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 Guide to Marisole Monday & Her Friends!

Recently, I was asked by a reader named Amy asked me to explain the various Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls who I refer to by name. So, I have decided to post this little guide today to explain each of the different paper dolls.

The truth is that the names are just a way for me to refer to faces which I use over and over again. It is not as though I have written little backstories for each of them or anything. It is just a better method than refering to them as numbers or Greek Letters like some sort of paper doll SWAT team.

“Alpha paper doll, this is Delta, do you hear me?” “Stat.” Okay… I digress. (But now really want a paper doll SWAT team.)

When I first introduced Marisole Monday, I had no intention that there was ever going to be more “faces” or base dolls added, but well… things evolve over six years, don’t they?

So, here we have the guide to the Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls.

 

The Ladies

 

Marisole Monday

Debuted January 11, 2010
3
I feel fairly strongly that the whole Marisole Monday & Friend’s series wouldn’t exist without Marisole Monday, the first of the paper dolls. After I drew her, I thought she looked like Halle Berry. While Marisole’s had every skin color from blue to brown, I will always think of her like I think of Halle Berry- as a smart, sassy, beautiful woman of color. I can’t help it. These days I only give her fair skin at the request of readers on custom paper dolls, otherwise I prefer her to have brown skin like her inspiration.

Her name is spelled Marisole, not Marisol, because I actually didn’t realize that it wasn’t spelled Marisole, normally, for over a year and than it was far to late to change it. 🙂 Her last name is Monday, because I always planned to post her on Mondays.

Picking just a few favorite Marisole Monday sets is almost impossible for me, but I do love In the 1910s (color), Sweet Cream (black and white), Vintage Evening Gowns (color)Pattern & Grace (black and white) and Under the Big Top (color).


Mia

Debuted April 25, 2011

Mia of Marisole Monday & Friends. Mia was Marisole’s first friend. I created Mia at the request of a reader who wanted a Chinese Street Fashion paper doll. I have gotten far more comfortable drawing Asain features since I created Mia (specifically eyes with epicanthic folds), but then I first drew Mia was totally nervous. I remember carefully observing Asian students on the bus at my grad school and doodling their faces in a little notebook I carried. More than a few noticed, but no one asked me to stop.

Of all the paper dolls, Mia has gone through the most minor alterations over the years as her eyes have been adjusted, she’s had a tiny nose job and a few other things. At this point, I finally feel pretty good about how she looks.

A few of my favorite Mia sets include Guardian at the Gate (color), Visiting A Bathing Place (black and white), Southwest Boho (color)Ragamuffin Girl (black and white), and An Elven Empress (color).


Margot

Debuted January 14, 2013

Margot of Marisole Monday & FriendsI drew Margot so I could stop giving Marisole fair skin when I wanted to create a white paper doll. I never liked how Marisole looked with fair skin and since I’ve always thought of Marisole as black, it bothered me to give her light skin. Margot solved this problem.

Not unsurprisingly, she debuted with red hair and freckles as part of an 1860s historical set.

A few of my favorite Margot sets include Lilies & Birds (color), Lady at Court (black and white), Twirling Majorette (black and white), A Coastal Princess (color) and In Wonderland (color).


Monica

Debuted February 10, 2014

5Monica was originally going to be named Magnolia, until an observant reader reminded me that I had already used that name. Opps.

Monica’s face was a complete re-draw, rather than just a alteration of features or a new pair of eyes. She was inspired by African supermodels like Alek Wek, Ajak Deng and Ataui Deng. When I drew her, I had been working on this idea of each of the paper dolls having a “usual” skin tone. So, for a while I would default to different shades for each doll. This isn’t something I am still doing, but at the time Monica defaulted to her own custom Hex skin color of #502e22 .

A few of my favorite Monica sets are On Future Streets (color)Paisley Summer (black and white), Bouquet of Florals (color)Prima Ballerina (color) and Jazz Age Baby (black and white).


Maeghan

Debuted March 2, 2015

Maeghan of Marisole Monday & FriendsMeaghan is named for one of my best friends. I designed her, because when I create Tibbets and Kirtles, my paper doll from the 1300s, I has just used Margot in a set called Weekend Denim. Anyway, I had no desire to create another Margot doll in such a short time frame, so I create Meaghan. I had planned on her being a one-off, but I actually really liked her and ended up using her again shortly after.

Eventually she needed a name, so I asked my good friend Maeghan if she would be willing to loan her name to a paper doll set, and she agreed. So Meaghan was born.

