1) Please tell me about your group; I am interested in joining. What features do you have and how are you different from other groups?
A) Well, first and foremost, our website is an online art doll registry, the only one of it's kind. This means that members can upload photos of their work, along with the name of the piece, and they are entered into the Registry, assigning a unique number for each one; as part of a permanent record. They are also shown on the website and that part of the site is open to the public, so it is an online gallery of sorts that is picked up by the internet search engines. The Registry provides a permanent record for each piece that is registered. This gives a professional touch to your work, along with the fact that it identifies it as yours and the year it was created, should there ever be any question about that.
But our group has evolved into so much more than that, we also have lots of information on the site, how to's, tutorials that are free for members, Artist Reference section, links for sources for materials, etc. I conduct online classes there also, most have a cost, but I do discount those over what I charge for the classes elsewhere; this helps defray some of the membership fees for members. We have 6 online shows a year, with areas for novice, intermediate and advanced levels for our members to participate in. This makes it possible for all skill levels to enter. It's great experience and helps us work to improve our skills. There is a 25.00 cash award for the winners in each show. Those winners go on to compete in the year end awards.
Regarding the Year End Awards: Members can nominate whomever they wish (from our membership) for Artist of the Year, Doll of the Year, Best in Shows (The winners from the shows mentioned above) Rising Star (a newcomer to the art) as well as other awards. These awards go to members who are selected BY our members so it truly is a peer group recognition.
Also, a Newsletter is sent out monthly to keep members informed on what's happening within the group. We have a wonderful, world wide network of artists, from the beginner to the most professional, who are helpful and very giving. I am very proud of our group!
2) How do I join your site?
A) That's easy! Click on the word Join on the home page, and follow the instructions. Membership is set up as an auto renew, auto payment through Paypal. You are only charged one membership fee per year, and this happens at the time of the anniversary of your joining. As a member you have access to all areas of the website. Membership is only 49.00 a year. Once you join, and if you keep your membership in good standing, your membership fee will remain the same throughout your time with us and will never increase. If your membership lapses and you wish to rejoin, you would join at the current membership rate.
Please Note: When you join and agree to Auto Renew, if you wish, you may cancel the Auto Renew after your membership application is completed if you wish to only have one year membership. To do this, you must go to your Paypal account, find the section that shows your auto renewal agreements and cancel. Then, when your year is up, if you wish to continue as a member with us, you will have to manually pay your renewal fee to avoid having it lapse. IADR will send you a notice telling you when it is due.
3) I just joined and am interested in the free tutorials you have. Where can I find them?
A) You can find all the reference material by doing this. On our Home Page, see the Members Only tab. Hold your mouse over that and a drop down menu will appear. Look for Artist References. Click on that, and that brings you to the page that is loaded with all the tutorials and other information. Any tutorial you want, click on it and a file will open for you. These are only available for our members and are not open to the public. If you have questions, contact us!
4) How do I get my photos into the Registry?
A) Hover your cursor over the Members Only tab on the top of the Home Page. Notice all the selections from the drop down menu. Click on Register a Doll. This takes you to an application page where you will be able to upload photos for the Registry. The Registry is updated about once a week.
If you need a number right away, just contact Deb at email@example.com and she will assign you a number right away- then when your work is uploaded, it will show that number on your entry.
5) Can I enter a doll that I made from a kit?
A) In the past we have not allowed dolls made from molds. However, with the popularity of the BJD's, etc, we will allow these wonderful dolls to the Registry. You may register the first in your series, and then use your own numbering system to assign numbers to additional derivative figures from the first in the series of they are very similar to the first. If they are quite different and unique, then they also will be allowed to be registered.
At this time, reborn dolls are still not allowed on the Registry, however, OOAK baby dolls are certainly welcome to be registered.
6) What does OOAK mean? I've seen that a lot.
A) OOAK stands for One Of A Kind. This means that this sculpture or doll is the only one of it's kind, not made from a mold or reproduced in any way. However, BJD dolls can also be considered one of a kind though, because while they are made from a mold, they are finished one at a time and each one is unique. That's why we are looking at a way we can include them in the Registry.
7) Is there an easier way to upload photos to the Registry? This method seems to take so long. I wish there was an easier way.
