Old Timers paying it forward

I love how you live, I love that you hoard, and you are a wealth of information.

You tell it like it is.

If I ever need an opinion, advice, or an honest critique I can trust you are my go to.

I like sharing this planet with you.


Thank you, Gina. If anyone had told me 20 years ago that I’d still be doing this now I’d have never believed it. I just love to paint, whether it’s canvas, pottery, or doll parts.

This art has evolved and grown and changed so much since I started out. Back then we truly were “reborning” actual dolls by taking them apart, repainting them, rooting hair and reassembling them. Now we have actual kits, who knew???

I used to think this was a phase, it would peak and then interest would fade…kind of like macrame. I’m happy to have been proven wrong.

I know there are others here who’ve been around as long as I have and some maybe even longer. Hope they’ll stop by. I love to hear what they think.

One thing I know is that dolls have been around since the cave days and they’ll be around as long as there are children and doll collectors. This art will get better and better as time goes on. I think it’s here to stay.


I started reborning in 2015, I don’t feel like an oldie though :slight_smile: The best advice I can give is:

  • Save photos of your dolls, when you feel stuck or like your not improving looking back at a doll you did even a year before can sometimes show you how far you’ve come, do this for 5 years and you’ll be amazed.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things, the best advice I’ve heard recently is from an artist, I won’t say who because I know a lot of people have issues with them, but it’s to treat every baby like a test baby, without pressure or fear of trying new techniques, sometimes these end up being your best babies.
  • The most important one in my opinion would be don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and more importantly don’t be afraid to implement feedback. It’s easy to get your feelings hurt, but I’ve grown as an artist the most through people here who would give me honest feedback and suggestions and being able to see it as a valuable tool.
  • Another one, that’s my personal opinion, if your newer do not do customs outside of sculpt requests. It’s very difficult to paint a baby well, let alone to actually resemble a picture of someone else’s baby that the customer will be happy with and that you will be happy with. If you wait you’ll have an easier time building a good reputation and repeat customer base :slight_smile:

Great advice, and can I add that if you are doing customs as a newer artist you must use your own photos. Using prototype photos that belong to another artists is a big no-no and red flag (in my opinion). People who do it often say “its just to show them what the sculpt can look like, I have never painted that baby before”. The deal is that is what it can look like if a prototype artists who is skilled, talented, and has been working a good long time to get recognized paints it. If someone hires you, they want to know how you paint, what you can do. It is very confusing for someone looking for a custom baby to understand that they will not be getting the baby in the photo. It is also not cool to use photos that do not belong to you without exclusive permission.

If you are ready for customs then you should have a lot of photos of YOUR work to share, and some references, positive feedback, and enough babies that people will choose you for your unique style.

If you want to do customs right out of the gate, be honest about being new to this, show what ever work you have, price fairly, you won’t be getting that big ticket, you haven’t earned it yet. Let them decide if they want to invest and take a chance.


I LOVE this thread!
I am not qualified for giving an advice as I started in 2019, but I wish someone would warn me not to hoard kits and baby clothes at that mime :wink: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: But I see it as my retirement plan :upside_down_face: :laughing:


Your skills speak for themselves. You may not have been doing it long but your are doing it well :heart:


Aww, Jenni, you are so sweet and kind to me! I am so appreciate it! :kissing_heart:
I should say ‘I am not Old Timer here’.


I agree with Jenni


Aww, thank you so much! Many of you, guys, practically my reborn family and I would not where I am today without you! But I didn’t wanted to make it about me. xoxo


I am an not an Old Timer but am an old timer- between the ages of 65 to 75, lol. I did not read others advice as I want to give my own without being influenced by others asnwers.

I have been reborning since 2016 going on 6 years.

  • Experiment with other peoples advice as you will soon learn what works for others may not work for you.
  • Do not compare your painting style to others as you will have a tendency to be disappointed in yourself.
  • Don’t stop believing in your abilities. Some reborners are naturals, some fast learners and some like me have to experiment and make mistakes to learn, in otherwords -Hardheaded!

Most of all have fun with your new Hobby/Job. It is so worth it and very rewarding. Someone will be happy to have your second baby, as you should keep your first, only if you want.

