Today I'm going to share a couple of old paper doll sets I made as a kid. It's a post I've been planning for a while, and today it feels all the more appropriate.
For those who haven't heard, Tom Tierney lost his battle with cancer on Saturday. Jenny Taliadoros (OPDAG, Paper Doll Studio Press, Paperdoll Review) has a touching obituary posted on her blog. Jenny points out that the paper doll industry was nearly extinct before Tom Tierney revived it. So many paper doll artists and collectors know & love his work and cite him as an influence. I'm an artist because of Crayola and Tom Tierney! I only recently discovered that he illustrated a large number of things for Golden Book, including a Miss America paper doll I vividly remember owning as a kid, as well as several children's books based on Jem and the Holograms & Barbie. Tom Tierney's work was a huge influence on my interest in art, fashion, illustration, and paper dolls long before I knew who he was! I wish I had been able to meet him - he will be missed tremendously.
My childhood dolls in no way compare to the genius that inspired them, but I'll share them anyway! I think it's important to remember that everyone starts somewhere. I know there are young artists who read my blog and this post is especially for you!
None of these are fantastic works of art! The lesson here is really about putting in the time. It can be frustrating & discouraging when starting out in art. There was always a clear image in my mind that I wanted to get down on paper and it just never seemed to happen. And then, one day, it did. It takes hours and months and years to get to that point.
Just for reference, my Goddess paper dolls were drawn about 10 years after these childhood dolls. I started drawing the Goddess dolls around 2003 and finished painting them in 2006 (I had a lot going on during those years!). And my Wicked Women, the project I just completed? About 7 years after I completed the Goddess dolls! It's all about practice and putting in the time!
I hope this was in some way encouraging to everyone starting out. And remember Tom Tierney while you create this week - he spent 80+ years creating! Something I think we should all aspire towards.