Thursday, October 1, 2015

Interview with Ayu & Ana Design

Hello everybody! This month I bring a new interview, and this time with Ayu and Ana from Ayu&Ana Design. In case you don't know them, these two ladies to amazing clothing, from mori to historically-inspired, and are open for commissions. Hope you will enjoy the interview!

As always, the text is both in English and Spanish, and all the photos are used with permission. Also check the underlined name on each answer to know who is answering each part!

Hello! Thank you so much for doing the interview :3
Ana: Oh, we thank you for interviewing us!
Ayu: We have never expected such an honor. We much appreciate you found our works so interesting to invite us for this interview.
Ana: We are Paulina and Anna from Ayu&Ana Design. We come from Poland (EU) and live in Wroclaw, our beloved city. We create BJD clothing in SD plus, SD and MSD size.
Ayu: They are fully designed and crafted by us. We use many high-quality fabrics and we sew in many different styles of clothing – from historically inspired to casual mori.
¡Hola! Muchas gracias por hacer la entrevista :3
Ana: ¡Oh, nosotras te agradecemos por entrevistarnos!
Ayu: Nunca esperamos tal honor. Apreciamos mucho que encuentres nuestro trabajo tan interesante como para invitarnos a la entrevista.
Ana: Somos Paulina y Anna de Ayu&Ana Design. Somos de Polonia (EU) y vivimos en Wroclaw, nuestra amada ciudad. Creamos ropa para BJDs en tamaños SD plus, SD y MSD.
Ayu: Son todos diseños y manufactura propia. Usamos telas de alta calidad y cosemos varios estilos diferentes de ropa –desde inspirados históricamente, hasta mori casual.

Absynthia (Or-Doll Eris on Spirtdoll Proud 1st body)


How did you met BJDs? How long have you been on the hobby?
Ayu: One day, when we were still studying, Ana was boring and just browsing the internet without any specific need. She then found a picture of an absolutely breathtaking Notdoll Belladonna, that belonged to Marti (in future Marti Presents Dolls) and… she fell in love with! She shown it to me, but I just said “yeah, yeah, very nice, but also expensive and… why do you need this?” Ana started looking for any information about these dolls.
Ana: Exactly! From that day I wanted to know everything about BJDs, I was looking for new sites with dolls and showing them to poor Ayu, but she was not very interested in them. That changed when finally I showed her an Iplehouse Luna. That was it!
Ayu: When I saw Luna, I started to cheer up Ana buying this doll. It took two years from when we first saw a BJD, to purchasing a doll. Hard to believe that Luna is over five years with us!
Ana: So, as you see, we are on this hobby since seven years, however we have the dolls since five.
¿Cómo conocieron las BJDs? ¿Cuánto tiempo han estado en el hobby?
Ayu: un día, cuando aún estábamos estudiando, Ana estaba aburrida y navegando el internet sin ninguna necesidad específica. Entonces, encontró una foto de una increíble y hermosa Notdoll Belladona, que pertenecía a Marti (en el futuro, Marti Presents Dolls) y… ¡se enamoró de ella! Me la mostró, pero yo respondí “sí, sí, muy lindo pero caro y… ¿por qué necesitas esto?”. Ana comenzó a buscar información de estas muñecas.
Ana: ¡Exactamente! Desde ese día quise saber todo sobre las BJDs, y buscaba nuevos sitios con muñecas y se las enseñaba a la pobre Ayu, pero ella no estaba demasiado interesada. Eso cambió cuando finalmente le mostré una Iplehouse Luna. ¡Eso fue todo!
Ayu: cuando vi a Luna comencé a animar a Ana a comprar la muñeca. Nos tomó dos años desde que vimos una BJD por primera vez, hasta comprarla. ¡Es difícil creer que Luna tiene más de cinco años con nosotras!.
Ana: Como vez, hemos estado en el hobby por siete años, pero tenemos muñecas desde hace cinco.

