Haitus Until October 17th

Haitus Until October 17th Banner

I don’t like working up against a deadline. Sometimes, deadlines are liberating, but feeling like you “HAVE” to do something isn’t really a great way for me to work creatively.

Having said that, I have had a flea bombing, a washer overflow and a lot of things in my life last week. I decided the best thing I could do both for the blog and for my mental health was to take some time off.

So, this is me taking a week off.

Now, I’ll still be active on Twitter @paperpersonas if you’d like to say Hi or see what I am up too.

See you all in a week!

Going Back to My Roots…

roots Lately, I have been loathing the blog.

Okay, okay. I know that sounds a little melodramatic- cue the violins, but seriously, it has been a slog for me for the last year.

I’ve been trying to sort out why.

I started this whirly-gig of fun back in 2008. I had just graduated college. I was single, living alone in Alaska, and working two jobs to make ends meet. In the evenings, I came home to my apartment (which was one of the nicest apartments I have ever had) and drew paper dolls.

I’ve been trying to sort out why I did that. Why I started this.

Here’s the story I normally tell people:

In 2008, during a long cold Alaskan winter, I got addicted to a blog called Liana’s Paper Doll Blog and I decided to start my own blog inspired by hers. It was a way of passing the time in the cold and dark.

There’s the problem with that story. It doesn’t address the “why” I did it.

Because it sure as heck wasn’t to make fame and fortune.

For nearly three hours last Saturday, my boyfriend and I discussed the blog. He asked me tons of great questions about why I started and what I liked. The whole conversation started with me stating, “I’m going to delete the blog.”

And him saying, “I don’t think you really want to do that.”

Why I Got into this Blog in the First Place…

  1.  I have a compulsive need to finish my work. Just drawing is not enough. I need to feel like I have “completed” something and the blog closes that loop for me
  2. In an effort to be more mainstream, I have diversified my content; however, I really didn’t get into this to write tutorials on how to draw or to talk about historical costume (though I love those things), I got into it to draw paper dolls.
  3. My readers don’t get to dictate what I do, so I should so what I want to do and if it pleases or displeases people, they can get over it.

So, things are going to change on Monday.

The New Plan Is….

Each Monday there will be a doll posted from one of my series and an outfit. Every day for the rest of the week, there will be another outfit or accessories. On Friday, I’ll post a round-up with another outfit and links to all the proceeding outfits.

The next week, I’ll do it all over again.

I hoping this new format will get me excited again about doing what I made the blog to do: Draw paper dolls.

It also removes the pressure of layout work which is actually one of the most time consuming parts of the paper doll process.

Process posts will continue, but they’ll be posted on my Patreon page. If you love the blog, than please consider supporting it. Shocking as this may sound, there are quite a lot of expenses involved in running this site.

And while I don’t know for certain that this new plan will cure my ennui about the blog, I can say this: I have been excited to draw for the first time in what feels like a long time and that has to be a good sign.

This is actually the format I had for the first two years of the blog, before the crash in 2009. It feels both good and a little strange to be returning to my roots like this, but I’m excited.

I hope y’all are excited, too.

And Then Everything Changed….

Having run the blog for six years, the time has come for some changes. So, things are going to be shifting around here. Please be patient while I get it all sorted.

Here’s a few things you can expect:

1. Monday’s are now paper doll days!

Every Monday, there will be a free paper doll. Sometimes, it’ll be a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll. Sometimes it won’t, but every Monday there will be a free paper doll. 

The truth is that the current schedule is NOT sustainable. I have come to realize that. So, I have deciding that going from 76 paper dolls a year to 52 is a logical first step in lowering my stress and maintaining my sanity. 

2. More Diverse Content

One of the things my month long break taught me was that I am simply getting a bit bored with paper dolls.

Now, I want to return to another passion- sewing dolls & doll clothes. So, I am going to use this blog as I used it many years ago to hold myself accountable to my art, I am going to use it to hold myself accountable again to my sewing. 

This  is a strange new journey I’m heading out on. I hope you’ll join me. 

meet_jack

As sewing will be coming to the blog, allow me to introduce: Jack the Seam Ripper. A good friend of mine who will, I suspect, make a lot of appearances here.

3. A New Patreon Scheme

The Patreon system is undergoing some changes. I haven’t got all that sorted, but “watch this space” as they say. 

4. A Continued Commitment to Regular Posting

I have learned so much from running a blog. I have learned, not just about drawing, but about SEO and Social Media and engagement. I have learned wonderful things. I am committed to keeping the blog updating regularly. And that isn’t going to change. 

I am happy to answer questions about these changes if anyone has one.

Hiatus for April

haitus-april-2016

So, as you might have guessed from the graphic, the blog will be in haitus from April 1st until March 2nd. I’m making this annoucement today, not tomorrow (the last day in March), because I know people expect a Wenesday post and I thought more people would see it.

Why a Haitus? You ask.

Well, I’ve been struggling to build up the sort of backlog of paper dolls I really need to maintain the schedule I want to maintain. Futhermore, there’s some complicated things going on in my life both personally and professionally. This will give me a month to work on backlog without having to worry about how I don’t have something ready for Monday or Friday.

It is my hope that the mental space will allow me to experiment with some new things.

When Will I return?

I’ll be back on Monday the 2nd of May with the usual Marisole Monday post.

Any questions or thoughts? Let me know.

You can still, of course, contact me via email at paperthinpersonas@gmail.com.

