Interview: Amy, artist at The Dol Haus

Interview conducted via email. Questions by Tony Frame. Answers by Amy.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself…

My name is Amy, I’m a sculptor and painter based in Edinburgh. I run a small art company, The Dol Haus, specialising in doll making. Other current projects include upcycling furniture, leather painting, costumes and jewellery. I also live with a very fierce and misunderstood cat-beast.

Tell us about your work…

My work is usually horror or fantasy related. Recreating iconic film characters is something I love to do, it’s challenging and appeals to the collector in me. I actually paint onto leather more than paper; leather jackets are a great canvas where you can also wear the art and take it with you.

Who or what are your inspirations?

H.R. Giger has been a huge inspiration to me. His nightmarish landscapes and alien designs have always fascinated me – and made me feel at home. He said his ideas came to him in a dream and they became his real-life world.

Rick Baker, Ralph Steadman, Brian Froud, Ron Mueck, Tim Burton and Charlie Salvador have also been great influences to my work.

What has been the hardest part of doing what you do?

I consistently find pricing my work really hard. I want it to be affordable to as many as possible but without selling myself short. A sale of my work is amazing every single time but I’m very connected to my creatures and creations that getting them to the right person is also of great importance. I like to think they’ll be looked after and appreciated for years to come.

What are your plans for the future in regards to your work?

I’d love to make a stop motion movie in a Ray Harryhausen vintage style, using all the old techniques. Bringing my dolls and sculptures to life with movement on film would be an interesting project. Tim Burton’s ‘Vincent’ short film would be a top tier example of this.

Finding a bigger space to work in would be something too. I have dreams of building a large abandoned decaying doll house full of old furniture, trapdoors, flickering lights and spooks!

What would be your dream job?

I’ve always said my dream job as a kid would be to work at The Jim Henson Company and that still stands. I’m fairly reclusive but working with a team of artists, learning from them first hand would be incredible. Full time creative job – there’s the dream.

Do you have a strange story to tell? This could be a celebrity you have met, a ghostly encounter? A strange coincidence that has happened?

I went to this film convention years back, purely with the intention of getting a photo with actor Robert Englund, best known for playing Freddy Kruger. He ended up being a huge fan of tattoos and took a liking to mine – especially my octopus.

Strangely, he ended up going home with more photos of me than I did of him that day! I met him many times after, with him always addressing me as ‘The Calamari Girl’.

Thanks to Amy for taking the time to answer my questions! Links to view and purchase her work can be found below:

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