Ave (Or-Doll Limos on SpiritDoll Proud 2nd body)


Your sewing skills are amazing! How did you decided to start doing commissions? Do you have any workplace to share with us?
Ana: Thank you very much! At the beginning we were trying to sew anything for ourselves, because we had no idea about sewing at all, but we had a strong will to learn. We borrowed a sewing machine from my mom. At home, we found that we did not know how to even use it and ended up calling for help.
Ayu: With time our skills started to improve, the outfits were looking better and better, one after another. Our own older patterns were still being adjusted by Ana and we were creating many new. One day people just started asking us if these dresses were on sale and if we could sew something for them too. We decided that we were ready and that is how it started.
Ana: Our living room changed into a workspace with a sofa in the corner. But we do not mind this, sewing the dresses is a pure pleasure for us!
¡Sus habilidades para la costura son increíbles! ¿Cómo decidieron comenzar a aceptar comisiones? ¿Tienen algún espacio de trabajo para compartir con nosotros?
Ana: ¡Muchas gracias! Al principio intentábamos coser por nuestra cuenta, porque no teníamos idea de cómo hacerlo, pero sí una fuerte voluntad para aprender. Tomamos prestada una máquina de coser de mi mamá. Cuando llegamos a casa, nos dimos cuenta que no sabíamos cómo usarla, y terminamos llamando para pedir ayuda.
Ayu: con el tiempo nuestras habilidades empezaron a mejorar, la ropa lucía cada vez mejor, una tras otra. Nuestros patrones viejos aún eran ajustados por Ana, pero aún creábamos muchos nuevos. Un día, la gente simplemente comenzó a preguntarnos si la ropa estaba a la venta y si podíamos coser algo para ellos. Decidimos que estábamos listas, y así fue como comenzó.
Ana: nuestra sala de estar cambió a un espacio de trabajo con un sofá en la esquina. Pero no nos importa ¡coser los vestidos es puro placer para nosotras!



You also have an incredible range of outfits and styles. Do you have any personal favorite you like to sew the most? And a most popular request among your customers?
Ayu: We do not like to limit ourselves. If I would have to say which style we like the most, it would be historical. These are the most difficult ones, especially because dolly scale is more demanding than human size. Fabric works in different way, so we are forced to find different solutions. Our customers also ask us for sewing mostly Italian Renaissance dresses. We are well known from these dresses, because when we started to sew them, almost nobody was making them, so it was something fresh and new.
Ana: We do love challenges and creating the new styles all the time. However what we are sewing at the moment is usually depended on for which one doll we would like to design. Each of our dolls giving us another inspirations and each of them we like the most in different style.
For example we love our Felicity in mori style the most, Ave in romantic style and Absynthia in historical style.
You also have an incredible range of outfits and styles. Do you have any personal favorite you like to sew the most? And a most popular request among your customers?
Ayu: We do not like to limit ourselves. If I would have to say which style we like the most, it would be historical. These are the most difficult ones, especially because dolly scale is more demanding than human size. Fabric works in different way, so we are forced to find different solutions. Our customers also ask us for sewing mostly Italian Renaissance dresses. We are well known from these dresses, because when we started to sew them, almost nobody was making them, so it was something fresh and new.
Ana: We do love challenges and creating the new styles all the time. However what we are sewing at the moment is usually depended on for which one doll we would like to design. Each of our dolls giving us another inspirations and each of them we like the most in different style.
For example we love our Felicity in mori style the most, Ave in romantic style and Absynthia in historical style.

From left to right: Felicity, Ave and Absynthia.


The historical outfits you make are always so full of details and sometimes complete with headpieces. Which is the process of designing and brainstorming ideas for your dress?
Ana: As we said before, historical outfits are true challenges for us. It starts when Ayu or me find some inspiration in the net, TV drama or… just had a dream. Than we talk about the ideas and do some sketches in our note. We discuss about the technical solutions and making a new patterns if needed. Later we pick up the doll and pull all the boxes with appropriate fabrics on the sofa. Talking about colors takes us a lot of time.
Ayu: Then we are starting to sew. Sometimes we make the dress together, and sometimes just one of us is making a whole dress. The small details are sewn by hand after working on sewing machine. Usually, it takes over fifty working hours to end sewing, so it is almost all the week. When the dress is ready and the doll wears it, we decide about additional pieces like the headdresses or so on and making them. Finally the dress is ready to get a photo session!
La ropa histórica que hacen siempre es muy detallada, y a veces completa con adornos y decoraciones para el cabello. ¿Cuál es el proceso de diseñarlo y obtener ideas para sus vestidos?
Ana: Como mencionamos antes, la ropa histórica son verdaderos desafíos. Comienza cuando Ayu o yo encontramos inspiración en la red, un drama en televisión… o simplemente un sueño. Luego hablamos sobre las ideas y hacemos algunos bocetos en un cuaderno. Discutimos soluciones técnicas y hacemos patrones nuevos si es necesario. Después elegimos la muñeca y sacamos todas las cajas con telas apropiadas en el sofá. Hablar de los colores nos suele llevar mucho tiempo.
Ayu: Luego comenzamos a coser. A veces hacemos un vestido juntas, otras veces una sola hace un vestido completo. Hay detalles pequeños que son cosidos a mano luego de terminar con la máquina de coser. Usualmente nos toma cincuenta horas de trabajo terminar de coser, así que es casi toda la semana. Cuando el vestido está listo y la muñeca lo usa, decidimos piezas adicionales como detalles en la cabeza o similar, y las hacemos. ¡Finalmente el vestido está listo para una sesión de fotos!



