Marina Bychkova was born in Siberia and spent her childhood there until the age of fourteen when her family emmigrated from Russia to Canada. Her passion for making dolls began when she was six years old.
Marina earned her BA degree from Vancouver's Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, before perfecting her dollmaking skills by seeking out a course of studies in advanced jewelry making techniques, including lost wax casting, enameling and stone setting.
The sculptress sketches constantly, filling books with drawings of potential new works. She dislikes banal dollmaking intensely, and her own creations express ideas that challenge the commonly accepted attitudes about what a doll should be.
One of her iconoclastic beliefs is her insistence that dolls shouldn't be stripped of their sex to accomodate a view of sexuality as evil or shameful. Her BJD's are anatomically correct, with some featuring carefully painted, lifelike genitalia.
Marina also incorporates her unique and challenging views about mythology into her fairy tale creations, and her sometimes dark musings about human nature find expression in many dolls as well.
"My need to work with dolls became evident as a calling when I was six years old. As a child I became painfully aware and appalled at the mediocrity and the uninspired dullness of mass-produced dolls. This profound frustration coupled with my natural sensibilities inspired me to create my own dolls, suited to my own ideas of feminine beauty. A particular point of interest for me was not only the life-like articulation of the body, but also the beautiful balance between a delicate form and an extraordinary function of a doll.
At first, I just wanted to have beautiful toys to play with for a change, but soon, my desire to make dolls evolved into its own passion for its own sake, and by the time I was ten I no longer cared about playing with what I made, because designing and constructing them became the most challenging, intriguing and entertaining game of all.
Although I began selling my first articulated paper dolls to my classmates in grade five, I didn’t make a decision to commit to a career of doll making until I was twenty four years old and with 3 years of art school struggle under my belt. Surprisingly it was my conceptual art training at the Emily Carr Institute of art and design that influenced this choice, shaping the direction and stylistic qualities of my work into its present form.
When I needed to come up with brand name to give my dolls an identity, I decided to name them after Paul Gallico’s fictional, short story called “Enchanted Doll”, where a young woman creates dolls with so much love that they enchant people at first sight with their compelling, delicate, life-like beauty.
And this is my goal also."