Fabric Of the Week: Vote for your favorite doll panels (round 1)

OCT 22, 2009

Once again we were blown away by all the responses to this week’s contest theme. With 77 entries in the Doll Panel contest, once again we’ll be breaking the contest into two weeks of semifinal voting with a third week for the finals.

Week one has thirty-nine designs, spread out over four pages in the voting. You can vote for up to one design per page (although a vote on each page is not required) by clicking on the design you like best (a green check mark appears on the image when you select it). We’ll take the top five designs from this week and the top five from next week and run them the week after — with photos — in the final round. [note: I originally wrote to the participating designers that we’d take the top fifteen designs, but we’ve since decided just to run ten finalists]

There’s one other point that may deserve explanation. As you look
through the entries you will notice that not everyone interpreted the
idea of ‘doll panels’ the same way. That’s our fault, really, because
we failed to set out a technical definition of ‘doll panels’ in our entry
form. As usual, we’ve accepted all of the entries regardless and we’ll
leave it to the crafty Spoonflower community to decide which approach
to ‘doll panels’ it most favors.

VOTE HERE. The participants in week 1 are:

Beth Parker Obama Doll

Joysmom ‘dozen_faces’


Rochelle Fugate Birthday Girl


Joanne C. Harper Saint Nick in Green


Diana Symes dolls


Julie Shaw Curlicue Girl


Kweli Kitwana MyAffirmDoll


Renule ‘Dollpanel_triorio1’


Marie Eiriksson pigeboldlillagul


Sylvia Ion Humpty_Shelf_Sitter


Kelly Grooters monster_dolls


jennifer borrell anderson out of doors girls


peggy gatto 2_copy


katy keuter nesting-dolls


Cathy Comora ‘The_Ta_Ta_Dolls’


Jessee Maloney ‘Robot Dolls’


Laura Wilson Build Paint Bake Sew Dolls


Kelli Perkins perkinsdolls


Crittie M. Gay Sassy Dolls


Annelie Hervi Dollpanels


Lisa Rene Anderson Spoonflower_doll_panel_LRA


Cathy Bullington vudo2


Leigh Forest Sprites (Mini Dolls)


Shala Kerrigan Flower Kokeshi Dolls


Lynn Baron twobloomfairy


Stacy Campbell-Kraft Darla_the_doll


Leanna Maksymiuk gnome_grey


Linn Bodur doll1


Valorie Wilson steampunkdoll


Jen Addotta matroyshka_nesting_dolls


apoo 4 little gnomes


Gila von Meissner 4″/ 35cm Kawaii Kokeshi Dolls


Elizabeth McKenzie vincent van gogh …departed artist doll


Ginette Callaway Beauty Large


Linda Tieu  Singing Doll Boy Panel


Katie Bailey Kawaii Kokeshi


Lindsay Nightingale The Extra’s


Karen cox Northern Light Dreams


Sharyl Chow Sailor Kitty


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  • The limitation is trying to put — in this week's case, for example — 40 designs on one page. It is very difficult to get people to scroll through so many designs on a single page — and also very, very slow to get a page with so many designs to load. This week the pages with just 10 designs on them were loading painfully slowly!

  • I totally agree with Holly. Ever since you switched to this new voting method it has made my decisions much harder. Every time there are cases where two that I really like a lot are on one page, whereas before they were all listed and we were REALLY able to choose the ones that we liked the best.
    I personally think that the current voting method isn’t really fair, if it is only one vote per fixed number of designs using the program that you are then couldn’t you just have four pages with all the designs on every page? I suppose that means people may vote for the same design four times, but perhaps there is a way around that?

  • Exactly. It is a lot of fun and I love the themed contests because it’s challenging to work within a theme. I’d love to win of course, who wouldn’t? But I didn’t enter to win, I entered because I did my best on the theme and I’m happy with how it turned out.

  • That’s true too Shala. The more I think about it, the more difficult it becomes separate it at all! I too am happy with the contests as they are – after all, spoonflower doesn’t have to have them at all! I’m just grateful the allow us the opportunity for such fun. Whether I win or lose doesn’t mean much at all to me – it’s all about pushing my creative bounds:)

  • I just think unless someone is actively making money as an illustrator or has a degree in graphic design, it’s hard to tell who’s pro and who’s not. There are a lot of self taught designers out there who spent hours learning their program and following free online tutorials to understand it.
    I’m not a professional but I’m pretty happy with how it’s run now.

