Interview with the artist - Shirley from Shirley's Studio

Today I want to introduce you to another friend from deviantArt. Shirley makes the most adorable trolls. Have fun with this interview and let them steal your heart (Sheldon and the babies stole mine and I keep coming back to this picture of them)!

Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

Hi! My name is Shirley and I come from the Netherlands. I live in a small town with my dear partner and two crazy but adorable cats.
I adore everything that has to do with fantasy, storytelling and nature.
I love to sculpt, read, play games, draw and sometimes I write stories.

What's your craft/art and how did you get to do it in the first place?

I'm a sculptor/dollmaker. I sculpt mostly fantasy creatures like trolls and fairies (but mostly trolls).
I started back in 2011, after I found sculptures while browsing on deviantArt.
I never thought about sculpting before, I was always busy with drawing, writing and painting.
I thought clay was just for creating ashtrays and pottery. I have been very, very wrong, LOL!
Being inspired by nature and fantasy I started creating trolls. I love the idea of creatures who are not just beautiful and sweet as sugar, I wanted my creatures to be a bit more mischievous. Trolls are, in my opinion.
They are far from beautiful, but they don't seem to care. They don't mind what others think of them. They are who they are.

I think this is one of the most asked questions - where does your inspiration come from?

I think it's a good question. My inspiration firstly came from fantasy stories and drawings. Then people started to comment that my art was very "Froud-like".
I never even knew who Froud was at that time. I started to take a look at their art. I recognized the artwork of Brian Froud immediately, I've bought some greeting cards from him before. I found Wendy's dolls. I fell in love with their art.
They are a very big inspiration to me now. They seem to capture in drawings and dolls what is important to me personally.
It was a very big compliment for me that people recognized a bit of "Froud" in my dolls.
I get inspired mostly from my own fantasy, from nature and from artists, like Froud.

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.

I'm a bit of a dreamer, an over-thinker. I wander off in my mind and forget the world around me completely!
It's not that uncommon that I bump into streetlights (and then apologize to them) or miss my stop when I'm in the bus (and get lost). Oops!

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

I don't, but that's for a reason. I'm trying to focus on sculpting now.
When I'm scrolling through deviantArt or Pinterest, I want to start so many projects, which I know I will never finish. I'm easily distracted, so when I'm sculpting, I work on one doll at the time or else I lose interest and the doll ends up somewhere unfinished on a shelf :-)

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

Oh, that is a tough question! I personally think all of my trolls have a personality of their own and are unique in his/her way. But ... The doll Aslan is my absolute favorite. He is one of the first trolls I made posable and he made me realize they are much more fun when you can interact with them. Aslan is the reason the dolls are built the way they are now. I would never have the heart to sell him!

If you had free choice of just one supply you can use for your craft/art, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?

Well, that would be an oven. One with an eternal live, please :-)
I have to bake my sculpts and the oven I have now is almost at the end of his life, after years of loyal service!

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I very recently started selling on Etsy at Shirley's Studio.
It was a very big step for me, regarding the fact that I never even thought anyone would want to adopt my trolls. I am so lucky and fortunate that people like them! It warms my heart when I see pictures of them at their new home or people tell me stories about them.

Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about things I discovered on my journey being out in the open with my art. When you are doing what you love, don't let negative feedback hold you back.
"There will always be people with opinions and interests that don't match with yours, it doesn't mean nobody likes what you create or do."
Keep doing what you love!

Thank you for the interview, Shirley, and now let's wait if the trolls will take over the world - hopefully they'll live with us humans (and cats ... you know what I mean ;-)) in harmony, though!!


  1. Stunning! The trolls are super cute!

  2. Wow! I love the dolls and trolls, they are fantastic! I too am inspired by Brian and his wife Wendy, his drawings and her dolls are just delightful. Some of my beads have come about because of his books, his humour and stories, I am off to love your shop and favourite everything I am sure, and its nearly my birthday.....Brilliant interview Cat xx

    1. Bringing people together ... that's why I like about these interviews :-D
      Thanks, Laney!