Art Talk: The Day of the Living Dead Dolls by Erica Scott

Erica Scott, a tattoo artist from Arkansas, rescue the once-loved and long-forgotten vintage dolls from secondhand stores and revive them into something even more beautiful. Eat your heart out, Dr. Frankenstein.

Hi Erica, how are you? Would you mind to tell me a bit about
yourself and what are you doing?
Hi! Well, I am a tattoo artist in Arkansas, USA. Aside from the art I do on people I like to do many other kinds of art. I paint, draw, sew, embroider, and collage. I like to take old items and make them new again!

What influences your works in general?
A lot of my work is influenced by Mexican folk art in general (the traditional arts and crafts of Mexico) and more specifically in artwork revolving around day of the dead “El Dia De Los Muertos” which is a holiday in Mexico each year when families celebrate the lives of those who have passed away.

Tell me about your DolliPop project, how it’s started and what’s
the inspiration?
I already enjoyed painting found objects. One of my favorite things to do is to find old statues and figures and to paint them like day of the dead “catrinas”. I was doing an art trade with another girl and I wanted to paint one of these figures for her so I went to a thrift store to find a statue and instead I found one of these dolls. The finished product made me so happy and everyone loved it so much I decided I should find more of these dolls and make more!

How the creative process itself? Are you make some
sketches before, or just let it happens?
Usually I just let it happen. I pick out which doll I want to do next. if I will not change her clothes, I choose colors based on her outfit. if her clothes are old or torn or stained and I must make new, I select which fabric I think matches her face and hair best and choose colors based on this fabric. I paint all the bodies mostly the same, a background color, then white bones, then accent color outlines around the bones. the face details I just tend to make up as I go. I think the dolls tell me what they want while I work. I try to make their face paint match their personality and their garments. I prefer to leave the eyes in their original condition.

Where did you get the dolls from?
I buy most of my dolls from and These dolls were very popular for a lady to have in her dressing room or for a girl to have on her dresser in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. There are many many many out there in various states of repair from good to terrible. I like to find the ones that no one else wants because they are old or dirty and make them new again! I also find them sometimes in garage sales and junk stores.

 From all the dolls you already customized, which one is your most
favorite and why? 
I think my favorite is “Poppy” so far. she was the first one I made to sell. The doll I began with was just so sweet and lovely with a wonderful face and very nice body shape and the finished project had a wonderful personality and I am very fond of the fabric I used to make her dress. I sold her earlier this year to a very nice lady in Australia.

Did you kinda make certain background story for the dolls?
Hahaha no I don’t guess I’ve really made up background stories for them. But I think each one certainly has a personality which comes out very strong as I work. I think that when people see my dolls there is usually one or two that speaks really strongly to that person and for that person maybe they already have a dialogue in their heads with that doll and can make a story for it.

 Beside DolliPop, what other projects you has done?
Oh I have done so many! I have art in my veins and I am always trying to do something new!

What do you hope for now?
I would like to have time to make more dolls and hopefully as more people see them and come to my page they will buy more so I can make more and more!!!

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