Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Directions

Today is the first Monday of the year.  I didn't think I'd have time to post, but the boys are happily playing with all their new Christmas toys so I have a moment to myself!

First, I have to say that I love keeping this blog.  I used to scoff at the whole idea of blogs -- I'm old enough to remember when they were called "weblogs" and were kept by angsty teenagers.  Of course, back in those days I WAS an angsty teenager, but I digress.... This blog has helped me focus on my art in an otherwise chaotic life.  It's given me an audience for my ramblings and images, and I am so grateful for that.

In the 18 months or so that I've been writing this I've had only a haphazard plan.  I've written about what I was working on at the time or what interested me at that moment.  I love sharing my projects -- the successes and failures -- and I love learning something new to share.  Over the course of writing this blog, I've discovered that there are some pretty distinct groups who read this: paper doll enthusiasts, children who love paper dolls, and fellow artists.  There are some people who love the digital lessons and there are some who love the traditional media lessons.  The single most popular post I've ever written is about anatomy.  Now that I have some solid data and input about what people what to read about, I've decided to make some changes.

Relax!  It isn't anything huge! Really!

Instead of randomly demonstrating techniques, I want to get back to the nuts & bolts of art.  I had a wonderful art teacher in high school and she constantly told be to go back to basics.  You can't over-learn the basics.  And that's what I want to do here.

We will be going over the elements and principles of art.  I loved writing the anatomy post and I want to write more like that.  I have a BA in Art History and tons of studio art experience, and I want to share more of that.  For as long as it takes, we'll be using this chart as a guide.  My art teachers/professors have drilled these elements & principles of art into my memory and I think about them without thinking about them every time I work.  We're going to start with line next week and how it pertains to paper doll design.  Every lesson after that will follow the same format and deal with a different element or principle.

I'm very excited about it and I hope all of you are, too.

Secondly, I want to continue to post free paper doll downloads.  The Friday dolls are a lot of fun, and I want to continue with those.  I loved the Kawaii Kids and will probably revisit those at some point, too.  Part of this blog is my ongoing journey as an artist and an attempt to become a professional.  This has been happening in bits and pieces -- which I'm thrilled about.  I didn't go to art school and that has slowed my progress as a professional artist.  It was a choice I made twice and I don't regret it.  It just means I have to work a little harder to build a reputation and a network. It also means that I need to clock some more studio time.  I want to have a professionally published paper doll, and to do this, I need to get in the studio!  I may have to pick and choose what I work on in the process.

Continuing projects:
- the core of Paper Doll School: the lessons!
- Fashion Friday dolls, preferably more historical ones
- self-published books available on as often as I can get them done (It takes me about 6 months from putting pencil to paper and finally publishing a book. This is WAY too long and I need to speed up the process!)

On hiatus:
- PaperJanes

Projects that need some attention:
- prints of my dolls
- deviantArt account

The PaperJanes dolls are great, but the return on investment simply isn't there.  I want to go back to them, but it's going to be even less frequently than it is now.

This was a very long block of text and I hope it clarified my goals.  It helped me focus just to get this all written down!  I love input and try to incorporate it where ever I can, so keep it coming.

And there should be a new doll on Friday!    


  1. I love the beginning of a new year. I know it sounds corny, but it is the time I get to use to really think about the blog as a total entity, not as a single post or project. When I'm up to my elbows in photoshop (metaphorically speaking) or I'm struggling to write a post, I find I become very short sighted. It becomes about "feeding the blog" getting something done, just so I can have my post that week.

    January is the glorious time when I get to sit back and take a breath. I get to look at the my blog as a whole entity and consider where I want it to go. I found this post very inspiring for that process- the process of considering what I am trying to build.

    I have really enjoyed your blog this year and I look forward to it in the coming year.

    1. Thank you again for a lovely comment!

      I think in a lot of ways that the process is as important as the product in creating something, whether it's writing or drawing or whatever. "Process" is part of what brought me from studio art, to art history, back to studio art again. I like to know how artists work.

      And I absolutely "feed the blog"! Too many of my posts last year were just that, and it's part of the reason why I feel the need to refocus a little.

      I love the beginnings of things. January is a great time. I've always tried to take a creative break in December, so by the time January hits, I'm ready to go again.

      2013 was a terrible year for me in general, but a fantastic year creatively. I'm hoping to find a little more balance in 2014!