Valentine’s Day Paper Dolls from Paper Thin Personas

Valentine’s Day in on Sunday and while I won’t be drawing a “new” paper doll for it this year, I wanted to share the Vantine’s Day paper dolls I’ve drawn for it in the past. Instead on Friday, we’re going Post-Apocolytpic and I think we can agree that after the end of Civilization, there will be no time for Valentine’s Day.

(This was not my cosmic plan, but life just worked out that way this year… I’ll try to make it up with other successful holiday paper dolls.)

So, I love drawing Valentine’s Day paper dolls, because I think it’s a wonderful excuse to draw hearts and make things cute and pink and over the top. I really really enjoy getting to play with my more girly-side when I draw these sorts of paper dolls.

Valentine’s Day Paper Dolls

Click on the image it will take you to the paper doll post where you can download and print a PNG or a PDF file

The paper dolls featured here are (left to right):  Valentine’s Day (two color schemes), Victoria: A Valentine’s Day Paper Doll, Happy Valentine’s Day, Valentina, and Celebrate Valentine’s Day

My favorite of all these paper dolls is Victoria, my nod to old 1900s Valentines, but don’t tell the others. I wouldn’t want to induce paper doll jealousy.

Obviously, the Poppets paper doll outfit for ‘Celebrate Valentine’s Day’ needs a paper doll to wear it, so here’s where you can find all the Poppets dolls.

Anyone have big plans for Valentine’s Day? (Mine involve a nice dinner at home and maybe some TV.)

Summer Garden: A Paper Doll and Her Clothing

logo-floral-marisole-color I love color. I have teal dining room chairs, after all and a red cabinet in my dining room that holds my larger serving dishes. My favorite sweater is lime green and very fuzzy. I call it the Mountain Dew sweater. The point I am trying to make is that if I have the choice between neutrals and a color- you can pretty much count on me picking out a color. And this helps explain why I decided to go so bright and rich with Marisole’s paper doll clothing.

Someone, I think it was Boots, remarked that she was picturing a lot of yellow and green. Well, she wasn’t wrong… Yellow and Green are definitely here. I wanted color in this paper doll set- the sort of vibrant colors I love in flowers when they are in full bloom. Of course, right now it’s cold and damp here in Alabama, but eventually it won’t be and then the bright colors of spring and summer with come.

And I can complain about the heat on this blog, thereby continuing my theme of never being happy about the weather. (Though I suppose this isn’t true, I do enjoy Spring in Alabama.)

summer-garden-paper-doll-color

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One of my grand frustrations with Marisole’s pose is that you can’t actually layer a long sleeved top under a skirt and expect the skirt to stay on the doll, because of her right arm which is against her stomach. This is one of the annoyances that occurs to me when I am designing mix and match paper doll clothing for her and I want to do things that just won’t work.

I’d scrap the series and redraw, but it is uber hard to give up something that I’ve been doing for six years. There are about 240 Marisole Monday & Friend’s posts on the blog. It is my most popular series and so I feel a little bound to it. It’s also a tiny bit weird to be working on something I drew over six years ago. I remember drawing the first Marisole doll. I was in grad school sitting in the library killing time between class and when I had to go to work.

And now I live in a totally different state and she’s still around. Kinda crazy, honestly.

(Don’t fear, I don’t plan on getting rid of Marisole Monday & Friend‘s anytime soon. Just thoughts about the paper doll series.)

As always, I love hearing comments from readers and, if you want to support the blog, here’s the Patreon page for it.

And Happy New Year to those celebrating the Year of the Monkey!

Víctor in the Afternoon: Casual Guy’s Paper Doll Clothes

One of several paper dolls for boys on the blog, Victor is a young man with a casual wardrobe. He's free to print in color or black and white from Paperthinpersonas.comFor the last Sprite paper doll for a while, I am pleased to introduce Víctor. Víctor is one of the guy Sprite paper dolls. When I draw guy or male paper dolls, I try to think about what paper dolls for boys might look like. I confess that I don’t have sons and I don’t really know what they are into, but it seems to be that the sort of pretend play that paper dolls encourage is just as important for boys as it is for girls.

