NIADA Artist

Become an Artist Member

By requiring the highest artistic standards, NIADA encourages gifted artists who create entirely original art dolls to strive for the finest realization of their talents. NIADA Artist Membership is awarded through a Three-Part Application Process. The intention of the members of the NIADA Standards Committee is to elect new artists whose work is “as good or better” than their own.

Whether a one-of-a-kind piece or part of an edition, the ideal work reflects excellence; all work must be consistently well conceived, expertly executed without technical faults, and show an individual identity of design. NIADA looks for work that inspires an emotional response. Is the work engaging, captivating?  Does it transform, illuminate or inspire

Artists pay annual dues of $50. All Artists’ responsibilities can be found in the Artists’ handbook.

Benefits of NIADA Artist Membership include

  • member discounts on conference fees and merchandise sold by NIADA
  • use of the “NIADA Artist” designation in the promotion of their own work and related career activities, such as teaching and publishing
  • the opportunity to show and sell their work (with no commissions charged) at their own sales table at the NIADA Artists Show and Sale at the annual conference
  • participation without further jurying in other special NIADA exhibitions or NIADA-sponsored shows
  • the opportunity to teach one—three-day classes, for compensation, at the NIADA Dollmaking School held during the annual conference
  • representation on the NIADA website
  • promotion of their events, classes, workshops and merchandise on the NIADA website
  • Inclusion of images of their work in the NIADA Archives, which are sourced for various books, publications, programs, posters, ads and other NIADA promotions and events
  • promotion via NIADA on Facebook and the NIADA blog
  • the opportunity to meet and network with artists, collectors, writers and publishers in the doll field

How to Join

Conference Attendance /Critique /Initial Image Review

A prospective applicant must first contact the Standards Chair to register their intent to apply for Artist membership. Write to:

The second step is to attend the next NIADA Conference and participate in an Artist Membership Critique  Following the Critique, the applicant may submit an application for membership. The Standards Chair will send the applicant the application form. The deadline for sending in the application is four weeks after the end of the NIADA Conference.

The Artist Membership Critique fee is $25.

The application fee is $50

Email Standards Chair
Portfolio Review

Applicants who pass Part 1 will be invited to submit a digital portfolio.

Deadline: January 15

Final Vote

An applicant who receives passing scores on Part 1 and Part 2 will be asked to bring his or her work to the next NIADA Conference. The work will be exhibited for the Member Artists to vote on. Once the applicant has been elected as a NIADA Artist, he or she is entitled to full Artist status with all benefits.

Artist member critiques

Many artists find the critique helpful and enjoyable, as participating NIADA artists share their knowledge and expertise and provide a further understanding of NIADA standards and expectations. The Artist Membership Critique  fee is $25. (If applicants are unable to attend the Conference, they may apply for a waiver by contacting the Standards Chair).

For more information

For further information contact

Standards Committee Chair: Marlaine Verhelst
Burg.Suysstraat 61, 5037 MC, Tilburg, Netherlands

Standards Assistant: Neva Waldt
4531 Palmetto, Bellaire, TX 77401

Artist Membership Frequently asked Questions

Application standards – What we look for

Excellence of Execution
  • Every applicant should hold the highest personal standards for his or her work.
  • The work must be well made and impeccably finished.
  • A mastery of the medium should be apparent.
  • Sculpting should be flawless, with accurate proportions or, if exaggerated, should harmoniously fit the concept of the piece.
  • Hair should be of a material appropriate to the piece and flawlessly applied.
  • Costuming should be well conceived and expertly sewn, using materials appropriate to the figure’s scale and/or its intended effect.
Identity of Design

Every applicant should have a style of working that is unique, consistent and recognizable. Having a true signature style elevates the work into the realm of high art, which is an essential element of NIADA’s standards.
NIADA looks for works that inspire an emotional response. Is the work engaging, captivating? Does it transform, illuminate or inspire?

Application review by the standards committee

The NIADA Standards Committee consists of ten voting NIADA Artists, the Standards Committee Chair and the Standards Assistant. The Standards Committee reviews all applications and awards points to each applicant anonymously.

Applicants who pass are invited to submit a portfolio the following January.

The portfolios are circulated among all Artist Members, who again award points. Applicants who receive 3/4 of the possible total of points for their portfolio are invited to exhibit three dolls at the following NIADA Conference for a final vote by all the NIADA Artists in attendance.

The details of the scoring and reasons for acceptance or rejection of applicants are solely the business of the Standards Committee and are kept confidential. Upon request, the Standards Chair will send an applicant the anonymous comments.”