So…. It’s been a long journey, and it is not over yet; but it is time now to close Aleah’s preorder.
I am profoundly proud and awestruck to announce that 74 Aleahs have been sold.
Moved too…. Very very moved by how all and everyone of you “welcomed me back home.” This very post my dear Reader means a lot to me and I must confess that I have chills whilst writing it.
Everyone knows how dark away I have been this last Fall due to an injustice I have been the victim of, accused by two french girls of counterfeiting their doll, they simply sent me their lawyer to sue me and my Ebay account has been restricted so I simply couldn’t work anymore. Everybody knows that story. Everybody knows how HARD it’s been to live it. Everybody ( almost) supported me but facing the horrible nature of this story and the terrible troubles it put me in, I even decided to stop sculpting and to definitely log off from Internet because of this, because of the deep bleeding wound which has been unfairly inflicted to me.
By the end of this post, I will tell you why and how I came back.
But for now, I want to give to everyone and publicly my statement about those copying scandals we can see all over the dollworld because it seems that I HAVE TO.
I have to for I need to end this story, close this case BECAUSE, I receive DAILY emails since months about this. Apparently I became an sort of Icon to all the victims of those accusations, I became an “authority” capable to state about this or that case and I became THE copied one, as I receive at least 4 times a week emails with photos of other artists works attached in them with a message from, most of time, unknown people OUTRAGED because someone DARED to copy ME.
First of all, I want everyone to know that IF someone copies me, I simply don’t give a f… Damn of it. Having been a victim of unfair accusations, you will NOT see me becoming an executioner as it often happens. My reason to this, is that it’s SO EASY. So easy to take our sorrow and turn it into rage against an innocent somebody. It is EASY AND USELESS. It would never change what has been done to me and GOD, I wish such ordeal TO NO ONE ON EARTH. It’s way too horrible to live to inflict it to another human being.
Also… Copying what exactly?
Tabi feet? Long funny ears? 4 fingered hands?
And THAT leads us to the MOST important question of all the questions :
WHAT DO WE REALLY OWN?
I am french, and if everyone knows that, it’s not totally public that I am absolutely fond of History. I studied it for many many and even only for my own pleasure. Ball Jointed Dollmaking is a new profession, so to speak, and this young (?) form of art needs its war… But, again, what do we own? what truly belongs to us?
I don’t own japanese Tabi feet. I don’t own Four fingered hands. I don’t own a shape of ears, belly nor breast. That is a FACT.
Do we own the joints?
I can already hear some of you, well informed, that jointing a doll is a public patent as it’s been deposited by the French dollmaker Jummeau more than a century ago, therefore it is now public.
I am sorry but NO. Jummeau made a patent of something he did NOT own.
I can already hear again some of you, saying that my post is just a few words cause I can say whatever I want, I have no proofs.
The jointed mannequin, dolls, or models exist THE WAY WE MAKE THEM TODAY since CENTURIES.
The painter Degas was using this kind of models to paint in 1877:
During the 18th and 17th centuries in France and Europe, here are the JOINTED models used by artists :
Even EARLIER as these have been made in 1461 :
In the Museum of Bode in Germany you can see this very Christ from 1500. He is JOINTED to allow the reconstitution of crucifixion during the Holy Week by Priests :
In France again in the 17th century the Christmas Cribs were Ball Jointed Dolls, to allow a vivid and changing show everyday :
And this very DOLL wood carved from 1520 in the Bode Museum again :
Do I really need now to answer that question : what do we really OWN?
answer : NOTHING.
And I ABSOLUTELY refuse to be a part of this inquisition, hunting some witches/copycats to feel more comfortable in my work and career. I WILL NOT. This would be a pure outrage to all these artists who preceded us and opened the way to ball jointed dollmaking.
Someone is copying me?
THANK YOU. Because it only means that this person loved my work so much that he’s been INSPIRED by it. And I absolutely KNOW that nobody on earth will mistake MY doll with HIS. I will anyway remain the first of both of us to have made it. And Nobody can be someone else : this person could NOT make the very same doll than I.
What disgusts me and does exist is RECAST. This is an intolerable robbery of a design that we must fight.
But somebody inspired by my modest work… I am only grateful. Not worried, not angry, I don’t feel “violated” or any other stupidities I can read here and there, distorting very violent terms and situation because someone would make something a little alike what I have done myself.
Also, I think that lawcourts are more made to judge criminals as Bullies, Murderers, than artists arguing for something they don’t even own and motivated only by a commercial monopoly.
THIS is my statement and final answer to all these emails. I will never forget what happened to me, but intend to only keep of it what I LEARNED.
I learned that, even in the darkest time, you can be saved. You can find in this most profound gloom, not traitors pretending to help you to stab you more easily; but TRUE LIGHT.
