A brief summary about Noel Cruz

Noel Cruz is one of the most versatile and distinguished repaint artists in the doll community. He is most recognized for his character and celebrity based dolls due to their uncanny resemblance to the people they portray. His dolls are derived from several models like Gene, Tyler, Sydney, etc, by various dollmakers such as Robert Tonner and Franklin Mint. His repaints as well as his portraits are done with intricate detail to the point of being naturally lifelike in essence. Highly regarded among collectors and artists alike, Noel attempts to raise the bar and bring a fresh take to the common mass produced doll with every face he paints.

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Noel Cruz came from a less than affluent family to say the least. Being the third oldest of 6 brothers, Noel began working as a child doing house cleaning to help support his family. Though hardship defined their way of life it played an important role to Noel's future. Being a child with no toys nor the freedom to be with other children, Noel discovered another outlet for his creative young mind: art. Every day he spent the few moments of free time he had doodling on any peice of paper he could find and his newfound hobby quickly became a growing passion. At the age of 12, peering into his neighbor's window, Noel saw on the television set the 1974 telecast of the Miss Universe Pageant. Having for the first time seen so many different beautiful faces, Noel took his new fascination to the canvas and from then on focused on creating portraits.

Only 2 years later Noel also came upon the television series "The Bionic Woman" would become his all time favorite program, and drawing portraits of it's star, Lindsay Wagner, would inevitably be his ultimate inspiration for face inspired art. As Noel's passion grew so did his talent. At the age of 16, having had no formal training, Noel was selling his portraits as commissioned work.

Several years later, after having immigrated to the United States with his wife and young son, Noel began collecting dolls. His wife had always wanted to have her own doll collection, and having never been able to have his own action figures as child Noel took active interest and began collecting dolls for her. As the years passed their collection grew and Noel became proficient at painting, even taking his art to the "Via Arte" street painting event in Bakersfield.

Above an interview with Noel.

In 2001 Noel, while looking on ebay for a "Gene" doll to further add to his wife's collection, discovered repainted dolls. Seeing how unique and beautiful a repainted doll's face could look, Noel was curious and excited to make his own. To him it was like the ultimate doll customization. He would soon realize, however, that painting on a tiny contoured plastic face was much different from painting on a large flat canvas, but once he got the hang of it he was able to translate his fundamental knowledge of art as well as his passion for faces onto the dolls he was painting.

8 years and hundreds of dolls later, Noel has mastered his craft. The faces he has since portrayed range from classic icons such as Bette Davis, to up and coming stars like Robert Pattinson,and to even some never before seen. These dolls now lay in the proud hands of various collectors all over the world. Many of which have also been featured in several magazines and articles. One in particualr was his repaint of a "Sybarite" doll that portrayed Angelina Jolie which has since garnered a lot of attention.

Currently, Noel still repaints dolls and draws portraits. He one day hopes to model dolls of his own