Norma Andreu from Mexico (now She lives in Montreal-Quebec), is an artist of many kinds: Children illustrator, painter, writer, textile designer, photographer and sometimes She even try to be a singer…
Some people call Cara to Norma or Norma to Cara… the truth is that Norma Andreu is the Artist and Cara Carmina is her dream… a dream full of dolls, illustrations and cute creatures… (but I like Cara as a character too… so much I call myself Senorita Cara Carmina sometimes… and I even have an illustration character with it)
Did you study art in school?
I studied Graphic Design in college and took some art and illustration courses in Florence and New York.
What is a doll for you?
A doll is a magic creature full of dreams… full of stories…
Why dolls? How did this passion develop?
I’m originally a children illustrator and I love materials… organic materials… paper, fabrics, clay, etc… It all started as an experiment while making my paper dolls I thought: what if…? what if I make these with fabric…? Bought my sewing machine (never even touched one before) made my first doll and haven’t stopped since… the process has evolved since then and also the dolls.
What kinds of dolls do you make?
I make paper collage dolls and cloth art dolls.
How did you become a doll maker? How long have you been making dolls and figures?
I have been making dolls for 4 years now. It just happened suddenly, without planning it… I just needed to give life to my illustrations… feel them more ‘alive’ I guess.
When you make dolls, do you start with a fully formed doll’s project or do you start from and idea and the ideas keep coming during the creation’s process until-eventually-it become a doll?
I don’t really know what I’m going to have as a final doll when I start one, I create in the moment. I do have some ideas in my mind, of the colors and shapes. Inspiration comes from very different places… I try to go to those places often to see if something turns on my imagination, but the truth is I just become a creator in the same moment of the creation… I like to think the dolls are all hiding somewhere, in a corner of my imagination and each one is waiting patiently to be made… all waiting in line to become real… to become alive!
-What inspires you as an artist, and as a doll maker? Do you ever run out of ideas?
Art, children illustration, crafts, fashion, literature, music, magazines, nature, people, kids, different cultures, Oh oh oh inspiration is there, is always there for us is just a matter to look for it… I do run out of ideas, many times… I think all artists do, when that happens I take a break, sleep, try not to force things to happen… because it’s frustrating to work that way…
Do you remember how and when your passion for dollmaking transformed into a career?
I think I just realized very recently that my passion is becoming my career. It is still amazing to see people smiling with my work, people buying my work! I love what I do and I think is very beautiful, (to me it is…) but the fact that other people appreciates it makes me happier that you could think. I think the last two years have been crucial for me to realize my dream of being an artist has turned into a reality…
Tell us how you make each doll unique.
I don´t have a pattern to make any of my dolls, each one is truly one of a kind. I work with the sewing machine as my brush and the black thread as my ink to draw all the facial features and hair in my dolls, each doll is an original illustration on fabric, each doll has a different expression because of this process.
In Italy, the doll making is a ‘work for children’…or we have thousands of porcelain dolls – NOT an expression of ART, like sculptures…what is your experience about it?
I knew very little of the world of dolls when I started making my own dolls. Now I appreciate all kinds of dolls, I guess for some people still a doll (any doll) is not a piece of art, and they might be right if you are strictly talking about the fine arts like painting and sculpture. Some people call my dolls crafts