  • I think the line between pro and non-pro designers is simple…if you have a website devoted to the sale of your goods then you’re a pro. I don’t think someone who sells a little on Etsy or similar would necassarily count as pro…but really…a pro and an amateur would know themselves which they were. I do think there is a big difference between hand drawn and computer aided design but not sure if it’s big enough to justify seperate contests, after all it’s probably simply a matter of taste. Some people love the hand painted or drawn look whilst others like the crisp designs which are possible with computer aided stuff. What it boils down to really is a fair contest..I’m not moaning or anything…I’m happy to trot along behind the pros most of the time, learning from some of the great talent on here as I go…so I’ll just carry on and hopefully get better as time goes by!

  • I see where you’re coming from too anemone. But you know, there are lots of professional textile designers who strictly hand-paint their fabrics too! Another issue I could see would be where to draw the line when it comes to who is considered professional and who is not. I am graphic designer by trade but do not profess to have any professional textile knowledge at all! (Of course I can still dream, right?) I could see maybe a line more clearly defined as hand-drawn/painted design vs. computer-aided design – that might be a better defining point if spoonflower decides to offer separate contests. I know I’ve seen a few FABULOUS hand-drawn designs on spoonflower that would take me much longer I’m sure to reproduce digitally than perhaps straight by hand.
    And on a completely unrelated note, I just LOVE spoonflower and especially how involved stephen and the rest of spoonflower family are so approachable and interested in the community feedback – I think it’s just SUPER and can only get better from here on out! Two thumbs up for the spoonflower family!!

  • I see what you’re saying Stephen…I suppose my real problem is that the basics elude me…and from the look of it..others too….the very basics of computer aided design are not within my knowledge…so everything I do is hand draw and painted…I can just about tidy the edges up with my comp’s paint programme….but to get the swishy looking neat and even finish that the pro’s manage…well unless I took a degree…I’ve no chance! Sigh….I vow to keep trying!

  • Separate contests for pros and amateurs is great idea in some respects, but just to be contrary let me offer another way of looking at the Spoonflower community. One of the things I take away from all the activity we see in these contest is how much blurring of the lines there can be between amateurs and pros. We see people who do other things with the majority of their time — being a lawyer, stay at home mom, etc. — who have thrown themselves into surface design as a hobby and who design fabric that is so good it could get picked up by professional fabric houses. We also see professional graphic designers who submit really skilled designs that fail to inspire much passion among the people voting. To put together a really great design does not require being a professional, but it certainly does require other things — practice, skill and inspiration. My feeling is that most people are capable of making really beautiful designs — but someone like TroisMiettes might make 10 designs in which every single one is amazing, whereas someone like me might create fifty designs and be lucky to produce one that is beautiful. But still, surface design strikes me as a fairly democratic undertaking as artistic pursuits go.

  • I’m having so much fun with Spoonflower….entering the competition is a great way for me to improve my art …is it totally against the whole ethos of Spoonflower to suggest that it might be even better if there were seperate competitions…one for the proffesionals and one for the ameteurs? Athough it’s a huge part of the fun..pitting yourself against the pro’s….it’s also a bit wearing…because no matter HOW hard I try the probability of my winning against someone who makes their living with textiles or art…is…well…very low! I think the great thing about this site is that it gives ordinary people a chance to be a designer in a small way….and to improve their work…but entering the comp is getting a bit sad! I know..I know… it’s not all about winning…except it is a little bit! :p

  • I wish that was an option, Holly. We've made the same observation here. But the only options are one-vote-per-question (with a question consisting of a fixed number of designs) or any number of votes. It might be worth experimenting to see what would happen if we let people vote for as many designs as they wanted in the semifinal round.

  • First and foremost everyone at Spoonflower is doing an INCREDIBLE job!! I love looking at your blog, all the fabric that comes through – and it’s so much fun to vote!!
    I did have thought though…this week’s voting in particular. There were multiple pages and we get to choose one per page. Well there was a page that I didn’t find any and another page where I found two – which means that other person didn’t get a vote because I could only vote once on that page. I’m not complaining at all, really. But is there anyway to just give us 3 votes (or however many pages there are) and not restrict them to a “per page”? Anyway, just throwing this out there.
    Thanks again for starting such a great place!!