I will confess that since I was once a little girl, and I was never a little boy, knowing what exactly paper dolls for boys should contain or what paper doll sets that might appeal to boys should contain, is rather hard for me.

Still, I figure all kids like realism in their toys, so I try to be at least as realistic to guy’s clothing as I can be considering that I find guy’s clothing pretty darn boring.

One of several paper dolls for boys on the blog, Victor is a young man with a casual wardrobe of seven pieces. He's free to print in black and white from Paperthinpersonas.com

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Víctor here is, in my head anyway, a young man, maybe from Mexico or Argentina. So, in my head, Víctor  is Latino, but of course, he can be anything you feel like making him. After all, the things we create don’t behave themselves.

His clothing is a mix of casual pieces that the guys I know tend to wear. T-shirts, pants, shorts and a baseball cap. I like to give paper-dolls sandals in their first set, because sandals are very skin-tone dependent.

I will confess that I am little embarrassed by how out of proportion his novel is.  Maybe it’s a very tiny novel…

One of several paper dolls for boys on the blog, Victor is a young man with a casual wardrobe of jeans and t-shirts. He's free to print in color from Paperthinpersonas.com

{Download a PDF to Print and Color} {Download a PNG to Print and Color} {More Sprite Printable Paper Dolls}

As with all the paper dolls in the Sprite series, Víctor can share clothing with Xavier & Zachary.

I do have one more Sprite paper doll mostly finished, but I think I’ll save her for a later date. After all, there are other paper doll series on this blog that need love, too!

As usual, you can support the blog through Patreon. I also wanted to say “Hello” to any new readers who found me through my Viking paper doll which went a little viral on Facebook, or so I have been told.

(Confession- I do not actually have a Facebook page.)

So next Friday, there will be a post- apocalyptic Buxom & Bodacious set and then I haven’t decided between Mini-Maidens or Ms. Mannequin. What do y’all think?

Summer Garden: A Paper Doll Dress Up Set

A black and white paper doll dress up set of sixteen pieces including two pairs of shoes, five tops, two dresses, two skirts, two pairs of pants and two pairs of shoes. Normally, I try not to post two fashion paper doll sets in a row, but somehow my life just didn’t let me finish up the other sets I had hoped to have done. Sometime’s life is like that, so for today’s paper doll dress up, you’ll just have to live with another contemporary fashion set.

A lot of these pieces are based on things from fashion magazines.

One of my goals with this set was to use more pattern on each piece. So, I decided to focus on floral patterns. It was fun to create the patterns for these pieces. Of all of the different pieces, my favorite is the drop waisted floral dress. (The polkadot covered jeans are a close second, I confess. They are based on a pair owned by my sister.)

I will openly confess that I really don’t remember everything I was thinking when I designed this set, except that I really wanted to play with pattern. See? Not very set has a deep philosophical story behind it.

A black and white paper doll dress up set of sixteen pieces including two pairs of shoes, five tops, two dresses, two skirts, two pairs of pants and two pairs of shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

I’m not sure exactly what season this clothing would really work for. I mean, the turtlenecks are much more autumnal, but the florals are certainly a summer thing. I gave it the title Summer Garden, so I guess it’s summery?

A friendly reminder that if you like the blog and you’d like to support it, I do have a Patreon page where you can donate to keep things around here up and running. It’s also home to the Vivian Project.

I’m also pleased to show off my draft version of my new paper doll index page. It’s still being tweaked, so I’d love to hear what people think of it as well.

Yumiko’s Spring Styles: A Paper Doll to Print

logo-yumiko-sping-fashionI have been thinking about spring, but it feels a long away off. Even here in Alabama where the winters are so mild compared to what I have experienced in Alaska and the Midwest. Still, today’s paper doll to print is celebrating the possibility of warm spring fashions.

As I mentioned back when I first introduced the Sprite paper dolls, I want to establish a limited collection of dolls who will get outfits much like the Marisole Monday & Friends and the Mini-Maidens. So, this is the second Yumiko paper doll to print.

