Blythe’s Big Eyes Inspiration

Big Eyes Movie Poster

Blythe’s unique look was envisioned by the toy designer and Arts Institute of Chicago alumna, Allison Katzman’s early 1970s creations while working as a toy designer for Marvin Glass and Associates. Allison passed away recently at the age of 95 at her home in Seattle. Her dolls were ahead of their time, being not so appealing as children’s toys while they have so easily become artistic dolls for adult collectors. Blythe Dolls today have a truly global following and the movement is inherently connected to the worlds of fashion, art and film.

It also seems there’s an earlier influence in the look of Blythe that comes from the American painter Margaret Keane, whose paintings rose to popularity in the 1960s, even receiving praise from Andy Warhol himself.

Keane’s, “Big Eyes” paintings feature forlorn children with oversized eyes and are set in a spooky style that approaches kitsch and bleak children’s version of Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic, depicting the Great Depression expression of austere and sterile Midwestern homesteaders, staring grimly back at the viewer.

Big Eyes Movie - Blythe Doll Eyes Inspiration

Originally from Nashville, Margaret for a period became of one the most recognized artists in America, or rather her paintings did. She was for years terrorized and manipulated by her narcissistic husband, who took all the credit for her amazing paintings.

In 2014, Tim Burton of Edward Scissorhands fame and the director who has worked in so many productions with famed Blythe Doll fan, Johnny Depp, directed an award-winning film about Margaret Keane, called “Big Eyes”.

The story, following her ordeal being cruelly exploited by her charlatan husband, Walter, before a moment of epiphany was she finally rebelled by exposing the truth that she had in fact painted all of his works. This led to a famous show trial in Hawaii where the judge ordered a “paint off” in court to see who was the real artist. While it was quickly apparent her husband couldn’t paint, Margaret was exonerated and then was finally able to move on with her life in freedom.

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Check this photo from 2006. Did you know that Johnny Depp is an avid doll lover? He collects mostly fashion dolls with big eyes called “Blythe Dolls” and Barbies, and attend doll shows regularly to discover and collect more. Depp says that he plays Blythes a lot with his kids and claims it's one of the things he's good at. Johnny says he will dress and accessorize his collection according to what is going on in show business news. Are you now wondering what a Blythe Doll is? Blythe Dolls are a stylish generation of fashionable, high quality and highly individualized dolls. Characterized by oversized heads and great big eyes, these waif-like figures stand 12 inches (30cm) tall. Their enchanting eyes change both color and gaze with the pull of a string to match a specific mood, personality or outfit. Blythe Dolls represent a whole world of learning and creativity, and that’s the fun of it. Each doll is an exciting new challenge for customizers to hone their skills, realize their ideas and develop their art. “This Is Blythe” is currently the biggest Blythe company where Johnny Depp and Emma Roberts shop their dolls. Adopt your own Blythe Doll this season. Follow @thisisblythecom now! Visit the live link in my bio. #johnnydepp #blythe #blythecollector #depp #blythelove #johnnydeppfans #doll #johnnydeppfan #blythedoll #deppheadforlife #johnnydeppforever #johnnydepplove #piratesofthecaribbean #johnny #blytheworld #ooak # blythedolls #johnnydeppfanpage #instadoll #customblythe #blythecustomdoll #hollywood #customdoll #ChristmasGift #blytheforadoption #blythecustom #alicecooper #johnnydeppedits #joeperry #bhfyp

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Today, Margaret Keane is 92 and lives in California. She has inspired many other artists including Steven Spielberg and of course Allison Katzman. Yet it is not just Keane’s hypnotic pieces, but it is her victory over one of the art world’s biggest frauds and the terrible trauma she endured, which stands as an inspiration in itself.

The linked legacies of Margaret Keane and the late Allison Katzman will never be forgotten. Their imagination thrives through Blythe! Blythe Dolls are embedded in the world of art and creativity. Blythes are muses to millions and collectors continue to garner four-figure sums for their creations. We can see where their inspiration comes from and at This Is Blythe, we will continue to animate generations of creatives and designers to come. Visit our most popular Blythes and adopt your Blythe now!

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