Hello all. So, I will be on a break until December 11th when my semester ends. AsS some of you might remember, along with being a full time librarian, I am also getting an additional Master’s Degree in Education.
It’s final project crunch time at my school and so I am focusing on school work right now.
(Plus, Wednesday’s paper doll was literally the LAST thing I had finished and ready to go.)
I shall return on the 11th, full of vim, vigor and paper dolls I hope.
Until then, I hope everyone has a great first week of December.
So, I am ill. Normally, I have a backlog for these times, but I got through all of that while traveling. I’m going to go take some drugs and go back to bed. Daily posts will return when I stop feeling like crud.
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.
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
I plan to name the paper dolls in reverse alphabetical order.
Right now, I have drawn Zachary, Yumiko, Xavier and Willow.