Friday, August 19, 2016

Tween Fashion Friday - Simone

My husband is a BIG Olympics nerd.  He loves it! The games have been on our TV, computers, etc, for days now.  My kids are enjoying it, too.  I'm not a sports person in general, so the games have limited appeal for me.

I am, however, very proud of Team USA.

This year, two amazing athletes names Simone have done extraordinary things in their sports.  Simone Biles earned 5 medals (4 of those GOLD!) in gymnastics and Simone Manuel has earned 4 medals (2 gold, 2 silver) AND she's the FIRST African-American woman to win gold in an individual swimming event! That's a whole lot of awesome, even for a non-sports fan like myself.

So today's paper doll is dedicated to both Simones.


I wasn't sure which way I wanted to go with this -- the adult body or the tween body. Ultimately, I went with the tween body.  I'm hoping it has more appeal to young girls and inspire them to achieve such lofty goals.  The fashions are loosely inspired bu Olympics uniforms but not accurate representations.  I wanted to do my own thing!

I'm trying to limit the color schemes of my tween paper dolls.  This doll will coordinate with any of the dark brown skintone poaper dolls.

Have fun playing Olympian! :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

New Paper Doll Book!

I'm probably not the only person who does this, but I set "age" goals.  Like, I'll be married and have kids by 30 (which I mostly did, so hooray for that!)....that sort of thing.  Some of them are ridiculous.  When I was a kid, I wanted to learn 5 languages by 21. It was ambitious, to say the least! I've continued the habit as an adult, with slightly less lofty goals!

One of those goals is to get a paper doll book published with a "real" publisher.  I set myself an arbitrary goal of sending images to Dover by the time I was 35.

And I did send something.....



...a little over a year ago.  With no word since.

After reading Rachel's interview, I realized that 1) paper dolls are incredibly niche 2) print publishing is a tough business in general (especially for niche interests) and 3) Dover has a remarkable quantity of amazing talent to draw from already. All of these things make me feel a little less personally invested in this arbitrary goal of a real publisher, and more interested in just doing what I love.  And I LOVE creating art of all sorts.

So after waiting a little over a year, I decided to put the book together myself. And I got the proof copy this week!

The photos are not great.  I took them with my phone, in bad light, on my couch.  Still, I think the print book is an almost perfect match for my original art.


Here's a blurry image of the title page.  I've been trying to create more appealing title pages instead of the black & white text versions of the past.

A close-up from the title page.




And three pages of dresses.  Those are shadows, not creases, because I took awful pictures!

The back cover with the two dolls.

The idea for this book was a mix & match Victorian set.  I came across something on Pinterest called a robe a transformation: a transformation dress.  Apparently every dress Charles Frederick Worth created fell in this category, and this book could have easily just been a Worth themed book.  Instead, I found lots of different transformation dresses -- I even included a list of references in the back of the book! I haven't done a full-blown Victorian set before and I wanted to push the limits of my Photoshop "painting" techniques.  This paper doll (like almost all of them) started as pencil sketches.  I scanned & "painted" them in Photoshop.

Here's a preview of the entire book.  I loved making it, start to finish.  It was the kind of project that was just effortless and amazing and satisfying.

Hopefully, you like it, too.

Grab your copy here for now.  It'll be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble Online, etc, soon.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Tween Fashion Friday - Susan

One of my nieces had her tonsils out this week & I spent a couple of days visiting with her.  She suggested the name for today's paper doll and helped choose the color scheme.


This paper doll shares a skin tone with Rosalind.  I don't think the clothing will mix & match, but I could be wrong! This makes doll #6 in the series.  It's been fun, so far, and any suggestions are more than welcome!!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Tween Fashion Friday - Gianna

This is the fifth tween paper doll! I'm having a great time creating these! I wanted to create a set of basic clothing to mix and match with the previous four sets, so today's paper doll is mainly jeans & some neutral shoes.  There's a little color, too, just because I couldn't help myself.


I like to learn new skills when I can, and this week I came across a mandala tutorial for Illustrator.  It took some time & I learned some new techniques along the way.  I created the mandala in Gianna's wardrobe using the tutorial.  It wasn't perfectly symmetrical but a "hand-drawn" texture brush in Illustrator helped a great deal.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to use my little mandala!

Also, Nia and Gianna have the same skin tone, so they can mix & match shoes.  I'm trying to be a bit more sparing in the skin tones I use.  My fashion dolls have somewhere around 15 skin tone variations and that's a bit much....!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Tween Fashion Friday - Bronwynn

A funny thing has been happening to me lately.... I lose track of days.  My son is out of school for the summer & my husband now has a work-from-home job, so all four of us are home together without a "real" schedule.  Friday doesn't feel much different than Monday, etc.

And so I sometimes lose track of days.  And forget to post a paper doll.

This week I have a new paper doll!


With these new tween paper dolls, I've been trying to include fun patterns & colors.  I'm really loving the colors here! The fox is something I made ages ago and thought would be really cute in light colors.  Foxes seem to be pretty popular with the kids these days....

I'm thinking that the next paper doll should be a bunch of neutrals to mix & match with ALL of the four tween dolls. Til next week, you can check out the Etsy shop!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tween Fashion Friday - Rosalind

Sometimes, I have a very clear vision of what I want to make.  This was definitely one of those weeks! With this new series, I wanted to get as much diversity as I could as quickly as I could.  I had a pale blonde, then dark skin with braids, and today I have medium skin and medium hair.  She could really be from anywhere.

I also wanted a Bohemian/hipster vibe as well as glasses.  I don't make nearly enough paper dolls with glasses.  The color scheme and pattern were something I was certain of, too.  I buy a lot of graphic resources for other projects, and these two patterns were from the amazing Lisa Glanz (here's her website...she's an amazing illustrator!).  I tweaked the color scheme a bit and I'm really happy with it.


This week was crazy and I honestly didn't think I'd get this posted.  I'm really, really happy I did!

Let me know what you think of the new series -- I'm loving it!
 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Tween Fashion Friday - Nia

Today I have another tween paper doll.  I don't think it'll mix and match well with the first one, but there are more on the way!


I went with another summery color scheme here.  One thing I've been experimenting with is taking hand-painted images and creating a vector out of them.  It's harder than I thought! The chevron pattern here is the result of one of those experiments.  It's a big PDF file -- the PNG in this post is high resolution and prints well, too.

Her name -- Nia -- is Swahili for "resolve".  It also has European roots, particularly Welsh.  I liked the African roots because I knew before I started that I wanted this to be a dark skinned doll.  I also decided to try making braids, which I think worked out ok.  She's just so bright & cheery!

Let me know if you like the new series.  I'm enjoying the challenge of something new :)