Friday, September 13, 2013

Unfortunate turn of events for unlucky doll artists....

As the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end", and so must it be with the IDEX Orlando 2014 show.   According to their article post today on their website,  sounds like it will be a permanent closing.  This is indeed a very sad turn of events for both doll artists and collectors alike who have been long-time patrons to the show every year in it's running of 22 years.  The IDEX show has been "the premier" show for doll artist to date.  Anybody who was anyone in the doll world would showcase their hard works of beautiful dolls and wonderful styles each year; bringing something new and exciting for the world to see.  In fact, there were doll artist from all over the world showing their wears.  It was a HUGE exposition!

Speaking for myself,  I used to attend the show each year as a "collector" years before I became a participating doll artist in the show itself showing my work with the group of the International Art Doll Registry.  In my first years of attending the show as a collector, I was AMAZED at all of the booths to see of wonderful and creative styles of dolls.   Prior to my attending the show, like most people who think of dolls, I would immediately think of a "Barbie" doll or one of those rubber play dolls you see little girls playing house with.  This was my imagery of a "doll" when someone mentioned a "doll".  The IDEX show was a real eye-opener for me and many others too I'm sure.  There were so many styles of dolls that it really broadened my viewpoint of what a doll figure should/could be.  Dolls were not necessarily play toys for little girl's to brush their hair and feed a bottle too in the world of make-believe.  In fact, most of the dolls shown at IDEX were meant for collecting, these were works of art!  Of course, there were some baby dolls and dolls similar to the classical "Barbie" as we know her in our minds, also called the "fashion" doll.  But there were other dolls that fed my imagination as an adult.  Which, as a creative person, led me to want to try my hand at creating something more than a simple rag doll for play.  And, so, attending the shows at IDEX helped to open the door way and encouraged me to create the types of things that I create as a doll artist today.  I realized that dolls were not just play items, but, works of art.  And, THAT, was right up my alley!  

At any rate, over the last few years of attending the show as a participating artist, I had noticed the decline in the collector base at the shows as well as the artists' attendance.  It was very sad to come from a showroom that was so large I felt as if I could not see it all in a single day down to a decreased venue size and seeing the entire show in a few hours.  Before, it was elbow to elbow and you had to wait to see many of the dolls up close to get a good look; and the last show it was like living in a valley with the closest neighbor being 10 miles from you.  A HUGE change.  I am sure, the economy played a large role in this downfall and you can either sink...or swim.  I guess IDEX swam for as long as it could stay afloat, but it's little rubber arm floaties finally got a hole in them and it sank...much like I thought was going to happen in the future.  :( 

Now, with my eyes wide-opened to the world of doll artistry, it seems that one door is closing in this chapter of my life.  No more IDEX shows to participate in, unless, of course, they decide to re-open the event at a later date, which could be a possibility when the economy begins to pick back up.  In the meantime, you know the old cliche` "when one door closes another one opens", and so, I'm not going to get depressed over this turn of unfortunate events.  Nope!  Not gonna happen.  Instead, I'm going to consider this as one chapter of the book might be over, but I am ready to read the next chapter to see where my new adventures will take me and my little pixies in the knoll.  That's right!  I'm not done yet and neither are these pesky pixies!  

In fact, there is hope on the horizon!  This past year, I had the pleasure of attending the Quinlan Doll and Teddy Bear convention in Philadelphia, Pa!  It is still a relatively new show (only showing 3 years now) and probably has more teddy bear artist than doll artist as of the last show, BUT, more and more doll artist are learning about this great event and want to participate in the convention.  The super nice thing about this convention is the fact that ALL of the pieces in the show are ONE-OF-A-KIND!   That's right! No 2 pieces are alike.  If you are a collector, this is the show to be at!   I will say, last year was my first experience participating in the show or visiting the show.  Let me tell you something....I had a BLAST!!  The Quinlan's did a great job of making sure there was something for everyone.  So, if you are feeling discouraged over the closing of the IDEX show....I say, don't be.  If you are a collector looking for a new, exciting and a fresh atmosphere of one-of-a-kind doll and teddy bear work, then I say this is the place to be!  Mark my words, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Quinlan show is the next PREMIER show for doll artist.   Check it will not be disappointed!   Here is a link about the convention for 2014!  Let me know what you think.  I'd be interested in hearing your input.

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