My MFF Carlanne Marie bought me tutorials she didn’t need at all to help me to keep on feeding my children. She is the most loving woman on earth and NEVER getS angry, then I saw her in a total RAGE of what happened to me and she has been one of the very most active of my defenders. Today, she is still by my side and will have her own Aleah very soon, even though she already kissed her at Idex :
The very renown and extremely talented Connie Lowe from marbled Halls designs didn’t “only” presented my Aleah at Idex. This true friend bought me a very expensive doll because she knew that I couldn’t feed my children anymore during this ordeal; and THIS, counts for eternity.
It is time now to tell the why and how I came back. The part of the story that no one knows because I never explained it. I just “came back”. But something happened.
When I said ” I quit, I get offline and will not come back.” Someone, who by this time had terrible deadlines, said ” Ok. I stay with you. Just here, by your side.”
She dropped all of her current very important work and emailed me about 15 times a day and a night. To STAY with me. Talking of everything and anything. Just to be there. Drawing for me. She was the only one I read. The only I answered to. Then one day she talked as if she KNEW that I was, of what I was currently sculpting. Of course she knew…. And she simply told me that she knew I was reckless and courageous.
An hour later I told her I was coming back. Because, the idea of disappointing her, of saying ” No, I am a coward and I cannot face all of this in spite of the support.” was intolerable to me. She is the one who made me come back. Then, when she knew I was in debt for my lawyer’s bills, therefore that there will be almost no birthday presents for both of my sons who are born the same week, she bought from me everything she could and she gave them a beautiful birthday.
This person is my Otherself, That deep P<3 of my He(art), the only one allowed to work WITH me and to discuss of what I sculpt or not, the person I love the very very most after my mother and sons. Paulette Goodreau.
And I keep from this my oldest son Louis crying at night silently because he was terribly sad that his mother was not a sculptor anymore because he wanted to make me a surprise later when he will tell me, once grown up, that he wants to be an artist too.
I keep my mother saying ” I will not let you. I will break every single thing in this house before I’ll give up changing your mind.”
I keep my Ludwig, Peter Sewell who, whilst fighting his cancer sent me a video saying he was proud of me cause I reacted as he expected me to : bravely.
and Zooky, marlene from CDHM, Tatiana Tofaneto, and THE THOUSANDS of people who were there for me.
This is what I keep from this moment of my life.
So, if you see someone “copying” me, know that I don’t care. I take it as a tribute to my very modest work and am grateful for this.
If you are someone victim of accusations as I have been; link this post to your accusers and maybe they will see that we must remain HUMBLE and SELFLESS, that there’s enough space for everyone of us, and that they should shut their pretentiousness and pride down because we own NOTHING. That acting so towards a fellow artist is NOT being an artist but an aggressive commercial and that it leads nowhere. Not in the Art world, not in the Art tribe. Because we are a TRIBE and we should support one another’s work instead of claiming for ideas and designs that hundreds of people had before us. Tell them that being an artist, as My P<3 told me once, is not being stuck in a single design; a real artist doesn’t care because he is always on something new and with dozens of ideas a day so for a real artist, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is to work. To improve, for we all need to. To feel good being a member of this art’s tribe, because as I have been away from it : IT IS GOOD TO BE BACK HOME.
That is my final statement about this story and my forever answer to the messages I receive about copying scandals.
I am also extremely grateful to every every every of my collectors who welcomed Aleah in their loving homes and collections. It made me feel like when you all welcomed me back. Priceless.
THANK YOU HAND ON MY HEART EVERYONE.
Hand on my heart MFF……….xoxoxo
AMEN!!!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LoVe YoU BiG!!!!!!!
Good gracious, Nefer, you made me admire Paulette even more! My friend, Anna and I, are totally tickled to be Guardians to Aleah. Plus another friend who is a medical artist named Michele, is excited to bring my vision of Aleah to life. You made me think about copying and you are right: imidation is different than recasting. I never thought about that and you made it so very simple to understand, wow!! I could tell that you were in that deep dark hole and it hurt. I could feel that agony from so far away and I knew little of you. I had to share you with Anna and I had to share Aleah. I enjoy learning about the artist and I enjoy watching the development of the piece like you have shown us through photos. You are strangely odd… You are like a flower, or perhaps the center of a flower… I can watch as the petals open never knowing what I shall find in the center.
Very well said Little Button! You are much loved, your art is much loved… you are the true spirit of art! ❤
So happy you decided to sculpt again. Your artistic style is incredible and I’ll be very proud to have your work in my collection.
Inspiration comes from everywhere, and I do think that it is a shame that other “artists”
called you out unfairly.
So glad you are back in charge of your career and life and have the support of many wonderful people.
Congrats on your comeback!
I am new to doll art and was not aware of what you went through. I am sorry for the awful time you had to endure. Your post is inspiring! I have seen situations on fb where people are sending copy cat posts to others with horrible comments. I hope everyone reads your wise comments and realizes that our own ideas generate from somewhere. Usually something we have seen in others brilliant work.
Glad to see you are back and so successful!
