IN MY MIND'S EYE.... - photo by ROZ
...I hold the memories of a lifetime...some sweet, some sad, some great, some hurtful..
but they all rest within, whether I want to see them or not.  Sometimes they flash brightest in the sunset.  It is always good to have a bear along for comfort when the
memories are too painful. ~ ROZ

THE PASSION FOR BLYTHE

Part three in my series on the obsession passion 
for the big-headed doll known as Blythe.  

Interview #3 Roz Boatman from Boulder Colorado, USA
ROZ and HORATIO
A few months ago, I stumbled upon Roz's photographic magic.

I remember quite clearly how my breath caught, audibly, 
staring at the large monitor, in the dark,  quite late one night...searching  Flickr for photos of Blythes........
I was staring at the most darling photo of a transformed
Blythe doll.........named Angel.
PLAYING IN THE SUNSET - photo by ROZ
I became an instant devotee of RockyMountainRoz and knew I would have to beg, if necessary, to have an interview with this amazing artisan.

I am happy to report I did not have to beg as Roz is just about the sweetest gal and so humble about her talent..and so generous of spirit just like Libbalu and Ana, (interview #1 & #2)  It seems there is a wonderful, kindred energy when it comes to Blythe.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this interview..........
and please, remember that these photos belong to and are copyrighted by Roz who kindly lent them to me for this interview and may not be used for any other purpose without her consent.

I HAVE ALWAYS DEPENDED ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS..
..to lift me up when I need a helping hand. - ROZ 




R:  Thank you, so much, Roz, for allowing me to interview you.  Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself and your world there in Boulder.

                             
RB:  My name is Roz and I live in Boulder, Colorado in the USA. I am RockyMountainRoz on flickr. I grew up in Texas but fell in love with the mountains of Colorado and moved to Boulder as an adult. However, my accent is still Texan, no matter how hard I try to change it! I have a grown son who is married to Mollie. I am married to Joe and we live with a pup named Horatio. He is a Bichon Frise, and he is named after Hamletʼs best friend Horatio, not the Horatio on CSI Miami! 

Sometimes I feel so small.... - photo by Roz



I taught high school English and theater for many years, then took early retirement. I also directed high school theater, and my one claim to fame is that in the year 2001, I chose Hair as our musical. Peter Jennings was preparing to do a TV Mini-Series called 'Searching for America', and his producer
searched to see which high schools might have asked for the rights to this musical. They found us, contacted us, and the producer came to Boulder to interview me about
doing the musical to see if they might want in include us as a one-hour segment in the series, and a chapter in the book being written about it. They did...and from auditions to
the last night of performance, we were shadowed by TV crews and cameras. Jennings attended our final performance. It was quite an experience for the students, parents, and everyone involved! The cameras were even rolling on September 11, when the world as we knew it changed forever. I was very sad when Peter Jennings passed away. He was a very kind man.
photo by ROZ
After I retired, for the first time in my life, I actually had some free time! No more constantly grading papers and staying at school until midnight sometimes rehearsing and preparing for plays and musicals. I started painting some, making collages and cards. Then I met Blythe, and I have been photographing her since 2006. 
photo by ROZ
I do sometimes help out with my husbandʼs business. But I have to say that while I do miss teaching and being around the students, I do love having a schedule more of my own choosing!

R: We all remember our ‘first Blythe love’….when did the obsession love begin for you and which doll did you adopt? AND, at this very moment, how many girls abide with you??
 
RB: I started painted collages in 2006, and I used to search the internet for vintage images. In searching, I somehow stumbled across these cool dolls who seemed to be able to stand on their own! Then I saw their awesome expressions, and it was love at first sight. I have never understood how people can find them creepy or scary because they look so adorable to me! 
TAKE ME ON A WALK WITH YOU.... - photo by ROZ
 .....so that my  heart will feel light and free again, if only for a moment. - Roz

I got my first girl, Mademoiselle Rosebud, in May, 2006 because I could order her from a shop in the US. I quickly started learning everything that I could about Blythe, and soon I was ordering more and more and more dollies! I ordered much faster in the beginning; I have slowed down
now! :D
THE EMPTY CHAIR... - photo by Roz
........we waited for you, but then we realized you would never come again. - Roz

How many girls live with me? That remains a mystery because I really don’t like to count them. As soon as I do count them, I immediately forget the number! I think that I have about 90 or so girls right now. My girls don’t usually leave once they arrive. I miss them too much if I ever let them go, so they all stay with me!
TAKE ME ON A WALK WITH YOU... - photo by ROZ
 R:  My own dolls represent childhood to me and because of this, I think of my own girls as somewhere between the ages of 6 – 10.  What would you say are the ages of your girls.
 
RB: Honestly, I don’t usually think of ages for my girls. BUT they are definitely LITTLE girls! I never really played with Barbies when I was a kid. They looked too grown up to me! I wanted baby dolls!  This is an interesting question, and I know that many people do think of their girls as certain ages, but I just see them as little sweethearts, so I would say that they have to be very, very young.
                             TINY SNOWFLAKES - photo by ROZ - photo by ROZ
 R:  Your photographic journey with your dolls has really evolved over the years. You joined flickr in 2006 and it seems you were photographing your Blythes from the very beginning. Tell me about this journey and what it means to you.
 