I figured after her foray into cyberpunk, the she deserved a chance to be a little more casual. I think her casual wardrobe is a little disconnected. I love all the pieces by themselves, but together they feel less the cohesive. I am getting over my mixed feelings by reminding myself that eventually there will be other Sprite paper dolls with casual clothes she can share with.

paper-doll-yumiko-spring-style-bw

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I struggled a bit to select colors for today’s paper doll to print. I am, personally, a lover of color. In the end, I settled on black as the neutral (though I worry with this paper doll’s black curls does that make too much black?) and pale blue as the other neutral.  The patterned blouse over the striped skirt caused some problems since the complicated patterned needed a lot of colors to look right, but I think maybe the chose to many different colors for this collection? I think that’s adding to the lack of cohesion that is bothering me so much.

paper-doll-yumiko-spring-style-color

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So, clearly, in case you couldn’t notice, I’ve got mixed feelings about today’s Sprite paper doll. Don’t get me wrong. There are things I love about her- those blouses, that darling purse with the tassel, her cute red shorts. But she feels… a tiny bit discombobulated.

Oh well, not every paper doll is perfect and if I only posted the paper dolls I was “totally in love with”, than I rather suspect I wouldn’t ever post anything at all.

More paper dolls live here and there are also more Sprite paper dolls– in case you want to get to dress up like an elf for a while or want to print out some friends.

Also, if you love the blog and want to help it keep going- support it through Patreon. There’s a special behind the scenes blog, perviews of sets, and I am way more likely to make patron requests, because… well, they are giving me money. So, consider joining up– it’s a fun group.

What do you think of Yumiko? Let me know in a comment.

Alice in Wonderland Paper Dolls

Oh, Alice… How I adore you and have for many years. Today is Lewis Carroll’s Birthday and I thought I would honor it with a showcase of the Alice in Wonderland Paper Dolls which have appeared on the blog. (The actual title of the book is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but it has been shorted so often that everyone seems to call it Alice in Wonderland.)

I still remember my Mother reading me and my sister Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland when we were children. I have an Alice paper doll set reprint from Ladies’ Home Journal that I keep framed on my wall. So, you might say, Alice and I have a long history together.

Alice paper dolls… well, I have drawn a few.

And chances are that I will draw more. There is something about Alice that I find myself returning to over again. It’s odd, actually, because are large amount of the humor in Alice is about Victorian educational practices that we are long removed from. Still, I think there is always a place for nonsense in childhood and adulthood.

Alice in Wonderland Paper Dolls

Click on the image it will take you to the paper doll post where you can download and print a PNG or a PDF file. 

The paper dolls featured here are (left to right): In Wonderland (black and white), In Wonderland (color), Shadow & Light #8- Alice & the Mad Hatter, Alice: Modern Edition and Curves: Down a Rabbit Hole. 

So, my question to all of you of is this: Do you like Alice In Wonderland? Is there another Victorian piece of children’s literature, you prefer?

Should I keep drawing Alice or just get over it? :)

Essential Elegance: A Fashion Paper Doll in Color

Essential Elegance is a beautiful black paper doll with short hair and a 16 piece wardrobe including accessories.I’ll be among the first to confess that I am pretty matchy-matchy in my own dressing. I do want my shoes to match my purse and my belt. I realize that’s horribly old fashioned, but I just can’t help it. Unless I’m carrying like teal bag and then I can have on any shoes I want, but if I have a brown bag and black shoes, than I spend the whole day feeling discombobulated. (Dumb, perhaps, but true.) Anyway, I tend towards the same tendencies when designing paper doll clothes.

I think part of it is that the better the colors in the paper doll’s clothes match, than the more outfit options open up. It’s an issue of “playability” in my head. I want every Marisole Monday & Friends set to have a doll and paper doll clothes that could stand alone and be fun by itself. I mean, we all have gotten paper doll sets and cut them all out and then be sad when we realize that really there’s only a few clothing options.