I have only recently come to know (and love) dear Nefer, so did not know this whole story. It is so sad there are people in this world whose main goal in life seems to be causing grief to others. But so wonderful to know that despite these people. art and originality and beauty will endure. I will soon be the MOST proud owner of several of your wonderful works of art. I am so thankful you have persevered, and I am so thankful for those who helped you to pull through the difficult times. You are such a special person, dear Nefer, and your strength is an inspiration.
P.S. I simply cannot WAIT for my Aleahs to arrive!!! I am quite giddy with anticipation!! 🙂
You are my inspiration my friend. You are real and speak from your heart. You are light and depth and soul…you are a true artist.
Oh Nefer! I had no idea you were even thinking of quitting sculpting…now I see why!! I am so glad you had angels watching out for you! You are so worthy of love and loyalty. You should have the right to express yourself in art without someone treading on you!!
You have put Art into persective for me…we don’t own anything here… is so true!! There is nothing done that hasn’t been done before!!
Your messge really hit home! Thank you for being brave and baring your soul.
I am so thrilled that you are back and that you didn’t let them win by quitting sculpting!! I am impressed that you won’t lower yourself to their level by sueing others for the same offense that you were persecuted for. You are above that ,stronger and wiser for the hell you went through! You are my heroine!
Nefer I am so glad you did not give up, and Paulette was your strength that kept you going through this ordeal. You are a gifted artist and nobody can ever take that from you. Paulette we all thank you dearly for being there on the outside of the social network and taking care of Nefer and her family. There are alot of A_ _ H _ _ _ _
out there that think they own your rights to create what comes from the artist heart, and will try to discredit what they do not own as you said. I hope that your words of wisdom reach all of those bullies out there that thing they own the art world.
You ARE an artist, a dreamer and a creator, it’s a part of your soul, your heart and the very breath in your lungs and because you create, others dream and try and find a spark inside that helps them appreciate art, see the world through better eyes and find a smile on sad or dark days. copying is a form of flattery, not always what we want but those who cannot dream for themselves use the dreams of others.
May you always find your own dreams and turn them into something physical that the rest of us can have a glimpse into that dreaming place.
You know how i feel about you….<3 ❤ ❤
So well said Nefer, you have gathered a lot of good from this horrible situation and now you are moving on and that is wonderful. I knew you would do it !
Nefer I had no idea of what you had been going through. I have only found out.
Your statement makes me proud to know you and consider you a friend.
I admire your strength and your kindness of heart.
I wish you all the best and know as many others I am with you should you need me,
Love Eloise x
As you said to me a short while ago – don’t you dare give up! Je t’aime cheri.
hey neferkane, I had read about this story recently at the joint but I didn’t know who neferkane was back then. Then I came to your blog and have been visiting it since then every now and then. I like the way you post, it’s very honest and deep and I see this way of showing part of your ‘soul’ in your art as well! Respect for that!
I agree with you that recasting is robbery, it’s the same if a copy artists draws a Van gogh and pretends it’s actually made by van Gogh.This is so very different than being inspired by each other’s art.
It seems to be a good idea to just move on and start a new chapter. In germany wthere’s a saying: “what doesn’t kill you makes you strong”
Tres Bien, Ma Chere Amie! I love you. ❤
Nefer, you have wisdom beyond your years and a heart of gold. I am like a firefly and you the light. I so enjoy your writings and your dolls. God Bless!
Nefer, I am soooo sorry you have had to go through all of this, I did not know until I read this hear, I have hardly been on the net since mid December when I had some crap of my own happen that still keeps me from being on the net much.
Bug I wanted to let you know I love you, your work I have always admired and the copy thing is just shit. Like my very good friend Karen Williams Smith says she is always honered if someone loves her work enough to be inspired to make something similar. As it is an honor and a great talent to be able to inspire others. And as you said everything is inspired by the work of others. Someone made the first fairy and everyone else copied them. Same for reborn dolls. grrr
I hate the pettiness some people posess.
I am sorry it took me so long to find out and I was not there to support you. ugh
Big Hugs Tenderspirit
Neffy honey, you are brave soldier! I am profoundly proud of you for holding your head up and carrying on…very professionally I might add! I just read this post and feel bad I was not aware of it as it was happening to you! I have been so wrapped in my own life and work I have not kept in touch with artist friends of mine. Just know that I love you Neffy dear and wish you all success in your career as an artist…your work is definately unique unto itself! I always recognise your work, before I ever read your name underneath it…so just know that most people know how you unique and talented you are! Hugs and much love!–Kori Leppart
Thank you for sharing and for your inspiration and bravery!
J’ai suivi de loin les problèmes auquel tu as été confronté. Si cela peux t’aider, il existe en France une solution pour protéger pendant 5ans et pour un prix modique de 15euros, toutes tes créations ! Elle s’appelle “L’enveloppe Solau” et est mise à disposition par l’INPI.
En espérant t’avoir apporter un peu d’aide
“Sculpteur de trucs et autres bidules”
I have a female need more info if you can. I have good pictures she is 33 inches tall