RB: Very interesting question! I didn’t know that much about photography when I started taking photos of my Blythes. However, I wanted them to look very natural in their settings, and I wanted them to look adorable. 
photo by ROZ
Those were my two main goals. There are many unflattering photos of the dollies, and I got frustrated if I thought a photo didn’t show their adorable sweetness and personalities. 
I'll be there... - photo by ROZ

So, I guess that was my goal in the beginning. I took photos every single day, at different times of the day. That is when I found the best times of the day for shooting pictures, or at least, my favorite times of the day. When I painted, I was always interested in trying to show light in whatever I was working on. Sunlight has always fascinated me, the way that it can change a scene entirely and create a magical world.

SO, YOU REALLY DO HAVE SUN HERE? - photo by ROZ
SO, my second goal was to capture that magical sparkling sun! Soon, I discovered that my photos were actually a diary of sorts for me. I can look back on the photos and remember what I was doing and how I was feeling on any particular day. 
THE LONG ROAD HOME.. - photo by ROZ
 If I forget the date of an anniversary or a birthday, I just start
looking back through my photos on flickr. It really IS my photo journal. I am so thankful to have it because I have not been good about keeping a written journal; I used to do that, but now I use my photos.

 R:  I know that I, personally, adore your photos and the little bits of a story you attach to each one. They often tug at my heart strings….and I am not alone in that sentiment, especially the photos of your Angel (a favorite of so many, myself included). The combination of your beautiful photos often with emotional text, more often than not, cause me to just pause.... and sometimes remember.  I even admit to being caught off guard and moved to tears....they can reach down THAT deep.  You breath life into your dolls with your gift.  And it IS a gift.

WE ARE ALL BROKEN - photo by ROZ

....Humans hearts are often broken, and that is MUCH harder to fix. Friends who just leave, close friends or family who pass away, and children who parents love more than life itself who are going through sickness or bad times...all of these things are MUCH MUCH harder to fix. Hugs to anyone this morning who feels a bit broken. ~ ROZ
At this writing you have 1,1200 photos, 454 sets, and 1474 contacts. This is truly amazing. Did you ever imagine that so many would fall in love with your work when you first
started to post?
 
RB: Oh, my goodness, no! I never expected any of that! I will never forget starting out on flickr though. I used to feel sad because no one looked at my pictures! haha...we all have a sort of initiation into the Blythe community, I think. I didn’t even want to post on flickr in the beginning, but soon I realized that I wanted to see other Blythe photos and I wanted to post my own. I will be forever grateful to Tiffany of Squeaky Monkey and Liz of Woolly Rockers for
helping guide me to flickr and teaching me the ropes of flickr and Blythe! They are two dolly designers who make such awesome clothes...and they are wonderful people! Anyway, when I see new people on flickr, I really do try to reach out to them because I will never forget my beginning time! Also, photos change throughout the years. I do believe that the BEST way to learn any skill is to practice it...over and over and over! LOL...and with that many photos, you
can see that I have done a lot of practicing! That is really the way that I learn. I am a hands-on learner. The stories come from my mood on any given day...or sometimes at any given moment!  
FLY US TO THE STARS... - photo by ROZ
...to the land of Make Believe...where everyone plays nice...and excitement is always just around the corner. - Roz

WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS.. - photo by Roz
haha...since I am a Gemini, I guess that my moods are very mercurial! I am afraid that I fit the Gemini stereotype in many ways. Sometimes when I look at a photo, I will feel a certain mood and write according to how that moment makes me feel. I do take a large number of photos of
Angel. I don’t love her more than my other dollies, but she has a sad, yet childlike expression that seems to be able to portray so many moods. However, I do have many many darling dollies who can also do this. For the moment, though, Angel is just calling out to me a bit more. 
TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHTS - photo by ROZ

It was a complete surprise to find myself with so many contacts. I know that I should go through and drop the people who themselves seem to have dropped out of sight. BUT every time I start to do that, I realize how much time it takes! AND I hate to completely lose contact with some of these people. I feel very very lucky to have met so many wonderful people through flickr and Blythe! Many flickr contacts are now my best friends in real life.  
photo by ROZ
What a wonderful world is the World of Blythe!!!
 
Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of your wonderful blog, and I really love the unique questions that you asked! It has been SO much fun getting to know you, Rella!
PERHAPS UNICORNS ARE EXTINCT... photo by ROZ
 ...because people fear anything different ~ ROZ

7 comments:

roz said...

I am feeling so emotional at the moment, that it is difficult to comment! I cannot thank you enough for this interview! I feel SO lucky to have met you on flickr. You are a most amazing and kind person! Thank you so very much for everything! What a privilege it is to be part of your blog!!! Love and hugs always! xoxo

Rella said...

Oh, goodness, Roz, I am the one feeling darn privileged that you would share your beautiful photos and your story with me and the wonderful people that come to visit Faerieluna....big hugs and love right back at 'cha you little yellow rose of Texas!!!
xox

Anita said...

This interview with Roz was very emotional, uplifting and inspirational! I have so much respect for Roz and hope to meet her some day. Her photos are beyond beautiful!!! Thank you Rella for interviewing her, and thanks to Roz for sharing!

Rose said...

Wonderful interview with Roz, I loved to read it! Roz is one of the most amazing and talented people on Flickr and beyond! Huge thanks to both of you!

horseonthemoor said...

Thanks a lot to both of you! I enjoyed very much reading the interview, and watching again her amazing pictures!

Suz said...

That was a beautiful, Rella! The dolls are just magical and mystical. I love what you and others do with them. Pure magic!
Big hugs,
Suz

Betzie said...

I had to come back and read these earlier interviews tonight! Wow, now I am so excited to go to Flicker and see more of Roz's photos! What a neat journey and how inspiring! I have never really been on Flicker much, but guess that will change. LOL THANKS RELLA!