However, I also want every set to be able to share with the other sets. That’s the main reason why, for example, all the Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls share the same pose. If they can’t share than what’s the point?

Essential Elegance is a beautiful black paper doll with short hair and a 16 piece wardrobe including accessories. Free to Print from paperthinpersonas.com

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When selecting colors for today’s Monica paper doll, I close to go with a lighter brown for her skin, because I liked how it looks with the lime green. The red top and the white dress were the two pieces that inspired the whole set of paper doll clothes, so it wasn’t hard to decide to keep them their base colors. The blue was choosen to tone down the bright red and it’s strong contrast with the bright green.

Personally, my favorite part of the set is how the white and black booties came out, but that’s just me.

As always, I’d love to hear what anyone things in the comments and if you like the blog, support it on Patreon.

Willow: Elven Paper Doll Fantasy

Willow In the Woods: An Elven fantasy paper doll with a six piece wardrobe. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com Today’s Sprite is and elven paper doll named Willow in honor of Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (More on that later.) I was the biggest Buffy fan when I was in middle-school and early highschool. I stopped watching around season five, I think. Though I keep trying to get through the later seasons, the show gets so darn depressing.

As with many of my fantasy paper dolls, I try to think about “setting” when I designed these outfits. I have decided both of these elves (Xavier and Willow) are warriors, so Willow has armor to go under her silken tunics and a bow as well. I was also thinking about Ancient Grecian tunics when designing these paper doll pieces. Sure, they’re not really practical, but we all know how I feel about practicality and paper dolls. (Never the two shall meet.)

Willow In the Woods: An elven paper doll with a six piece wardrobe. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, I drew this elven paper doll set and then I colored it and then I was like, “Man, she kinda looks like that elf chick from the new Hobbit movies.” (The character is named Tauriel, but I had to look that up.)

So, then I nearly re-colored the whole set feeling like I wasn’t trying to make my elf look like someone else’s elf and then I decided that I had wanted to make her a redhead ever since I named her in honor of Willow Rosenberg from Buffy:The Vampire Slayer and no random elf chick from a rather bad movie was going to stop me.

Willow In the Woods: An Elven fantasy paper doll with red hair and a six piece wardrobe. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, as I mentioned with Xavier last week, Willow is the third doll in the Sprite paper doll series. She can, fo course, share clothing with Yumiko and any future female Sprite paper dolls.

There will be other Willow paper dolls, so they won’t all be elves, but that’s what I’ve started with.

I have realized there are five Friday’s in January. So, should I end January with a non-Sprite or should I have a Sprite in the beginning of February? Since they always come in pairs. Let me know thoughts in the comments.

Interview with Paper Studio Press Founder Jenny Taliadoros

The Paper Studio Press LogoJenny Taliadoros is the publisher and founder of Paper Studio Press. You can purchase Paper Studio Press books through Paper Doll Review (where I buy a lot of paper dolls for my collection), Amazon or the Paper Studio Press, directly. Paper Studio Press has published some of the paper doll artist greats including Tom Tierney, Marilyn Henry, David Wolfe, Jim Howard, Brenda Sneathen Mattox, Norma Lu Meehan, Judy M Johnson, Sandra Vanderpool, Eileen Rudisill Miller, Bruce Patrick Jones and Charlotte Whatley. Taliadoros is also an editor of the Paper Doll Review Magazine and Paper Doll Studio Magazine, which is the publication of the Original Paper Doll Artist’s Guild (OPDAG).

Plus, she’s really nice. :)

I contacted Jenny last year, around the same time I spoke to Dover Publishing. My original goal was to get this Q&A published in December, but that month turned out to be far more crazy than I intended. Plus, my visitor numbers always plummet in December and I thought this was an important post to go up when my readership was high. After all, Paper Studio Press is one of the only paper doll publishers in the United States today.

A Q&A Session With Jenny Taliadoros & Paper Studio Press

Did you play with paper dolls as a kid? And what were your favorites if you did?

