Application Process

ODACA is an organization of artists who create original art dolls. These dolls are entirely the work of the artist, meaning that they are not made from commercial molds or patterns. ODACA’s mission is to educate doll collectors about original dolls and the artists who create them. ODACA also encourages doll artists to achieve and maintain the highest possible standards for their work.

To become an Artist Member of ODACA, applicants are critiqued three times by ODACA's Standards Committee – an Initial Screening process, a Portfolio Submission and finally an In-Person Evaluation at ODACA's Annual Meeting in July. ODACA's Standards Committee consists of five ODACA Artists who work in diverse mediums and a non-voting Chair.


Initial Screening

The ODACA Standards Committee places emphasis on artistic expression, originality, presentation, professionalism, and the use of your medium. The Committee also wants to see continuity across the work you present. It should have a "look" or "feel" that sets it apart as your own. If you work in several different mediums, please choose just one to present for critique.

The following is a checklist required for submission:

  • ODACA Artist Membership Application (may be submitted by e-mail) Download the PDF version, open with the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader and use the Fill and Sign tool to complete the application. Get Abode Acrobat Reader.
  • Five(5) JPG's of your dolls. Images must be clear, full-length high-resolution photographs of your individual dolls 8x10@300dpi. Please use a plain, uncluttered matte background. The title of each JPG should be your last name and numbers 1-5. For example: Smith1.jpg, Smith2.jpg
  • Check or money order for the application fee in the amount of $35 in U.S. funds made out to ODACA.
  • Inventory sheet (found in the Application) containing the following information about each doll pictured on your CD:
    - JPG name (Smith1.jpg)
    - Title of doll
    - Size of doll
    - Medium and materials used in creating the doll

Please e-mail the above materials to Barbara Schoenoff, ODACA 2nd Vice-President and Standards Committee Chair.

You will also need to mail a check or money order for the application fee in the amount of $35.00 in U.S. funds made out to ODACA. Be sure to add "Artist Application Fee" in the memo line. Mail to:

Barbara Schoenoff
ODACA 2nd Vice President & Standards Committee Chair
2006 W. William St.
Champaign, IL 61821

Applications must be received on or before December 1st to be eligible for the artists' evaluation at ODACA's Annual Meeting in July of the following year. The application fee must be postmarked on or before December 1.

If you are unable to complete the application process via e-mail you may submit a CD containing your 5 images with a printed Application and Inventory Sheet by mail to Barbara Schoenoff at the above address. The application must be postmarked on or before December 1.

If you have questions about the deadline or the application process please email the Standards Chair. Visit our ODACA Day Page to learn more about the date and location of our next Annual Meeting that is held in conjunction with ODACA Day. 

You can download a copy of the PDF ODACA Artist Membership Application (PDF - 127K) here.

Portfolio Submission

If your total initial screening score meets ODACA's standards, you will be notified in January that you have advanced to the next round and you will be asked to submit a portfolio for review.

Portfolios are submitted via e-mail as in the previous round. In the portfolio round, the applicant's techniques in doll-making are emphasized. You will be asked to make a doll and to document your progress in 7-10 jpgs showing:

  • armature construction
  • body pattern formulation and construction
  • sculpting/forming of the face and limbs
  • clothing pattern formulation and construction
  • wigging and painting/finishing the doll
  • the finished doll

We would also like you to bring that doll as one of your three submissions to the final In-Person interview if you pass the Portfolio review.

Please fill out the Portfolio Photo Inventory with the titles and descriptions of the jpgs you enclose.

All materials for the Portfolio Submission must be dated no later than March 15th and e-mailed to: Barbara Schoenoff

In-Person Evaluation

If your portfolio receives the required number of votes, you will be invited to attend the next ODACA Day (at your own expense) for a personal interview and to present three dolls for a final critique conducted by members of the Standards Committee. Upon passing this evaluation you will be invited to become an Artist Member of ODACA.

To learn more about the date and location of our upcoming ODACA Day please visit our ODACA Day Page.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact Barbara Schoenoff, ODACA 2nd Vice-President and Standards Committee Chair.

We wish you the best of luck in your submission.




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Original Doll Artists Council of America is a non-profit organization. If you have any questions about ODACA membership please email your request to ODACA. Information about ODACA Artists dolls must be made through the individual artists. ODACA does not provide advice regarding doll valuations, doll businesses or legal information.