I find I go through periods where I am drawing a lot on a similar theme. So, I created this woodland fairy paper doll during a period when I was drawing a lot of mermaids and fairy outfits. Most of them ended up on Patreon, but I try to split things pretty evenly, so I wanted something to share here on the same theme.
Additionally, I think fairies are a playful theme and kinda fun to play around with. I always like to think about drape when I’m drawing woodland fairy clothing, sort of a dress made from cloth being wrapped around the body rather than tailored together.
Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
As I said above, I really was on a sort of “fairy kick” when I created this paper doll. I go through phases, after all. Despite my personal preference for darker fairy tales, I never know how to illustrate those. So, instead I tend to lean towards Victorian flower fairies (like this card from 1905) for this one.
If you’ve never read about the Cottingley Fairy Hoax, than I would highly recommend a read. It’s a fascinating story about how smart people can be blind to things and the strange Edwardian obsession with spiritualism. There’s something really telling about the desperate desire to believe even in the face of extreme mounting evidence to the contrary.
On Friday, I post extra paper dolls on Patreon and I’ve shared a lot more fairy stuff there for my patrons whose support I am super grateful for.
Also, there’s some new pieces up in my Etsy store if you haven’t checked it out recently head over there.
I wanted to create a 1940s fashion paper doll around a theme, because honesty, I work better when I think in terms of theme, but I struggled a little to come up with an idea. After the paper doll was published in Paper Doll Studio Magazine, I had a great conversation with Julie of Paper Doll School and she suggested I should add some sort frame or something in the background. I have to admit, I do think it makes for a much more visually compelling paper doll.
After some thought, I settled on picking a single source for the doll’s wardrobe and what source could be better than sewing pattern covers?
Anyone whose followed the blog for any length of time knows how much I love sewing pattern covers.
Sewing patterns are a great source for vintage clothing, because they often take the high end designs that were showing up on runways and tone them down for a home audience. In a time where it really was cheaper to sew your own clothing, sewing pattern companies competed to bring the trendiest designs to market.
I chose to focus on Simplicity, because I find Simplicity designs of this era tend to be less high fashion than some of the other brands.
I’m currently working on my contribution for the Renaissance theme for Issue 126. For those of you who know my paper doll poses well, while this 1944 uses the same base pose as my Spites paper dolls, I scaled her differently and I don’t think she can share clothing.
As always, issue 125 was a delight. The cover paper doll by Andrea Smith is beautiful. I’d seen her art around, but I wasn’t very familiar with her work. It’s always fun to find a new paper doll artist.
I always adore Larry Bassin’s work. I deeply respect artists who have such a distinct vision and I feel like very time I see his art, I instantly know who drew it. One of these days, I need to buy some of his paper dolls to add to my collection.
My other two favorites were by JM Tolman, an artist I’m not familiar with and Carol Peters. JM Tolman’s paper doll was a lovely tribute to the working women of the 2nd World War. Carol Peter’s pair of dancing couples paper dolls just blew me away. I would never think to take on such a challenging subject and the movement in the dolls and their clothing really brings them to life. It totally deserved the huge full page display it received in the magazine.
Submitting a paper doll to Paper Doll Studio Magazine is something I’ve wanted to do for ages. For the Green Issue, Jenny Taliadoros asked if she could use some of my paper dolls. I said sure, because why not? And then I thought, you know, I should really submit things and so here I am.
Tomorrow I’ll share the paper doll I created for the magazine and you can download and print her out full size, if you want to dress her up and play with her.
Occasionally, I get an idea that just won’t leave me alone. This was one of those ideas. I wanted to create a series of paper dolls where one item was revealed each day. And I really wanted to do something special for my Patrons who have helped keep the blog on the internet.
I recently fell back in love with my sprites when I was working on my 1944 paper doll, but I wanted to re-draw them, especially once I realized the issues with their right foot. I love their big heads and slightly sassy pose.
So, I redrew the Sprites pose for my 365 paper doll project. I really don’t enjoy drawing paper doll figures, because I struggle with it so much. Figure drawing and I… have issues, but I do my best. I have a few body poses I feel like I can draw and an I tend to stick with those. I know my limitations.
As with all my paper dolls, these girls start in my sketchbook as pen and ink outlines. Once they are drawn, I scan them, clean them up and make them into paper dolls you can play with.
This year, these paper dolls are going to be for my patrons over on Patreon. At the end of the project, I’m not 100% sure what I will do with the resulting paper dolls, but I would like to maybe make them available through Etsy as a print product or digital download.
I’ve made Day 6 a public post, so you can see the style of these paper dolls up close and personal. Once each page is completed, I post it, write about it and make the color and coloring page versions available.
If you want to follow along, get a daily paper doll piece, and cheer on my progress, head over to Patreon and join as a 5 dollar or up subscriber. I’d love to have your support while I try to make 365 (okay it’s a leap year, so it really should be 366) pieces of paper doll clothing.
Questions? Comments? Leave me a comment and I’ll reply as soon as I can.
?I was inspired by Julie over at Paper Doll School who wrote a really nice post about her 2019 year and I thought, I should do that. I like the idea of doing that.