Will you share a little about your personal doll collection? Do you have a favorite doll? And a favorite BJD brand/store?
Ana: We currently have eighteen whole dolls and four floating heads. Our dolls have background stories we gave them, the characters and, of course, the names. However we do not publish the stories, maybe someday we will have the courage to do it. Generally, in our stories, they all living in a Guild of Assassins, but they belongs to different castes. We should have many more boys, but the girls are more pleasing for sewing… If we would not sew, we would have almost just as many BJD boys. Sewing changes everything!
Ayu: Our beloved dolls are Lunetta (Iplehouse Luna) and Etiude (Little Monica Chloe), because of sentimental reasons. As now you know, Lunnetta was Ana’s first doll and Etiude was my fist doll. However our favorite dolls at the moment are Felicity (Elfdoll Lydia hybrid) and Absynthia (Or-doll Eris hybrid). Our preferences still change, and we cannot say that one doll is our favorite for all the time. Very often our favorite doll is the newest one! Thinking about style for the new doll and creating our ideas gives us a lot of joy and new energy to work.
Ana: We like many BJD brands, but we are unable to have the dolls from only one company. However, almost all the female sculpts we do love are from Or-doll and Doll In Mind, and boys sculpts from SWITCH. Guess the winner is Or-doll, because we have four heads from this company: Ave, Vea, Absynthia, new Orfeus and… have two more on our wishlist.
Ayu: We also like the dolls with unusual proportions like Doll Chateau, Cerisedolls or the newest Serenade Doll, which we fell in love with in one second.
¿Compartirían un poco de su colección personal de muñecas? ¿Tienen alguna favorita? ¿Y una marca de BJDs favorita?
Ana: Actualmente tenemos dieciocho muñecas completas y cuatro cabezas flotantes. Nuestras muñecas tienen historias de trasfondo que les hemos dado, personajes y, por supuesto, nombres. Sin embargo, no publicamos las historias, quizás algún día tengamos el coraje para hacer. Generalmente, en nuestras historias, todos los personajes viven en un Grupo de Asesinos, pero pertenecen a distintas castas. Deberíamos tener muchos más hombres, pero las muñecas mujeres son más divertidas para coser… Si no cosiéramos tendríamos tantos muñecos hombres como mujeres. ¡Coser lo cambia todo! Ayu: Las más queridas son Lunetta (Iplehouse Luna) y Etiude (Little Monica Chloe) debido a razones sentimentales. Como saben, Lunetta fue la primera muñeca de Ana y Etiude la mía. Sin embargo, las favoritas en este momento son Felicity (Elfdoll Lydia híbrida) y Absynthia (Or-Doll Eris híbrida). Nuestras preferencias cambian, y no podemos decir que una muñeca es la favorita todo el tiempo. ¡A menudo la favorita es la más nueva! Pensar en un estilo y crear ideas nos da mucha alegría y energía para trabajar. Ana: Nos gustan muchas marcas de BJD, pero somos incapaces de tener todas las muñecas de una sola tienda. A pesar de esto, casi todos los moldes femeninos que tenemos son de Or-Doll y DiM, y los masculinos son de Switch. Creo que el ganador es Or-Doll, porque tenemos cuatro cabezas de esta tienda: Ave, Vea, Absynthia, nuevo Orfeus y… tenemos dos más en la lista de deseos. Ayu: También nos gustan las muñecas con proporciones inusuales como Doll Chateau, Cerisedolls o la nueva Serenade Doll, de la que nos enamoramos en un segundo.

Top: "Royal Jewels" collection. Bottom: "The Travelers" collection.


Sadly, the hobby has been suffering due to recasts and bootleg dolls. Which is your statement on this issue?
Ayu: We are absolutely pro-BJD artist and we are not ashamed to say that aloud. We know how much work, energy, time and love it is needed to create something special.
Ana: It is unacceptable when somebody just steals others job. There are no pro-recasts arguments that will convince us to support these illegal dealings.
Lamentablemente, el hobby está sufriendo mucho debido a los recasts. ¿Cuál es su postura en este asunto?
Ayu: Somos absolutamente pro-artista y no nos avergonzamos de decirlo en voz alta. Sabemos cuánto trabajo, energía, tiempo y amor son necesarios para crear algo especial.
Ana: Es inaceptable cuando alguien simplemente roba el trabajo de otro. No hay argumentos pro-recast que nos puedan convencer de apoyar estas tratativas ilegales.