A) To enter photos to the Registry requires a file transfer protocol system. Unfortunately, the entry form is the only way to utilize this system. The Registry is updated about once a week, or sooner if there are a lot of entries. If, at any time you need a number before the Registry is updated, contact Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get a number within an hour or so.
8) Can I register a doll I made from a resin BJD?
A) As was mentioned above, dolls made from molds have not been admissible to the Registry in the past. However, with the popularity of the BJD's, we want to be able to include these dolls in the registry. If your work is unique and each doll is made one at the time and not mass produced, then you may enter them to the Registry.
9) What about dolls I made from porcelain that I made from scratch? What about fabric dolls?
A) Absolutely, dolls made from porcelain that are made one at the time by the artist are eligible for registration. Dolls made from fabric, as in soft sculpture dolls, are also allowed on the Registry.
10) I would love to have a critique done of my work. Do you do that here at IADR?
A) In the past there was a section on our website for this feature. It had a technical failure and so it was discontinued. But yes, absolutely, you may have a critique done at any time. You can send photos to Deb at email@example.com. Send a straight on shot of the face, and another straight on shot of the side vies of the face, as well as full views of the doll from several angles. A critique will be done and sent to you via email. This is a FREE service for our members. Beginners to Professional alike can take advantage of this service.
11) Does IADR have a Facebook page?
A) We do! You can find us there by searching for International Art Doll Registry. The page is open to others besides members here- so when you post work there it's being seen by many others! Plus, messages are posted there to keep members up to date on the latest news here at IADR. We have a private page on Facebook as well as a Public page. To be a part of the private page, send me a friend's request, and a pm asking- I will be happy to add you.
12) Is there a way I can chat with other members without going to the Facebook page?
A) We have a private forum here on our website. Go to Members Only/Forum. Feel free to post questions there and members will pop by and answer you. You can choose to have replies sent to you by subscribing to your own post. That way you'll know when someone has responded!
13) I would love to know more about the artists here. Is there a place where their information is shown without having to do a search through the Registry?
A) This was a great suggestion we received recently and we will work to add this feature to our website very soon! Edited to add: We now have a Rising Star page that shows artwork by new artists, and the page also includes all our members in a random order presentation. Check that out- click on the member profile photo and read the bio by that artist.
14) I see you give online classes here at IADR. I have seen these classes on another site as well. Is there an advantage to taking classes here?
A) The classes offered here at IADR are offered to members at a reduced cost. This helps defray the expense of the membership fees for our members. The classes are the same as those offered elsewhere and are set up as PDF files, downloadable to the people registered for the class.
15) I'm a beginner. Do you have classes designed with the beginner in mind? I would love to see more easy, entry level classes.
A) We try to have class subjects with all skill levels in mind, but with your question we will try to include more beginner level subjects in the future. Thanks for your suggestion!
16) Do you have to be in the classroom at a certain time?
A) No. We recently changed the Online Class format and now all the classes are available 24/7. Click on the OPEN CLASSES tab for more information.
17) I'm going to be gone during part of the class and will miss two lessons, is this going to be a problem?
A) See Above.
18) Can I share the lessons with others in my sculpting group?
A) The lessons are provided to members who pay for the class and only those members. The files are watermarked and copyright protected and are not to be shared with others at any time. Any offense of this rule will result in the termination of membership and potential legal recourse. These classes are provided as a resource and we appreciate your respect in this matter.
19) I'm interested in having a custom banner made. How do I go about this?
A) Custom banner service is available to our members! Go to Members Only/Banner Services and follow the instructions there. Banners are made to your specifications, using your artwork or other images- and are done for a cost of 35.00. This includes two sizes, usually, like a header for a website, a business card size or an Etsy banner.
20) Can you give me some advice on building a website? What about marketing?
A) To have a website, you first need to create the pages on a web building program. Then you need to upload those pages to a server, this is what puts your website out on the Internet. There are many services available now for building websites that also include server space. I suggest you try sites like Go Daddy (www.godaddy.com) or another one I have heard is good is Vistaprint (www.vistaprint.com) go to their website and click on Digital Marketing/Websites. These sites walk you through the steps to creating a website, then you go 'live' as they also provide you with server service, that's what you need in order to have your site show up on the internet. Unless you have some knowledge of HTML coding, these are the way to go because you simply put your photos on a page, write your copy and voila! You're live- with your own website!