Yes! I sure did. Most of my paper doll memories take place at my grandma’s house. We’d cut out paper dolls together, and in fact, she’s the one who taught me how to correctly cut paper dolls, “Keep the scissors steady in one hand while turning the paper in the other.” I had several antique fashion paper dolls that I loved and some contemporary characters of the time (1970s): “Denim Deb,” “Freckles and Sniffles,” and “The Sunshine Family.”

When did Paper Studio Press start publishing paper dolls? Roughly, how many paper doll titles are published in a year?

Classic Fairy Tales Paper Dolls in Historical Fashion by Brenda Sneathen Mattox, published by Paper Studio Press

Classic Fairy Tales Paper Dolls in Historical Fashion by Brenda Sneathen Mattox

I started Paper Studio Press in 2005, not only to give collectors more access to paper dolls, but to create a new avenue for paper doll artists to get their work published. Through the Paper Doll Studio magazine, which I had been publishing for OPDAG, The Original Paper Doll Artists Guild, since 1991, I was already in touch with many talented paper doll artists. So with my new publishing venture, I was thrilled to work with so many of these wonderful artists and get more of their paper doll art on the market. I publish 12-16 books a year, most are beautifully illustrated by artists of today, while some are reproductions of vintage paper doll books of the past.

How do you select which paper doll titles to publish? Has the Internet changed any of this selection process?

I try to match subjects with the strength of each artist. For example, Brenda Sneathen Mattox is a vintage fashion expert and beautifully renders antique fashions, so her titles for PSP include “The Changing Shape of Fashion,” “Love of Lace,” and “Classic Fairy Tales in Historical Fashion.”

Femme Fatales of the Film Noir Paper Dolls by David Wolfe published by Paper Studio Press

Femme Fatales of the Film Noir Paper Dolls by David Wolfe

David Wolfe, a renowned fashion illustrator and trend forecaster, is an authoritarian on classic movie stars so he’s done numerous star books such as Ava Gardner, Donna Reed, Debbie Reynolds, Veronica Lake and Doris Day. He’s also done several paper doll books, containing special collections of film costumes such as “Hollywood Goes to Paris” and “Hollywood Style of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s.

I don’t think the Internet helps me choose paper doll topics; however, it certainly helps in researching content for paper dolls!

There are very few paper doll publishers left in the United States, how do you see paper doll publishing shifting in the future?

As the population ages, I’m afraid the younger generations are not as willing to collect paper dolls, in book form anyway. With online options like Pinterest, people can create their own virtual collections of paper dolls. Also, it’s easy to find free downloadable/printable paper dolls online, making it less necessary to buy printed books. But I hope we can continue to find that niche market so we can continue publishing books for many years (if not decades) ahead.

Paper Studio Press also publishes reprints of vintage paper doll books. How do you select what vintage titles to reprint?

First and foremost, the art must be very well done and it must have an appealing cover design. The subject can range from sophisticated fashions to cute kids. The title must also clear copyright, and when doing a movie star reproduction that can be tricky. In some cases I’ve paid a licensing fee to reproduce a vintage star book. There are some grey areas in republishing and it’s important to do proper research and consult with an intellectual copyright attorney.

Can you outline the paper doll publishing process? Does Paper Studio Press accept unsolicited submissions?

COUTURE: The Many Faces of the 1920s by Jim Howard published by Paper Studio Press

COUTURE: The Many Faces of the 1920s by Jim Howard

The publishing process always starts with a creative concept. It could be a specific topic for a book or an idea for a series of books. Much of the time I present a topic to an artist. If he or she is excited about the idea I then prepare a contract which outlines the scope of the project and grants Paper Studio Press the right to publish the work. Once I receive the artwork everything gets scanned into Photoshop. At this point I might have to add page layout elements, add tabs to costumes and complete a cover design. The entire book is set up in a page layout program. The final stage is to create a high res PDF which I send to my printer. Because I feel it’s important to have our books printed in the USA, I work with a local printer in Maine.

