vision, they are trying to take information and ideas, belief and thought, and turn it into a very person story through paint and color, composition and texture.

You have a craftsman who makes furniture, has an eye for design, his feeling and vision might be comfort, or bringing metal and wood and leather together to represent the evolution of humans. He will have different rules, the painter has more freedom, the craftsman has the freedom to design but he will be judged on execution, how well he manipulates his medium, he can’t be sloppy, he is creating an object that will be used not just seen.

I am trying to simplify but it’s hard, I believe we are all artists, not all of us will be Modigliani or Michelangelo.

My son taught himself to play every instrument he could get his hands on, he writes and performs, produces music not to be rich and famous, he does it because he can’t NOT do it. It is a part of who he is.

His girlfriend was taught to play the piano at a very young age, she can play any piece of music you put in front of her. She does it well enough, for her it is like a puzzle.

They both sit down at the piano. He can read music but can’t play to sheet music like she does (it is too frustrating he wants to change and manipulate it, make it his), She can’t play unless the music is in front of her, she can’t make her own music.

I think craft is buying the sculpts, the supplies, taking a class, following the rules, trying to make something that looks like something else (and that is totally cool).

Art is finding a bunch of kits, cutting them all up and creating something new and different with them that tells a story that is yours.

I think you decide where you want to stand, you learn the rules, then you break them if you need to in order to develop as an artist.


You just have fun and enjoy painting babies.

If you sell to someone who has rules, then you have to decide if that is how you want to work.

Not everyone will paint the same, you should develop your own style but I don’t respect someone who slaps on paint and a price tag and says “it is what it is, I am an artist”. that is not cool.


I also want to mention that in my 20 months on this forum I never saw a post that someone said ‘you are not follow the RULES’.
If someone will ask what mottling color do you use - I gladly share that, but it does not mean that it the ‘rule’.
I don’t do milia, scratches and pimples just because I don’t like them, but other artists do - because there is no ‘rules’.
Clean creases, thing paint, make every doll like it’s my keeper with the highest quality as possible - those my rules.


There is no real rules. Just recommendations and personal preference. People will ask what looks good for an opinion or recommendation (or feedback) and people who sell need to make sure it will sell. Sometimes that just means taking into account what is popular and what is not with buyers. Nobody says it has to be done a certain way.


I like every baby I see. I admit it. I do not feel comfortable giving feedback as I don’t feel I have enough experience. I will say the feedback I receive is to help me. I have come along way because of the feedback I receive. I have done things outside the box to experiment. To me that is the fun part of painting babies to make them my own.


Reborning is definitely art, but I think i understand what you mean. It does seem like lots of newer reborn artists are just trying to copy each other, rather than finding their own style. I notice it especially on Instagram.
Of course there is no one right way to paint a baby, but a lot of us are trying to paint realistic babies, and there are “right” looks and “wrong looks” that make reborns look lifelike or dolly. There’s nothing wrong with making a dolly looking baby, but if you ask for criticism on the forum, people will give you criticism. I love the criticism I can get on the forum, there are so many wonderful artists here that have much more experience than i do and are willing to share their tips.

I am also a “paint on canvas” artist, and I’ve been in several different art programs throughout my life, including private instructors, a specialized high school, and of course college classes. In the “paint on canvas” art world, criticism is huge and you will get it constantly, whether or not you ask. You just have to grow a thick skin. If you like your piece, stick with it! If you’re not sure, people will certainly point out the things they don’t like and where you can improve. Criticism is essential to artistic growth


I think the “rules” were created to help maintain lasting works of art.

The hive mentality is the “doll people” trying to uphold that standard.

When I first found reborning I wanted a doll to use for photography purposes - model props, play with lighting, practice new techniques. swaddling and training purposes.

I couldn’t afford the dolls that I wanted. Full body silicone would have been my dream.

My husband found bountiful baby and just like that an obsession was born!

I have always been crafty and artistic so I figured I could make my own baby!

The process was so confusing. I was reading so many different things. I mostly thought everyone here was snobby.

“Ohhhhhh you can’t use cheap acrylic paint dahhhhhhling tsk tsk tsk!!! For shame. To be a reborn artist you must use too quality artist grade paints”

As a newbie I had no idea there was a difference between Apple barrel and golden or lumiere etc. I stayed out of the paint section at Michaels unless it was “craft paint” for projects. Which if you’ve ever noticed is kept totally seperate from art grade acrylics.

Why? Because they are for “craft” projects! What’s the difference? Fun vs. commitment. Longevity

My first conversation here was with someone who said acrylic paint - but not apple barrel or doll art etc. I was so confused because as a newbie I had no idea there was anything different. I did not know there were artist grade acrylics!

Art is art yes
You can make art out of anything and call it art!

Junk car parts mixed with mannequin parts and animal bones with yarn woven through for texture all splatter painted with neon glow in the dark paint could be art… :woman_shrugging:t2: I’ve seen it. I don’t get it, but it was someone’s form of expression. Their outlet. If it speaks it is art!

Check out galleries and museums. They are loaded with one of a kind pieces that are so crazy you just don’t understand.

You can take a Walmart doll, glue in some yarn for hair, spray paint it with metallic paint and use pipes and bicycle parts for a body. That’s art. Is it going to withstand the test of time? Who cares! It’s unique, original… it speaks… one of a kind!

What it comes down to is collectors. And selling your art. Or even, do you want the doll you created to stand the test of time and not fade or have colors bleed into each other, hair break and fall out vinyl discolor or mold from the inside because it was filled with beach sand and kitty litter.

My first doll was with whatever random acrylic paint I had on hand because I was learning and didn’t even know if this “hobby” was for me. It was a frustrating nightmare. Paint just ran off the kit, I bought some matte medium to give the kit something for the paint to bite into. That was even worse. My kit looked like a burn victim because the medium was thick/thin in places. Then I couldn’t get it off. I bought cheap acetone from Walmart and spent hours scrubbing, and scrubbing and scrubbing. Then I tried painting it again. There was still matte medium in wrinkles and cracks. It looked even worse than before! I had ruined three kits by now. Trying to use cheap products and buck the system. I had no idea what I was doing but I was an addict damn it!!


Even after all that I knew I was falling in love with the art form so I bought genesis heat set paints and started on the hunt for a nu wave oven. I found a cheap sharper image convection oven at Salvation Army and was ecstatic!!! I paid $40 for it and it worked! I was on my way!
Using ghsp was a dream! I was starting to understand why the snobby doll people were so finicky.

Cheap is cheap = no bueno
Look at cheap food…
Quality made is not cheap!
You want something to withstand the test of time than you need to invest

I could go on and on…

Oops I already have!!!


Lol. If you don’t think the reborn community has a snobby set of rules. Hang out on YouTube reborn doll videos and read the comments. Hang out anywhere online and you will see it.

Anyway. Just an observation on my part


Maybe it’s because I don’t feed into the social mentality aspect of it, but I don’t think it’s paint by number at all. Every big artist I see has very recognizable work. Their own style and way they do things.

I think it’s just like photorealistic drawings. Yes there are guidelines you need to follow for realism, but that doesn’t make it not count as art.

And you can find plenty of dolls that are very unique and stylized, they just usually aren’t quite as realistic.

Sorry if all this has been said, I’m in a time crunch and really wanted to add my thoughts