Be sure to check out the Forum section of the website- there you will find a good discussion going on this very subject.
20 A) I am not sure what path I should take with this whole thing. I love creating and I love sculpting. It's just scary not having direction. What can I do to find what I should be focusing on?
A) Gosh, you've asked the million dollar question. I would say that any time you are questioning your direction, that means you're ready for something new. A different direction- bigger challenges. I do understand that you want to kick it up a notch or two. You might be bored with what you're doing now-- and this is your sub conscious telling you it's time.
Just keep practicing, that's #1. I see so many who get frustrated because they take the leap and are disappointed because they don't have great sales at first- or no sales- YIKES-- but it's just a part of the growing process. Look around on Pinterest or other sources and start keeping a photo log of things that interest you. Then just try some different ideas, styles, settings, costumes, etc, and I think you'll see that once you start, one thing leads to another and before you know it, your new direction has developed on it's own. I think that the one thing that helps an artist sell is their 'trademark look'. That takes time to develop- but once you have that, then your work will always stand out. There is no right answer, unfortunately- you just need to work through the process and see where it leads you. Make a plan, but be willing to alter your direction as your style develops- right before your eyes! Its very fun and very humbling too.
21) What is the best way to sell my work?
A) The best way to sell your work is to just get 'out there'. If you have local venues, like craft shows or small art fairs, do those first. Usually getting a table at a venue like this is not expensive. This way you get out into the public and meeting collectors and buyers face is face is invaluable. You get to see their reaction to your work, you get to talk with them and you will learn lots about what you have, where you need to improve, what your strong points are. Their feedback will give you the incentive to get going further.
The next step would be to set up a blog or website and put your work on there. This way you can use social media sources to further promote your work- Twitter, Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, Blogspot.com, all are ways to network and get your work out on the net. Websites are a little more cumbersome to keep updated, but your Facebook page, or your Blog can be updated easily. Keep things fresh and you'll be surprised!
You can also use direct sales by embedding a Paypal button right in your pages. Go to Paypal.com and follow Selling Tools to Create Payment Buttons for your Website for more information.
22) My membership is coming up for renewal. What do I have to do to keep my membership?
A) When you joined IADR you were asked to select Auto Renew through Paypal. If your Paypal account has changed in any way, or you no longer have Paypal, you will have to contact IADR directly and have this renewed or your membership will lapse. Otherwise, your membership will renew automatically the week of your anniversary date, that's when you joined us. If you don't renew before your membership lapses, you will have to rejoin at the current membership fee.
23) My membership did not auto renew. What do I do now?
A) Please contact Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. If you let your membership lapse for more than a week, you will have to rejoin at the current membership rate. Otherwise, your membership level remains the same the whole time you are a member with us, it will never be increased.
24) I need to discontinue my membership. Can you just cancel my membership for me? Will I still be charged?
A) We are sorry to see you go but we do understand. However, canceling your membership at IADR will terminate your membership with us, but it will not stop the auto renew payments you arranged for when you joined. We do not have access to your personal financial information, therefore we cannot cancel your auto renew status. To do that, go to Paypal and follow the instructions for stopping Auto Payments. Log in to Paypal, go to/Contact (at the bottom of the page)/then type your question in the box and follow the instructions they provide for you.
Entering a Show:
Here at IADR we have several shows through the year. February, March, May, July, September and November. Members are welcome to enter their work, they can do so by accessing the Enter Show section under Members Only A question regarding this came up recently:
It says in the rules that the piece we enter must be new and unsold on the day of the show. Why do you have this rule in place?
This rule makes it fair for everyone entering the shows- artists cannot enter a piece they did 'years ago' but have already sold. Considering this is a virtual, online show, we try to find ways to make it equal for everyone. It would be the same if an artist entered a live show, the piece entered would have to be there on display for the show. This also allows for the possibility that the judges might have a question about the piece, so the artist could photograph the area in question and send that additional information into IADR.
You CAN, however, enter the piece in the show and then put it up for sale if you wish. As soon as your entry is submitted, you are free to list the piece for sale. Pieces can be entered into the shows for upcoming months within reason, so entering the July show in June is acceptable.