Finally, anything else you want to share with us?
Ayu: Currently we just came back from our vacations and we are preparing many new clothing collections made of the highest quality fabrics as silk tulle, embroidered tulle, embroidered silk, pearls and many more. They would be mostly in historical style – medieval, Edwardian and Renaissance. We are also going to create a Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram sites, so it would be easier for people to find us and our news.
Ana: We would also like to give a huge HUG and thanks for all those who support us! It always brings us a lot of joy and happiness. We appreciated a lot that you like our designs, and it gives us new energy to keep up working. Thank you so very much!
We would like to offer a coupon for the month of October for all readers of the interview. Please enter the coupon code AYUANAINTERVIEWwhile purchasing in our Etsy store and you will receive the 5% discount as a thank you token.
A&A: Once again thank you so much, we hope you will follow us in the future and we promise you to do our best!
Finalmente ¿hay algo más que les gustaría compartir con nosotros?
Ayu: Actualmente hemos vuelto de nuestras vacaciones y estamos preparando nuevas colecciones de ropa hechas en tela de alta calidad, tales como tulle de seda, tulle bordado, seda labrada, perlas y más. La mayoría serán estilos históricos –medievales, Eduardianos y Renacentistas. También vamos a crear un Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter e Instagram para que sea más sencillo encontrarnos a nosotras y nuestras noticias.
Ana: ¡También nos gustaría agradecerle a todos los que nos han apoyado! Siempre nos trae mucha felicidad y alegría. Apreciamos mucho que les gusten nuestros diseños, y eso nos da la energía para seguir trabajando. ¡Muchas gracias! Nos gustaría ofrecerles un cupón para el mes de Octubre a todos los lectores de la entrevista. Por favor usen el código AYUANAINTERVIEWal comprar de nuestra tienda Etsy y recibirán un 5% de descuento para agradecerles su apoyo.
A&A: Una vez más muchas gracias ¡esperamos que nos sigan en el futuro y prometemos dar lo mejor!





This was all for this interview! For now, you can find Ayu&Ana Design on the following sites:
I will add the new social sites as soon as they create them! Anyways, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have enjoyed the interview as much as I enjoyed doing it! Feel free to share the link, but please, do not repost it.

Also, remember that the Halloween event is still going on the Etsy! Have a nice day, and thanks for reading!

12 comments :

  1. I loved this interview and their designs are fabulous! I've always liked them :D I wasn't aware they did mori style and casual clothes as well though, and those are super nice too! But the details on their historical gowns are just so amazing ~
    Thanks for surprising us with yet another fantastic interview

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview!
      They historical outfits are incredible, but they have such a wide range of styles, and that is amazing!

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  2. Awesome! I've like their work for a long time and its great to read their interview. *^^*
    They do make amazing outfits. A friend of mine has a few, and they are awesome :D

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    1. Happy you liked the interview! It is true, their outfits are awesome! :D

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  3. Espectaculares trabajos!! Que detalles tan delicados, los trajes históricos me impresionaron. Muy buena la entrevista, las artistas se ve que son muy amables y encantadoras. Gracias por acercarme a ellas mediante esta entrevista.

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    1. ¡Gracias! ¡Me alegro que te gustara la entrevista! :D

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  4. Oh gosh I love their designs, now I know who they are, I've randomly bumped into their outfits and so great to know their name! I instantly came a follower in their flickr. ^__^ Especially the mori style, I think they're the most beautiful I've seen yet. Thanks for the interview, wonderful to read more of them.

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    1. Happy you liked the interview!!! :D

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  5. Fantastic interview, I am so thrilled to be able to read about the design process of the store that made my first doll's dress. I still cherish it even two years later, and I hope to one day own many more from Ayu and Ana! I really love this blog, keep up the great work <3<3

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    1. Thank you!! I'm really happy you liked it!
      And thank you also for your kind words towards my blog :D

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  6. I always love reading these artists interviews and this one was no exception. They really make some stunningly beautiful pieces of clothing, so it's wonderful to have this deeper look into their work.

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    1. I'm happy you like reading about them!! :D
      It is true they have amazing clothing, I really admire them! :D

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