Introducing a doll ‘that looks like your cousin’ or Salvador Dalí

Previously a lawyer, Jordanian artist Ola Dajani took on the role of creating Vinny dolls for the love of her new born son. Born in Amman, Dajani moved to the UAE in the late 80s. She was raised in Abu Dhabi and now works from her home studio in Dubai.

She believes creativity and experimentation have always been the core of her life. “In 2011 when I had my first son, I really wanted to make him softies that were different, engaging, playful and beyond what was in the market for babies. I wanted something more creative.” She started making him stuffed toys and soon after realized she was making dolls for others. “This eventually evolved into a single concept: starting a line of dolls that are unique, that look like people we actually know, hence the inception of Vinny, the motto of which is “the doll that looks like your cousin.”

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She has been in the business since 2011 and said she still enjoys it, simply because there are countless characters that can translate well into Vinny dolls and there is never any mundane repetition of design. “So for now I am still enjoying building the line of dolls. I am also a big fan of disciplines other than doll making and I usually try to incorporate those disciplines into doll making, such as embroidery, knitting and leatherwork.”

Dajani talked to Oasis magazine about the journey that took her being a lawyer to a full time mom and designer. “From being a lawyer, then moving to the creative field and lastly becoming a mother, these three chapters in my life really sculpted what I do now as a doll maker and creator of Vinny dolls. I run the line as a viable business having practiced as a corporate lawyer, but I draw on my experience as an artist and designer when it comes to the creative side of business, and of course being a mum made me more efficient at multitasking.” She admitted motherhood changed her perspective. “I tend to think like a kid in the sense that I like things to be simple yet engaging, back to basics sort of thing.”

Talking about inspiration, she said it mostly revolves around childhood memories, frequent dreams and even people. |I generally get inspired by the most odd things, incidents and people.”

Recently the Modigliani doll was sold during Abu Dhabi Art and Vinny dolls are still available at Artyfact store in Abu Dhabi until 18 January 2014.