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Pixel dolls is its own art form, sometimes considered a sub-genre of the pixel art community.

It started with online dress-up games like The Palace where people could make their own avatars by putting different clothes and hair on bodies. Just like playing with paper dolls, and that’s also where the name comes from.

From there it evolved into an art form where people make their own bodies (called base bodies or bases) and then draw clothes and hair onto them. In the 00’s it became a whole community with many websites and forums dedicated to the art of “dolling”.

What sets dolls apart from other art forms is the use of these bases. Many artists offer their own bases for others to use – with credit, of course. You also don’t necessarily need to make dolls with pixel art. There are dollers who draw with regular Photoshop brushes, making their dolls look more photorealistic. I make pixel dolls and nothing else, but that’s just my personal preference.

Dolling and the dolling community is still a thing, but with the rise of social media it has mostly moved to places like DeviantArt or Tumblr. On my links page you can find links to some doll artists that still have their own sites.


Base bodies