A few of my favorite Maeghan sets include Tibbbets and Kirtles (black and white), Maiden of the North (color) and Rose Princess Ballgowns (black and white).


Other Friends

Debuted At Various Times

other-freindsSo, sometimes I decide a paper doll set needs a different face. Maybe I’m basing it off a character I created or maybe I’m just bored. Either way, when this happens, I stick that paper doll into the “Other Friends” category.

In Other Friends there have been aliens, fairies and one Shadowrun character. It’s as catch all category and one which will keep growing, I suspect.

It’s really tough to pick favorites in this category, because they are all different. A few I really love are Sewing the SeventiesFabulous Fairy (color) and Space Princess (color).

The Gents

 

Marcus 1.0

Debuted July 22, 2013- Currently Retired. 

marcus1 After many many requests, I attempted to draw the first “male” in the Marisole Monday & Friends series in July of 2013. Drawing men is not my strenght, but I wanted to try. Unfortunately, he was totally out of proportion to Marisole and I was never pleased with how his face looked. So, after two sets, he ended up getting shelved.

It was a long time before I attempted Marcus 2.0.

There are only two Marcus 1.0 sets that were ever drawn. You can see all four versions (two black and white and two color) over here.


Marcus 2.0

Debuted October 27, 2014

marcusAbout a year after Marcus 1.0, I tackled Marcus 2.0. Is he perfect? Nope, but I am a lot more pleased with him than I ever was with Marcus 1.0. Part of this was finally settling on a way to draw male mouths that looked not too girly and not too frowny. Marcus, like Marisole, was intended to be of African descent and he defaults to a medium-brown skintone.

I have tried very hard to avoid assigning Marcus a role. I realize it is traditional in paper dolls for the male paper doll to be the boyfriend of the lady paper dolls, but I tend to think that he could jut be a friend, not interested in ladies or he could be a brother (or all of the above). Who am I to decide what role in Marisole and the other ladies lives Marcus plays?

Up to this point, there have only been five Marcus 2.0 sets, so I don’t know if I cam pick a “favorite”. I would say though that I have a soft spot for my most recent set- Sensational Suits (black and white) and Airship Mechanic (color).


Mikhail

Debuted September 28, 2015

mikhailMikhail is the latest member of the Marisole Monday & Friends family. In fact, he only has one set, so far. I created him, because I wanted guy paper doll of European descent. So, he came into existence for many of the same reasons Margot did.

Mikhail’s only got one set at the moment which is him as a knight.

Yes, I do plan to add more sets for him in the future. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.


And that’s it. So, now you know who Marisole is and who her friends are (or enemies).

I’ll be the first to admit that if someone had told me that when I first posted Marisole Monday  that I was going to still be drawing sets for this series six years later, I would have laughed and laughed. Here I am though and she remains the MOST popular paper doll on the blog by a long shot.

I think part of that staying power is that the paper dolls can share clothing. So, if you love a ballgown, but don’t love the doll it goes with- pick a new one.

Thoughts? Comments? Does this clear up any confusion?

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.)

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? 🙂

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. 🙂

 

Blog Goals for 2016

Goals for PaperThinPersonas.com for 2016!

Normally, I have a long list of goals that I know I want to get to this time of the year. Some of them are personal, some are professional, and some are blog related, but I’ve struggled to come up with a strong list this year.

I think I might be a little overwhelmed this year.

Still, I settled down last night and came with a sketchbook and carefully wrote out a list. I spoke with my patrons and seriously thought about what I wanted.

Writing a blog for as long as I have means you are learning constantly. To be honest, I’m a little overwhelmed right now. I somehow didn’t think about the “need” for posts past the end of December and now I am scrambling a bit. I’ll get back into the flow of things soon.

Goal #1: Create 10 Male Paper Dolls in 2016

Seriously, I need to do this. I need to draw more men. So, here we go. Ten male paper dolls in 2016. Let’s live the dream. 🙂

Goal #2: Create 10 Historical Paper Dolls in 2016

Yeah, this was a goal last year, but that’s okay. I really want to try this again this year and if it is a goal than I will go for it. My patrons voted for fantasy sets to be the focus, not historical, but last year I did over ten fantasy sets without it being a goal. Fantasy tends to be my fallback, so I suspect I’ll still hit ten even if I don’t make it my “focus.”

Goal #3: Focus on Sprites, Bodacious & Buxom and Ms Mannequin

I polled my patrons and they all voted for these three series to be the focuses of this year. I agree they all need some more love. I was surprised how many people loved Ms Mannequin series, since that’s one of the series that I have mixed feelings about.