Regarding unsolicited submissions, this doesn’t work so well with my publishing company. Although we’ve published nearly 130 titles, we’re still considered small with a small budget. Because I’m not able to pay artists high fees, it’s imperative that I have a good working relationship with my artists and that they truly enjoy the projects they do for my publishing company. So I feel it’s important to build a rapport with an artist before we agree to publish a book.

Do you have any advice for aspiring paper doll artists?

A Steampunk Tale: Paper Dolls and Storybook by Charlotte Whatley, Paper Studio Press

A Steampunk Tale: Paper Dolls and Storybook by Charlotte Whatley

It’s important to get your work out there. Set up a website or blog to show off your paper dolls. If you want to sell them, try Etsy or Ebay or even your own e-store. I recommend starting with self-publishing. Get copies made at a local printshop or office supply store and sell paper dolls as individual sheets or sets or as stapled books. Join OPDAG (The Original Paper Doll Artists Guild) and share your work in the pages of our magazine, “Paper Doll Studio.” If possible, attend regional paper doll parties/events or the national paper doll convention. Visit http://opdag.com/convention.html for more info.

What do you believe makes for a successful paper doll book?

Having the right topic is key. There’s a big fan base out there for classic films so we’ve done very well with our classic star books, especially Doris Day, Marilyn Monroe, Esther Williams and Bette Davis. There’s also a big nostalgia market, so we’ve had success with titles such as Cinderella, Nancy Drew, Rosie the Riveter and Fun With Grandma. Paper doll collectors also love fashion history, brides and royalty, so we’ve done dozens of books representing those subjects. No matter what the topic the book must be well illustrated, with an attractive cover design.


Again, a big thank you to Jenny Taliadoros for her willingness to talk about paper dolls with me.

Questions? Comments? A favorite paper doll book from Paper Studio Press? Let us all know in a comment.

My favorite is Classic Fairy Tales Paper Dolls in Historical Fashion, because the Little Mermaid done in 1920s fashion makes me happier than any normal person should be made happy over a paper doll set, but I’ll confess I have a long list of paper doll titles from Paper Studio Press that I down own yet and I want. So, Classic Fairy Tales Paper Dolls in Historical Fashion might get a run for its money once I have a few more. :)

 

Essential Elegance: Fashion Paper Doll Celebrating Minimalism

A black fashion paper doll celebrating minimalism with a 15 piece wardrobe of contemporary styles. Let me start with something wonderfully basic about my paper dolls: I do not believe paper dolls should be frumpy. Okay, maybe if that’s the theme you’re going for, than I suppose they can be. However, I think paper dolls about fashion should, you know, actually be fashionable. So, if I am going to draw fashion paper dolls, I am going to try to actually pick a fashion style and go for it.

Way to many “fashion model” paper doll sets end up with rather horrible outfits. I mean, I get it. They are for kids and, let’s be honest, kids have ideas of fashion that are a little unsophisticated. Being not a kid, I feel like fashion and paper dolls should combine to make something delightful.

And, of course, fun to play with.

All this brings us to Monica who is rocking a fantastic wardrobe of minimalist pieces from the Fall Fashion magazines. I’ve done one minimalist fashion paper doll before- Mia Goes Minimalist. I think Monica’s outfits are a little more fancy than Mia’s were.

A black fashion paper doll celebrating minimalism with a 15 piece wardrobe of contemporary styles. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com

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I suppose if you weren’t feeling minimalist, than these could also fall into the futuristic fashion category (especially the dress on the far right). I confess that dress, which I think was in InStyle, inspired the whole paper doll set. Not gonna lie. I just wanted an excuse to draw it.

I do feel like I’ve drawn a few of these pieces “before”, but then I suppose since I’ve gotten to something like 200 Marisole Monday & Friends designs, if things didn’t feel familiar than I would be doing something wrong. (Also, how many ways can you draw a pair of simple trousers? Not that many.)

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to everyone in the US! I’d say this paper doll was thematic, but I really don’t think she is.

Anyhow, I’m always up for feedback in the comments and, of course, do please support the blog if you love it through Patreon.