Photos courtesy of Debbie Weimert
This spring break has been a fantastical one for me and for my children. Yes, it was fantastic, but “fantastical” is the adjective of choice. We went to see the big-screen, live-adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” and my daughter fell under its spell. This self-described “tale as old as time,” modernized with some spectacular CGI and Emma Watson, was enough to have my daughter going back to see it a second time, and begging to be allowed to see it once more for good measure!
The immersion into a fully formed alternate reality is a welcome respite for all of us—young and old, male and female, cynics and optimists alike. Thankfully, my daughter is predisposed to love everything make-believe and imaginative. She adores Harry Potter—has read the whole saga, seen the films, and is already circling a date to see its Broadway spin-off in spring 2018! She is a great companion for all of my forays into fantasy.
Another like-minded soul who thrives in the land of pretend is doll artist Debbie Weimert. The self-proclaimed daydreamer travels through life with her eyes wide open and her mind even more widely welcoming the known and the unknown: “My business name couldn’t describe me better. It’s DayDreamerDebbie. My work is eclectic. In fact, my niche is not to have a niche! I sculpt anything from babies to elderly, in any size from 8 inches and up. The one thing they all have in common is that they are elves or fairies. They are fantasy creations!”
Weimert doesn’t have to purchase a ticket for her local Cineplex to enjoy a heavy dose of otherworldly creatures and adventures. She is a self-generating provider of fabulous escapades and amazing characters. “My daydreams are so incredibly full of fantastic things that I cannot help but to be creative. You never know what will come out of these daydreams,” Weimert told me.
Blessed with a good sense of humor, Weimert notes that it is deeply satisfying that she has evolved toward this artistic stratosphere: “What once got me in trouble in elementary school is now my life’s passion. I would sit and watch the butterflies float by and I would see them as fairies. The fish in the aquarium were mermaids, and, of course, every frog was a prince to kiss.”
The artist’s inclination to transform her daydreams and her private musings into sculpted reality is an irresistible one. When she sits down to sculpt, it happens almost like she is on artistic autopilot. “Even when I try to be serious, the doll ends up with elf ears. I just can’t help it,” she confessed jovially. “Other common themes you will see in my work are Celtic or Native American, inspired by my heritage.”
Beyond her sculpting, Weimert also unleashed her imagination during playtime with one of her 13 grandchildren. Her granddaughter Avigail seemed to be following in her grandma’s daydreaming footprints. “I am pleased to say that Avi has inherited my imagination and we spend a lot of time playing with our pet dragons,” she shared with me. One of Weimert’s favorite pastimes is exploring the end result of mixing clay colors together. Her doll Peacock embodies a bold and different life form.
Being capable of dreaming up and then creating an unexpected spin on humanity is a satisfying and rewarding accomplishment for Weimert: “How precious are the thoughts of God that I find hidden everywhere. It is on those thoughts that my imagination thrives. It is those thoughts that make me who I am and bring my artwork to life. It is the fantastic imagination that He has blessed me with. How can I not create? I create to honor the Creator.”
Likening herself to an original creation, Debbie Weimert is comforted by and sees the connection between her life as an artist and as a child of God: “How do you explain who you are without looking into the depths of your soul from whence your dreams come? I am a Christian, a doll collector, an artist, a baseball fan, and so much more. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. I am all of these. I am me. I am a one-of-a-kind. There is no one else exactly like me.”
These are fabulous words and an inspirational insight to create by and to live by.