The Vivian Project: Redrawing Childhood

Today, I am pleased to announce that my Patreon support page is live. So, if you’d like to donate to support Paper Thin Personas, this is one way you can do so. Feel free to support at any level you’d like, because all is appreciated. However, for those of you who support at 5 dollars a month, you get to join the Vivian Project.

What, you might ask, is the Vivian project? Well… let me explain.

vivian-tin

I moved recently and part of the moving process was going through my massive collection of every single paper doll I ever drew as a child. Some I kept. Some I tossed and then, at the bottom of a box, I found Vivian.

Viviean lives in a cookie tin and she was a huge part of my youth and now I am going to re-draw her. Viviean began in June of 1998, but I have no idea when I stopped drawing clothing for her. I think sometime around freshmen year of high-school, maybe a little longer.

Viviean was traced from an advertisement (I think in Seventeen or something) for a prom dress designing contest. I did not enter the contest, but I used their little fashion figure to create a paper doll for whom I drew over 200 outfits.

vivian-doll-overview

How do I know that? Because I literally indexed her whole collection on pieces of paper. Each outfit is numbered on the back and there is a corresponding description of the outfit on one of the pages of clothing index. Each set of outfits, usually five, were placed in a small envelope and sub-labeled such as “Futuristic Fashions” or “History Lesson 1910-1940”. Seriously, I should have known I was destined to be a librarian once I started indexing my own paper dolls.


vivian-outfit-02 vivian-outfit-144
Viviean is has an outfit for just about every occasion a person might ever find themselves in. (And a few, I doubt anyone would likely find themselves in.) For formal occasions, she might slip on Outfit #2: “Long dark blue ball dress with whiet (white) gloves”. I tried to get the gloves to stay on, but they didn’t fit very well.

Or if she feels like rocking out, she has Outfit #144, part of the Rock Star Clothing set, including “a very short leather jacket, yellow dress and black boots.” I didn’t see a short leather jacket in the envelope though, so perhaps it has gone missing? Or maybe it got misfiled?


vivian-outfit-174 vivian-outfit-156
After being a rock star, Vivian might need to relax by slipping into into Outfit #174, “a yellow-green terri (terry) cloth bath rope (bathrobe).” I clearly struggled with spelling at that age. Actually, I still can’t spell worth a darn, but that’s why there is spellcheck.

And if after relaxing, she wants to fight bandits, than Outfit #156 “Xena- brown leather top with gold decoration” is available. I love the tiny chakra.

vivian-screen-capture

The New Vivian paper doll in progress.

The process of re-drawing Viviean into the new Vivian has been fun. She has the same hair, a very similar pose and the same bright pink and lime green swimsuit of her former-self. She’s different as well, because I’ve changed as an artist a lot since Viviean was created. Vivian isn’t a copy, exactly. I think of her more as an “ode” to who I was when I drew her all those years ago.

So, why do all this? Well, because I have wanted too for a long time, but also because I was looking for a project that I could do with my Patreon subscribers. So, if you would like to get involved, you can.

If you choose to join the Vivian Project than every month you’ll receive a redrawn outfit (or two) from the original Vivean clothing collection and, of course, a Vivian doll of your very own.

One month you might receive Outfit #6, a fuchsia above the knee length dress, and then next month you might get Outfit #164, a dress meant to represent the fall with leaves on top, a wreath and cloak, colored orange/red. Patrons will get to vote on the dresses that will be included sometimes and sometimes I’ll just pick something I think is fun to work on. Either way, there will be two versions of each outfit. One is a redraw of the original and other my sense of how I would draw the same concept today.

For twenty-five dollars a month, you’ll get to customize a “Friend of Vivian” paper doll by picking out her face, hair style, skin tone, hair color, and eye color. So, if you want a freckled blue haired paper doll, than this is your chance. There are over a hundred options for that customized paper doll.

There’s other support levels too from one dollar up and beyond. No pressure, of course, as I’ve said before. If you have to choose between something like rent or paper dolls- choose rent! The blog isn’t going anywhere.

Support me here if you’d like. Thank you.

Questions? Ask in a comment or send me an email.

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9 Responses to The Vivian Project: Redrawing Childhood

  1. boots says:

    i am still on sabbatical (and living on tea and oatmeal these days), but hopefully in the coming year i’ll be able to bump up my pledge to the Vivian level (though, i gotta admit, i can’t help but think of Darger’s Vivian Girls whenever i hear that name and it kinda creeps me out ~ ha!).

    anyway, i wish you luck with this endeavor! can’t wait for all the exciting things to come!

  2. This is a great project. I did a similar project when I started my blog.

    • RLC says:

      I am disturbingly excited at doing this project. It’s going to be really fun, plus I found some genuinely weird outfits I drew for Viviean back in the day.

  3. Cthy says:

    Very excited for Vivian! Sounds like so much fun! The only request I have, though, is that I really think we should get a video of the happy dance when it happens! LOL!

  4. Grace says:

    wow that is an awsome find!

  5. Julie says:

    This is a brilliant idea! Vivian looks great 🙂 And for the record, no one every outgrows toys. They just become young collectors — that’s why I have a hundred Barbies in my basement… Good luck on this new project!

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