Goal #4: Submit something to OPDAG

I am so so embarrassed that I have never sent something to the OPDAG magazine. It’s rather sad, but true. I need to get over my nerves about it and just go for it. It’s not like it’s juried or anything, after all.

Goal #5: Sell Stuff! (Probably paper dolls!)

Actually sell stuff. This might seem like a small goal, but it actually is complex. There’s business paper work and taxes and a whole realm of stuff. I strongly believe it’s important to do that stuff right the first time. It’s all overwhelming! But that’s the goal.

Goal #6: Draw a little, every day, not paper doll related

Okay, so not directly paper doll related- aka- no paper dolls. I mean, I’ll probably practice hands or doddle dresses or experiment with hair styles. I want to loosen up, draw more and learn to be more confident in my art. To start out, I am taking this class on Creativebug and posting my daily drawings on Instagram.  (Be nice to me, I’m still learning to use Instagram.)

So, those are my goals. Let’s see how 2016, shapes up.

Wondering how to become a patron? You can do that here. Thoughts on these goals? Drop me a note in the comments.

A Historical Paper Doll Round-Up: Every Historical Paper Doll From 2010 to 2015

Historical Paper Doll Round-Up: Free Printable Historical Paper Dolls in Fashions from 900 Anglo-Saxon until 1970 American free to print from PaperThinPersonas.comAs a kid, my favorite paper dolls were historical paper dolls. I had everything from paper doll flappers to knights. I still tend towards historical paper dolls in my own collecting, especially those depicting an era that I don’t see very often.

So, for last post of 2015, I thought it would be fun to post a round-up of all the historical paper dolls on Paper Thin Personas from 2010 when I did my first historical paper doll (a teddy bear with regency fashions) until 2015.

As some of you may recall, one of my goals in 2015 was to create at least ten historical paper doll posts in 2015. I surpassed my goal.

I wanted to make paper doll sets representing periods of fashion history that I either didn’t know much about or that challenged me to draw things that I would normally shy away from, because they were intimidating- like the patterns of the Tudor era or the ruffles and pleats of the 18th century.

Mostly though, I wanted to a chance to dig back into my passion for historical dress research which I had let slip a little as I went through grad school. So, today I am going to share every historical paper doll on the blog organized by era of history.

More Below!

Reflections on 2015 On PTP

I was going to save this post for January, but then I realized I have all my posts lined up for the rest of the year and so I figured I could share this a tiny bit early.

My goals for 2015 were many and varied. This isn’t really a post about how I did on those, but rather a chance to talk about where the blog went this year and a few lessons I learned along the way. PTP was born in January of 2009. It died in December of 2009 and came back stronger in 2010. It is six years old.

2015-review

In the last six years of blogging, I don’t often look at where I am and what I am proud of. Being a librarian, I am constantly reading articles about blogging and social media- trying to learn what I should be doing. While this is often helpful, it sometimes leaves me feeling depressed. There is so much I should be doing. It is hard to remember what I am doing.

So, today, I am going to look at how the blog did in 2015.

Paper Doll Sets Posted on Paper Thin Personas in 2015

paper-doll-summary-2015-thumb

For those keeping track, that’s a total of 76 printable paper doll sets (not counting each black and white page of the same designs as separate sets).

Now, I haven’t gone back and done a date by date analysis of when each paper doll posted. However, since Marisole Monday & Friends Sets post over a two week period there would have to be 26 sets in a year to be a full year’s worth. The other paper doll sets there needs to be 52- one for each week. At 76 sets, I am just two sets short of the 78 I would need to have done two a week for an entire year- nothing shabby about that.

I am a tiny bit shamed by the 1 Flock paper doll set, especially since I actually have sets for that series that have been sitting in my Working Folder for months and month. Oh well… There’s always next year.

Types of Paper Doll Sets Posted on Paper Thin Personas in 2015

tag-summary-2015-thumb

I thought it would be kinda fun to look at a few of my tags (which I use as metadata for each post) rather than the major paper doll series. Some of you may remember my goal for 2015 was ten historical paper doll sets and there will be 20. Yes, there is one historical set to be posted before 2016.

Oh, the anticipation.

I only got up three male sets. That’s a little troubling… though there were only 25 Marisole Monday & Friends sets in total, so that’s not quite as bad as it might seem. Still, not great though.