There are other things I can say but those are 3 off of the top of my head. I am an Alternative Artist but I like all kinds of Reborns. I used to like just this or that but most of my dislikes have turned completely around, but my likes are still the same.

Now I am going to see what everyone else said and I may be back with some more wise words. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Wow such great advice everyone. I hoarded a lot of kits but have given 80% of them away. I have kept mine and my childrens keepers as well as a few other kits. And yes I had to buy a couple of kits on the deep discount days on BB. Nothing like I was doing before. I think I did hit the 80 to 90 mark with just kits in my closet. I still have a shoe hoard. :joy:


I guess I’m a medium timer here! I started in 2015 with a BB starter kit and Denise’s video. I have never seen a reborn that I haven’t made myself. I am pretty much self taught with benefit of a few tutorials and a lot of mistakes. I learned how to strip a doll very early on, and have done it many times since! Hang in there and have fun with this. It is too expensive a hobby if it is not enjoyable.

Saving pictures is wonderful - I have about 100 of each baby I have made in separate files on my computer. I recently had the fortune to buy back one of my babies from 2019 - I just happened across her on eBay where I go only rarely. I was working on the same kit at the time. It has been fun to compare the work and the results, especially the changes in my photography. I am not, however, responsible for the earrings on the 2019 baby seen in the picture of the babies together! By the way, there is another of my Yonas out there, as well, made in 2018.

Since I fell into reborning purely by dumb luck, there was (and is) so much I didn’t know. I found this forum the same way, by dumb luck and chance. I found that if I had a question about some aspect of reborning, I just needed to ask. There is someone here who has done it, seen it, painted it, sold it, or shipped it who will have some information. Don’t feel shy about asking questions. Sometimes the answers can be very unexpected, though!

I started making clothes for many of the babies. I was taking hours and hours of time, but got tired of doing it. Now I, too, have bought way too many baby clothes. Carter’s stores and their sales are like crack for addicts, as I was informed very early on by others here!

I love my spreadsheet of details about each baby - I have details about the painting, hair used, problems encountered, how long it took them to sell (some took over 2 years!). the name of the buyer and the amount of the sale.
Pictures of my 2019 and 2021 babies, Yona by Christa Gotzen.


Another important thing, like some others mentionned, believe in yourself and dont give up. Dont put yourself down comparing your work to others artists and know your worth BUT be careful to not become cocky and overconfident! Always question and push yourself! Stay humble.


Since I AM old, I really don’t remember when I started, not that it matters much. I love the hobby but have definitely gone through “down” phases where I didn’t much feel like doing it. That’ll probably happen to you too periodically, don’t worry it’ll go away. I have also experienced periods where I felt like I was actually going backwards in my painting skills, has this happened to anyone else? I’ve gotten frustrated a lot by thinking I’m just not that good at this and it makes me want to give up a lot of times but then I think of that crazy trap I fell into right away and bought a million kits-------guess where they are-----yep, in the closets etc!! So onward I trudge!! If I was to give out any advice it would be about the same as everyone else has given: don’t hoard kits! Don’t hoard babyclothes! Don’t hoard too many accessories—cause you’re gonna run right out of space to store all this stuff!! Never compare your art work to others cause we are our own worst critics and you’re always going to find yourself lacking. Give praise to others where it is due and accept others compliments graciously. We are traveling a great journey together, aren’t we lucky!!


For sure when I had to stop painting a few times, but even without stopping it happened. Sometimes I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Me too, that’s what I mean!!


Did you start painting before joining the forum? Were you on the old forum? Trying to solve the mystery of when you started reborning :joy:

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I really don’t remember when I started but I would take a guess and say maybe around 2011/12 somewhere in that ballpark. I’ve pretty much been on the forum’s since that time too. I have NEVER been good at remembering dates, no wonder I wasn’t any good in History class!! lol


@lynn My memory is a bit damaged because of my MS :joy: I cant remember if you were there when I joined. Ive started in march 2013 and joined the forum not long before they switched to the format we are using right now in July 2014 :joy: I remember everyone complaining that this new forum was way harder to use but I think everyone got used to it :joy: