Mighty Ugly doll

It’s easy to recognize and often define beauty. But how do we define ugly? Is there a fine line that walks between it and *unique*? You be the judge.

As designers, we’re often looking to beautify the world. What if our thoughts were to drift to the “other side” from time to time? Case in point: I recently attended Northern Voice, a conference for bloggers, writers, entrepreneurs, and creatives involved with social media. Following a presentation given by Kimli Welsh, several handmade dolls were randomly handed out to the audience.

I have to admit that this doll didn’t arrive into my world right away. It was given to someone seated beside me. Luckily, she wasn’t too attached to it (yet!) and gave it to me in a trade for a few items in a goody bag I’d received earlier.

First thoughts on what made this doll unique? Its hat, googly-eyes, and assortment of tiny plastic shoes attached to it. Second thought? Why not drape it around my neck; it sure was long enough!

After exiting the room, I immediately noticed others checking out my new-found friend. What exactly was it about this doll that appealed to me? Upon further inspection, I found a tag that read:

1) Make something very ugly.
2) Take a photo. Share it.

Northern Voice 2010-4

Below those brief directions was a web link and the tagline “Where failure’s kinda pretty”. I was taken aback. The LAST thing that I would find this doll to be is ugly.

Northern Voice 2010-1

Unique is more the word. Now what to do with it once it arrived home (after all, there IS a husband involved here who would no doubt question its existence and where to put it). I had to laugh when he suggested that it would make a great door draft protector! A very practical response to the ugly question.

I think it resembles an enormous chili pepper. Thoughts?


  • Pingback by Mighty Ugly » Blog Archive » Gettin’ Ugly at Northern Voice — May 12, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

    […] Check out Ariane Colenbrander’s post about the ugly doll she got in her swag bag. photo credit Monica Miller photo credit Monica Miller blog comments powered by Disqus var […]

  • Comment by carolbrowne — May 12, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    You are an amazing trader! You trade for everything and anything! I just may go to the Mighty Ugly meet up next month.

    Also, lucky you – a door draft blocker. Awesome.

  • Comment by arianec — May 12, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

    Aww, thanks, Carol! I hope that the trade went well in the other woman’s favour too. She got some chocolate and a movie pass. I have a door draft blocker that’s right now a guest in our guest room.

    Next year I plan on attending both days of NV. I would have loved to have attended the crafting session. Did you wind up finding out about the Olympic pin trade in time? Apparently that too was going on during NV. Talk about trading of all kinds!

  • Comment by photodreamz — May 15, 2010 @ 4:26 am

    There’s definitely a line when it comes to any art. Craft in particular. In that area to each there own I say.

  • Pingback by One of a Kind Show Vancouver | ariane c design — November 21, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

    […] Werker of MightyUgly will be at the show this year with several workshop sessions. Build your own creation. “When the goal is to make something ugly, failure is kinda pretty“. No crafts […]

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