So, much for staying positive…

Contemporary sets are generally contemporary fashion. I don’t include specialized sets like the ballerinas in that group.

When calculating fantasy sets, I included sci-fi, steampunk and fantasy all into one category. I just think they all belong together, since the differences are kinda semantic. One has rayguns. One has gears. One has swords.

I tossed in warriors and red heads just for fun. 🙂

Visitors To Paper Thin Personas in 2015

user-summary-2015-thumb

Moving away from paper doll sets for a moment, I averaged 37,335 page views per month which is a rather useless stat. I mean, it just means the number of times a page on the blog was loaded on someone’s computer.

However, sessions and users are more interesting. Each time a unique person (as far as Google Analytics can tell) visits the blog than it is logged as a user. Sessions are the number of times a user loads the site. Multiple page views might be included in the same session. For example, if you visit the site and load five pages, than it is one session and five page views.

Clear as mud, I hope.

So, that’s it. A summary of where PTP is in the end of 2015. I hope to do one of these every year from now on as a way of tracking where I am.

Questions? I’d be happy to answer them if I can.

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.

A Q&A With Jason Schneider of Dover Publishing

I can’t speak for others, but for me Dover paper dolls were the best of the best when I was a kid. Sure, Golden Book made some nice paper dolls, but Dover books were what I would order from the local bookstore by bringing in the hand copied ISBN numbers from the back of the books. This was before the internet, so I had to just ask the bookstore in town to custom order them for me, often sight unseen. I still remember my joy at getting a copy of the Victorian Cat Family special order. I was 14, far to old for paper dolls, I thought. So, I carried it home in its bag and didn’t open it until I was safely in my room where no one would see me pouring over the book in delight.

Pope Francis Paper Doll by Tom Tierney

Pope Francis Paper Doll by Tom Tierney

A few weeks ago, I contacted Dover to see if anyone there would be willing to answer some questions about paper doll publishing. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting a response, so imagine my surprise and excitment when Jason Schneider contacted me back. Jason was Dover’s Children’s Publishing Manager.

Born in 1975 in Valley Stream, NY, Jason attended Hofstra University (1993-1997). A life-long book lover, Jason decided to leverage this interest in publishing. He was the acquisitions manager for Barnes & Noble’s Children’s Publishing line for several years. Beginning in 2007, he joined Dover and has worked on a rich variety of content, brought interesting licenses to the company’s program and directed the hardcover Calla line of books. He also worked on the paper doll collections published by Dover and he was kind enough to answer some questions.

In the time since I wrote Jason and this post getting published, Jason has joined  Skyhorse Publishing as Editorial Director of the new Racehorse Publishing and Clydesdale Books imprints. I wish him the best at his new position.

Big thank you to Jason for his time.

A Q&A with Jason Schneider of Dover Publishing

 

So, I have to ask, did you play with paper dolls as a kid? And what were your favorites if you did?

No, I don’t recall having many paper doll books as a child, outside of a Sesame Street Seasons Paper Dolls book which I wound up republishing with Dover a few years ago.

And, of course, how did you get into children’s publishing?

I majored in English Literature and Publishing Studies in college. The process of book creation always interested me and getting into publishing was my goal. Children’s Publishing was where I wanted find myself, but my first jobs in the business were as far away from that as possible. I started with educational reference and Math and Science publishers because I needed experience. I would up at Barnes & Noble Publishing in 2000 as an Assistant Editor for their Children’s Program and things developed from there.

When did Dover start publishing paper dolls?

Pretty Ponies Paper Dolls by Darcy Bell-Myers

Pretty Ponies Paper Dolls by Darcy Bell-Myers

Dover’s publishing of paper dolls certainly predates my tenure here. I believe that the decision to publish them grew from the company’s continuing interest to preserve and feature content that has since went out of print. The first titles were compilations of Antique Paper Dolls and were published in 1975. Both titles (Antique Paper Dolls 1915-1920 edited by Arnold Arnold and Antique Paper Dolls: The Edwardian Era) have recently gone out of print after 40 years. However, it wasn’t until Tom Tierney’s Glamorous Movie Stars of the Thirties was published in 1977 that Dover started to view it as a category.

Roughly, how many paper doll titles are published in a year?

There are a lot of variables. The market has changed considerably since we started publishing paper dolls, so there has to be the right niche for a new book. Whether it is a fashion trend or other growing area of interest, something has to strike a chord.

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

Grav3yardGirl Paper Dolls by Bunny Meyer and Ted Menten

Grav3yardGirl Paper Dolls by Bunny Meyer and Ted Menten

Most of the paper doll books that we publish are generated from in-house ideas that we bring to a talent pool of artists that we use. While we have published some submissions that have been artist generated in the past, the practice is far less common now. For instance, we had the idea to work with Bunny Meyer who has a substantial YouTube following under the pseudonym of Grav3yard Girl and produce a paper doll of her. We worked with Bunny and brought the concept to artist Ted Menten who brought it to life. Eileen Rudisill Miller, Bruce Jones, Tim Foley, Charlotte Whatley and Ted Menten are just a few of the contributing artists that Dover works with.

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

There’s us and Paper Studio Press. I don’t think anyone else views it as line. Any other publisher will publish one-offs here and there.

I think the shift has already happened. Dover doesn’t publish quite as many titles as we once did, since there is unfortunately a lack of market demand for the type of depth we once would produce. While we are still active in the area, we definitely try to link new product closely with timely events such as Pope Francis Paper Dolls, or the brand new Scream Queens Paper Dolls that links up with the show. We’re also producing paper dolls for a younger age group and while we’ve done Mermaids, Pretty Ponies, and Ballet, we’ve also produced books recently with licensed properties such as Olivia, Grumpy Cat and Betty Boop.

Dover divides their paper dolls into two categories. Those for children and those for collectors. Can you talk a little about how those audiences differ?

I think that the books are more of a keepsake for the adult market and a consumable for children. This isn’t to say that there isn’t crossover in interest for some of our books, but we usually have the dolls punch out for the more juvenile titles for ease of use. I don’t think kids are going to be as precious with the books. After attending a few paper doll conventions and asking the attendees how they use their books, some have told me they’ll buy two copies – one to keep and one to cut.

The subject matter sets the audiences apart. I don’t think that the majority of kids are as interested in Avant-Garde Fashions or Steampunk Vixens.

Robot Battle Paper Action Figures by Ted Rechlin

Robot Battle Paper Action Figures by Ted Rechlin

Recently, two books of Paper Action Figures, which were essentially paper dolls for boys, were published. Can you tell me more about what prompted these books? Are more Paper Action Figures planned?

It was an attempt to do something different within the medium. I wanted to update the concept, and not necessarily make paper dolls for boys but simply try a modern approach which was less gender-specific. We did Glow-in-the-Dark Ghouls and Robot Battle. The Glow-in-the-Dark element we used is really cool, but we do not have any plans to do more at this time.

What do you believe makes for a successful paper doll book? How is a traditional paper doll different from, for example, a sticker paper doll?

Victorian Vixen Paper Dolls by Ted Menten

Victorian Vixen Paper Dolls by Ted Menten

Victorian Vixen Paper Dolls by Ted Menten I feel a sticker paper doll is more of a sticker activity product. It’s going to be played with several times until the stickers lose their adhesiveness. I think a paper doll has more of a novelty and collectible aspect. You get more costumes, more dolls. It’s just a grander presentation.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that sales makes for a successful paper doll book. A beautiful book is great, but if no one is buying it, then it isn’t a success. Beyond that, with a classic paper doll it has to have great illustration with the dolls’ figures rendered meticulously. If it is based on a person, the likeness has to be impeccable. The costumes have to be interesting, which was something Tom Tierney always excelled at and Tim Foley is currently doing a great job with. Personally, I like when we add something novel and interesting to the format, such as with additional elements and backgrounds that Ted Menten provided the Victorian Vixens Paper Dolls with or Rudy Miller’s Dream Weddings. It just makes the book feel more complete and adds more to the overall experience, especially for collectors.

Will mainstream publishers be producing paper dolls in 25 years?

It’s hard to say what publishers will be producing in 25 years, if they are still producing books as we know them now. No one would have predicted the quick influx of ebook technology which changed the industry and there is always a new advancement which is a step away from revamping our perspective on the way things are done. I don’t know when it will happen or how it will alter the business. In the end, if there’s an audience that is interested, and mainstream publishers see potential to make money then paper dolls will still be published.


Jason mentioned Paper Doll Studio Press and I am pleased to report that I’ll have a Q&A with them in a few weeks. So, that should be fun too. Oh, and if you haven’t picked up Robot Battle or Glow in the Dark Ghouls for your collections, then I recommend them. I just got my copies and the glow in the dark feature is really cool. 🙂

I just wish there was a child in my life who needed robot paper dolls.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow. Friday there will be another paper doll set. 🙂