The details and accessories that are carefully added to an artpiece ... say, a doll, (my medium) are just as important as the decorator frosting on a wedding cake ... not too much, but definitely not too little.
As you are creating a piece, especially a one-of-a-kind (OOAK) piece, a story comes to mind. This art work has a story to tell ... a raison d'etre. The story itself then becomes a beautiful detail.
As both the creation and the story develop, you discover that you are actually breathing life into your art. You are giving your passion a history, a present and a future. Now to add the beautiful final touches, "the jewelry," so to speak. It is ever so easy to complete the basics of say a doll with a wonderful simple dress, an apron and some pantaloons (many dolls don't even have underwear [blush!]). Sometimes a doll's statement is to be gracefully simple (take the primitive style doll). However, even in the most prim of the details, there is a story ... simplicity. Many artists tea or coffee-dye the fabrics for an enrichment of "vintage". A prim doll may have patches or ragged hemlines or "aging" processes applied to add to the richness of a past that the artist has created.
If you look your creation over, does it tell its story or does it draw the observer into its history with interesting detail that helps it make a connection with an admirer? In creating spirit and healing dolls, I have not only done research into shamanism but have added details that are actual miniaturized pieces that a human shaman might carry or use in daily routine. The Celtic shaman would surely have carried a healing bag packed with healing stones, crystals and herbs. She would also carry her own pouch of rune stones to help keep her in "spiritual" touch through guidance and meditation.
Dressing a character in costume is fun and, unless you are adhering strictly to historical detail, should be enriched with textures, colors and even layering to add interest and dimension to the character. However, be warned ... overwhelming your work with too much "stuff" (unless it is a peddlar doll) can be confusing and attract attention to just the "things" and distract from the essence of the beauty of the whole. Just enough detail will invite intrigue, pique curiosity and arouse the imagination of the beholder ... hopefully, like a moth to a flame. Your artistic "statement" has hit its mark. Mission accomplished!
Below are examples of before and after facial details of Maeve and some accessories designed for her. At this time, she is not quite complete, but her transformation is becoming very apparent.
|Rune Pouch which holds 25 miniaturized runes|
|Sample of miniaturized rune stones beside actual sized rune stones|
|Les or Herb and Crystal Healing bag|
|Embroidered rune Oracle on hemline of tunic|