So, here I am, doing that very thing!
93 Paper Dolls were shared on the blog in 2019, which isn’t bad all things considered. Of those 93 paper dolls, 31 were dolls and 62 were clothing posts. The vast majority were Jewels and Gemstones, as I basically abandoned the 2019 Collaborative Paper Doll along the way. More on that in a few paragraphs.
I had an average of 3563 users per month. There’s some difference between the months were I was posting a lot and the months were I was posting less, but not as dramatic of a drop off as I would have anticipated. I need to think about what this means in the long run.
My most commented on post was my Lapis, cybergoth experiment. Beyond that, comments were way down this year on posts in general. I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but I definitely noticed the decrease. I think blogs are just not as strong of a medium as they once were, though I have no intention of giving this one up.
One thing I think is important to remember when I look at my blog stats is that all of my paper dolls are what is known as “evergreen” content. They don’t really go out of date, so this means that the longer a post is on the blog, then it has an advantage over new posts for being popular. I also think its interesting that a lot of my black and white paper dolls are more popular, over the long term, than my color ones.
Remarkably, I didn’t end this year hating the Jewels and Gemstones series with a passion. In fact, I ended it wanting to keep drawing for them. After my less than happy feelings about Dames and Dandies by the end of 2018, I was really happy that I was still enjoying working on the series once 2019 wrapped.
I actually submitted something to the Original Paper Doll Artists Guild this year. This has been a goal for… I have no idea how long, so I am super happy that I finally got my act together enough to complete the project. I’ll share here in more detail soon- maybe next week.
While Patreon didn’t grow massively, I loved doing my Friday Patron Outfits and I finally feel like I’ve found something I can sustain for my patrons. So, I’m super happy about that.
Additionally, on a personal note, after about 18 months of intense job hunting (and a lot of interviews), I landed a position back in my home state of Alaska. That meant leaving Alabama and driving up to Alaska with my partner. The fact that the blog even managed to run during this last half of the year amazes me.
Things That Could Have Gone Better
Shall we talk about the 2019 Collaborative Paper Doll?
First off, I have no one to blame on this one but myself. We decided on themes in 2018 and it’s not like I didn’t know what was up coming, but man I did not keep up this year. There were a lot of reasons for that, but mostly I just didn’t have time. At all.
Because of the disaster that was the collaborative paper doll in 2019, I don’t think I’ll be taking on one in 2020.
Additionally, I started a 100 day project, didn’t finish and told myself I would finish before the end of the year. However, my plans ran into a slight snag when… well… did you know that if you store a sketchbook in a dark navy cloth bag in a car and then drive to Alaska, things can happen. One of those thing is if there’s condensation and then… the dark blue ink will transfer onto the pages of the sketchbook?
I didn’t either, but I learned!
So, yeah, most of those drawing got pretty badly ruined in transit and I just didn’t have the heart to continue the project after that. A few were salvageable and will become product on Etsy in 2020.
Goals for 2020
Continue with the Jewels and Gemstones.
Work on my 365 (or should it be 366?) Paper Doll Project for my Patrons
Self Publish a Book/Other Print Product
Continue creating for the OPDAG magazine- Paper Doll Studio
One thing I am super excited to do in 2020 is get to share some of the Patreon Friday paper dolls I created in 2019. Not all of them, of course, but a few. My 2 dollar Friday Paper Doll Club folks got pretty close to 52 extra paper dolls (I did miss a week here or there with travel/moving/job interviews).
If you’d like to join the 2 dollar a month Friday Paper Doll Club it’s super easy. Just hop over to Patreon and sign up. The best part of signing up now is that you get access to all the paper doll outfits and dolls I created for 2019, which makes this an even better deal.
Inspiration for Today’s Printable Paper Doll
There’s a Japanese street fashion style called Qi Lolita. Lolita is a fantasy version of Victorian clothing. Qi Lolita is that same style crossed with traditional Chinese clothing. This dress provided both my source image and my color scheme, which is part of why I like it so much. It’s a very unusual color scheme for Lolita clothing and I really loved that about it. At least, I haven’t seen a lot in these colors, I might just not know the right brands to be looking at.
Last Thoughts on today’s Qi Lolita Paper Doll Dress
When I look back at a year of paper doll creations, there’s always one or two that I’m still pretty happy with. There’s also always one or two I’m sort of not sure about.
In deciding to offer a 2 dollar Friday Paper Doll Club to my patrons, I knew one perk would be that I would then recycle some of the content over the next year, allowing me to double the lifespan of some of my paper doll creations. So, I’m pretty happy to share today’s Qi Lolita paper doll dress and maybe entice a few of you to consider joining us over on Patreon.
This year I have decided to treat myself to a little winter vacation from the blog! Usually when I go on a hiatus it is because it’s an act of panic, but this year I decided to treat myself to a few weeks off.
I’ll see you all in January! I hope everyone has an amazing end to 2019 and takes good care of themselves. If you have holidays to celebrate, I hope you enjoy them.
PS: My Patrons (join us here!) will still be getting their paper dolls!