While you’re waiting for my return, why not check out some of the archives? There’s over 500 pages of paper dolls on the site, so there should be some you’re never seen. The Magnetic & Printable Paper Doll Index breaks them down by subject and theme, or you can just work through the monthly archives. Though the archives start with December 2009, there was no paper doll that month, so might I advise starting with January 2010.

A New Printable Paper Doll Series is Coming…

So, I have a rule.

Well, not a rule, but a guideline. I don’t start a new series unless I have at least six paper dolls ready to post for that series.

Six paper doll sets is a good minimum for two reasons.

Reason 1: Can I stand this style enough to draw six printable paper dolls?

Reason 2: Even if I decide I hate it, at least there are six and six isn’t a number to be ashamed of.

The Sprite paper doll series is going to replace the Pixies & Punks paper doll series in 2016 and I’ve been working on it quietly for quite a few months. It is basically the same two poses redrawn- something I have wanted to do for ages.

The series will feature both male paper dolls and female paper dolls. The plan is to go one for one- so for every female paper doll there will be a male paper doll in the same theme. For example, if there is a male elven warrior than there will be a female elven warrior for the next post. If there is a female mermaid than there is a male mermaid for the next post.

sprite-preview-2

Zacahry showing off his mohawk. In the future, everyone will have mohawks.

The first paper doll to go up will be Zachary. There are two different version of Zachary at the moment. One is a cyberpunk version and the other is a more normal casual version.

The second paper doll will be Yukimo who also has a casual version and a cyber version.

Yukimo showing off her futuristic wardrobe and her sexy leaf bra. In the future, everyone will have leaf bras.

Yukimo showing off her futuristic wardrobe and her sexy leaf bra. In the future, everyone will have leaf bras.

I plan to name the paper dolls in reverse alphabetical order.

Right now, I have drawn Zachary, Yumiko, Xavier and Willow.

It is also my plan to reuse the same paper doll faces over and over again- not unlike my Mini-Maidens and Marisole Monday & Friends.

So, there maybe five or six Yumiko printable paper dolls one day. That day maybe a ways off.

Each of the paper doll set titles will include the name of the paper doll- so  these cyberpunk sets are named Zachary Goes Cyber and Yumiko- Digital Girl.

And that is all I really have to share about that so far. It is an ongoing project, of course.

Thoughts about the new series? Share them in the comments.

Love the blog? Support it on Patreon.

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.

Announcement: Paper Doll Round-Robin

I am super excited to be making this announcement. Julie, of Paper Doll School, and I are hosting a paper doll round robin. We have our model drawn thanks to Julie, but she desperately needs gowns to wear to the Halloween Masquerade Ball!

Won’t you help her?masquerade-doll

How this Works

Step 1: Download the Paper Doll PDF File

Step 2: Print the file at Full Size or Open the file with your favorite graphics editor.

Step 3: Draw a fantastic masquerade gown. It can be in color or black and white. No judgement here. Just create something that inspires you.

Step 4. Save or scan your gown at 300 dpi as a JPG or PNG. (This part is important to I can make sure all the gowns are high quality for the finished set.)

Step 4: Email your gown to me at paperthinpersonas@gmail.com  or Julie at jamatthews@ymail.com before Midnight (Eastern Time) on the 24th of October. Be sure to include how you’d like to be credited and if you want to say something about your design, than tell us that too!

Step 5: Wait until the 31st of October when Julie and I will post the finished gowns and the doll, all ready to attend the Masquerade Ball!

See? That isn’t so hard.

We hope lots of people will come play with us and join in the fun, so please consider creating a gown for our Lady of the ball. 🙂

If you have any questions, please just ask in a comment. This is going to be so much fun.

Farewell to the Showcase!

So, remember how on Friday I said there were going to be changes… Well, this is one of them.

The time has come to say a sad farewell to the Showcase.

I have been horrible about updating it and when I went through my email to clean it up a few months ago, I found dozens of things that people had sent me and I had done nothing with. I felt rather guilty and then decdeed it was time for the Showcase to go.

There is now a Pinterest board called “PTP Paper Doll Sightings.” I’ve seen a few pattern designers use this method for showing off the work of people who had made their patterns and I thought it was a great idea.

Follow Rachel’s board PTP Paper Doll Sightings on Pinterest.

It is so much easier for me to just download the image from my email and post it up onto Pinterest. No fuss, no muss and I get to share things that people don’t send me, but I find around the internet where my art has been featured in various ways. Plus I can link to others sites very easily which lets them get some credit too. So, go check it out and let me know if there is anything I should add to it.

I will probably still do posts of readers creations once in a while on the blog, but I’ll update the Pinterest board much more regularly. I have been testing it for the last few weeks and it has performed admirably. So, feel free to go follow it and see how people have colored and used my art. 🙂

Miss Missy’s Fresh Fruit Fashion Contest

So, Miss Missy who runs a wonderful paper doll blog of her own over at Miss Missy Paper Dolls is currently hosting a contest where you design an outfit set on something like Polyvore or Pinterest and then she will let people vote on the winner and draw the fashions for this cute little paper doll.

While I am not the most Polyvore savy person, I did two designs. I submitted my favorite, but thought I would share my other one as a way to encourage people to participate.

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And no… I am not being asked to do this. I just think it’s such a cool idea that I wanted to mention it. The deadline is July 30 though, so create fast!

You can read all about it on Miss Missy’s Fresh Fruit Fashion Contest post.

Edit 7/30/2015: Missy has extended the deadline to August 7th and updated the rules and prizes. You can read all about it here.