Flashback… Meet Riven… A Paper Doll I drew in 1999

I drew paper dolls when I was a child.

And after my apartment flooded, I found myself going through a lot of my childhood drawings checking for mold and water damage. Quite a few things were destroyed, but most of them were safely tucked away in plastic bins, protected from the water. I thought it might be fun to share some of them on the blog, since I often get emails from young people asking how to become better artists.

All I can say to that is practice. Practice. Practice. Also, take art classes when you’re in high school and have the time. Now that I’m out of high school, I regret not taking the figure drawing or the advanced water color courses that were offered.

Anyway, this is Riven. (I think I wanted to name her Raven, but there was a girl in school who was really mean to me named Raven, so I named her Riven instead.)

So, Tom Tierney was my favorite paper doll artist when I was a child and I admired his figures. This was my attempt at copying that style. She’s holding a brush, rather awkwardly, and brushing out her hair to cover her breasts modestly.

She has a streak of silver in her hair, but I don’t think it scanned that well. My first ever Tom Tierney paper doll was Christopher Columbus, bought for me by my sister when I was eight or nine, I think. She suggested that I not cut it out and I never have. It’s still sitting in my collection somewhere. I remember it had historical information about Columbus in it. I read all of that and then pestered by teacher about why we celebrated Columbus Day when Christopher Columbus was such a jerk.

I still have serious issues with Columbus Day, but that’s a whole different story.

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  1. I found your blog while doing a search for paper dolls and fell in love with you Marisole Monday dolls. The girls that I was looking for the paper dolls for also fell in love with them. We enjoy the historical and fantasy outfits that you make. Then I found your Gypsy Rose and was stunned. You have created a paper doll of my pirate character and her outfits. I thank you for her, though I am saddened that the men you have made for Marisole dose not feel like the same set. This has inspired me to make my own set of both genders and hopefully I will one day be able to share them with you. I hope that your new home inspires you to new ideas for your dolls, and protects you and your items from the world outside.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad you’ve found and enjoy the paper dolls. I agree there are serious problems with the boys of Marisole and Friends. They were drawn literally years after the original paper doll and I’ve never been pleased with them. (Hence why there are only two posted.)

  2. I love it! That makes me want to dig through my old paper dolls. I didn’t realize we had similar artistic beginnings, my first paper doll was Tom Tierney’s Confederate Family.

    1. I had that one too… and you should go dig through your old paper dolls. Going through mine was a trip. All I can say is that I had some weird fascination with crop tops and miniskirts when I was in middle school. All the paper dolls I drew look like street walkers to me today.

    1. I certainly don’t think so. As long as you’re not planning on selling her to make millions… I think it’s perfectly all right. I did that with commercial paper dolls when I was first learning to draw. Just remember to give credit to me or any other artist if you post her online or something.

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