Q: Can we enter a Commission in the Show?
A: Yes, as long as you have that piece in your possession when you enter it in the show and the subject fits our show theme. After that, you are free to release the Commission to the buyer.
My guess is this question came up because typically a Commission involves a down payment or some other agreement to pay. Since our rules say NEW/UNSOLD I can understand how this question arose. A Commission is rarely paid for in full up front, so technically the piece is not considered SOLD until the customer is happy and payment is in full, which is after the piece is done and delivered. So we can allow a Commission in the show as long as the piece is current and the artist still has the piece in their possession; even though there is an agreement in place to purchase the piece from the Artist. After all, in an ideal world, ALL our work would be considered sold, yes? Hopefully and optimistically. :)
Q: Can I enter at any level I wish? How do I decide where I should enter the show? Can I change levels voluntarily?
A: You may enter a show at whichever level you feel comfortable. You should fairly evaluate your own skill level. However, after a member wins at one level, they are required to enter the next higher level in the next show.
Our Novice level is for people who are newer to sculpting. Any member can enter at any level they wish, however. If, after entering at Novice someone newer to sculpting feels their work would be better suited for one of the other levels, they are free to enter the next show at another level. We leave this up to the discretion of each member. Unless as Admin I can see that someone should clearly be in a different level than the one they entered, we don't determine levels for the artist, they do that for themselves.
The Intermediate level was added this year for those who won at Novice but might not be ready to compete at Advanced. Any member may enter at Intermediate if they wish- unless they have won that level in the past. Then they have to enter the Advanced level of the Show.
Q: I just realized that my sculpture for the show has " Non-Compete, prior 2015 Winner" under it. Why? Am not participating ?
A: You are participating, but you can only win one time per year, and you won in a show earlier this year. So you move to the next higher level, that's correct, but you can't win again until next year. Your winning entry from the previous show will now be in the running for the year end awards, Best in Show.
Entering the shows are a good opportunity to still work hard, and great exposure to show your work because the shows get a lot of interest and attention on the internet and on the site too. I do gather comments from the judges though on the pieces that can't be scored and am happy to share those comments with the members. It's like mini critiques from the judges. I can pass those on to you if you want me to.
Q: It would be nice if each person who enters the shows has in their email the results of the show and also the scores and comments they get from the judges.
A: The scores and the comments are not sent automatically to the entrants of the shows, but these results are available to anyone who requests them. I am happy to send out the comments by the judges (not all of the judges do leave comments but some do) and I can share these in an email or via FB messaging, that works well too. I keep the results for about two weeks after the winners are announced.
The judges comments are anonymous. The scores are available to anyone who wishes to receive them.
Another great question regarding the Show Page:
I have entered a show and noticed that my photo on the Show Page is smaller than the others. I hope this doesn't make it unfair or that the judges can't view my work properly.
This is a GREAT question! First of all, when members enter the show, they enter 5 photos. The 5th photo is called Best View. This is the photo they select that will appear on the show page, along with their name and the name of the artwork.
Recently we added a third category to the Shows, Intermediate. In order to present the page in the most fair manner possible, three columns, side by side, are shown on that page. Each photo from each entry is placed in the appropriate column, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced. Each column is only 275 pixels wide- so the Best View photo has to be resized to 275 pixels wide in order to fit there.
If the photo that was entered as Best View (the 5th photo entered) is in a landscape format, (wider than tall) then it will appear smaller on that page than a portrait format, which is taller than it is wide.
This is good information to have for ANY photos you upload on the internet- whether it's in an online auction, your Etsy page, a profile photo- anywhere- a wide photo will take up less space than a tall one- so tall photos get more of that valuable real estate on the net. Your photos are more visible, its that simple.
However, with all that being said, please know that the JUDGES do not see the Show Page, so they are not unduly influenced by the names on the photos. All entries sent to the judges are sent anonymously- there are no artist names attached. The names are listed on the Show page, so it's important that the judges don't view that page.
Our bi-monthly shows are meant to be fun- and to encourage our members to spread their wings and try things they might not otherwise try. And it's a great way to get your work out there. More visibility/more exposure. And that's what our goal is here at IADR, to help our artists shine. Thanks for your understanding.