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Tag Archives: edgy
My best friend in middle school and in high school and college was a girl with a distinctly punky style. I admired her guts at wearing vynal pants in our small Alaskan town. This was before the days of days of universal internet shopping (we had Amazon and it pretty much only sold books back then), so the school was pretty sedate in style. (Not from desire, as much as lack of access.) Her style, on the other hand, was loud and bright and adventurous. I’ve always admired her for having the gall to go for it when I didn’t.
Since I wasn’t going to actually wear the clothing I admired so much, I made up for it by drawing paper dolls. This was dates from my college years, back in 2005. I remember planning on doing that brick pattern, by hand, for the entire sheet of clothes and then concluding life was way to short. Unlike a lot of my stuff from college, I’m still pleased with this one, though I see a few flaws that I would correct now, except that I want to keep the integrity of my old art.
Enjoy her. She’s been added to the index as well.
I have also, quietly, migrated the Dictionary Girls into retired status. The series hasn’t been updated in six months and I hate to leave it hanging as a “possibility” when I know, secretly, that it’s probably not. I do want to have a full figured paper doll series, I just need to think about how to handle it. Having said that, inspiration might strike and they might return. I just don’t want people to think they update often when, in truth, they don’t.
I seriously feel like I should have saved this for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t have anything else finished, so up it goes.
It’s not like I started with a plan for the obnoxious color scheme, but somehow the traditional black and red thing I do for punk clothing just wasn’t hitting the mark. So, pink, purple and black became the name of the game.
I sort of like it.
I do wish the fuzzy sweater looked… well… fuzzier. By the way, the neckline of that sweater is low and it’s meant to go over one of the corsets or other tops, otherwise she shows off more of her swimsuit than perhaps is decent for polite society.
So, I think I’ve mentioned my wacky formula for calculating the number of outfit combos a paper doll set contains before which is the number of tops multiplied by the number of bottoms and then by the number of shoes and then by the number of “jackets” plus 1. Now often the formula doesn’t work, because the pieces aren’t really totally interchangeable, but this is a rare set where I think everything really can go with everything else. The result is a total of 146 outfit combinations (not taking into consideration accessories) which is pretty remarkable.
First of all: Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to those in the United States who celebrate.
I am spending my day off doing exciting things like washing laundry and cleaning my kitchen and getting this slightly belated than usual Marisole post up. I decided to use Margot since she’s new. After some thought, I have broken down the Marisole Monday category into sections for Margot, Marisole and Mia, my three different “faces” for Marisole, if that makes sense. The dolls can all share clothing.
Sometimes an whole paper doll set comes out of my desire to draw a single outfit. In the case of today’s paper doll set, it was the high-waisted plaid skirt and the tie. So, after I decided I wanted to draw that then the rest of it came together along similar lines- lots of pleats and a sort of “school girl gone wrong” kinda vibe.
One of my favorite paper dolls blogs has a new address. A Time For Paper Dolls used to be Inflammation Of… and I am really enjoying her dolls. I love their clean crisp lines and simple shapes. If I had small children, I would totally print these out for them and I might just color a few on my own for fun.
I totally make my own fun.
So, today I wanted to draw a paper doll that was a little edgy and inspired by Asian traditional dress with obi’s and mandarin collars (though there is some debate as to the evolution of the mandarin collar… and whether it evolved from Chinese contact with European military uniforms or European contact with Chinese dress… I’ve read both versions in respected literature on the subject, so I have no opinion except to say we don’t know and leave it at that), but I realized I tend to draw Asian looking paper dolls when I’m drawing Asian inspired costumes and that seemed a little… odd, so I instead made her an elf with braids, resulting in a sort of African elf in an obi.
I’m sure if I was more awake today and if I really wanted to, I could probably read some interesting orientalist thing into all this, but I’d rather just stick with the “it’s a paper doll and it’s neat” side of theoretical endeavors.
Anyhow… as you might have noticed on the right side of the blog a few things have changed. I’ve added tags in an attempt to try to create a genre sort of listing which crosses paper dolls styles. So, if a person wanted to see all the fantasy paper dolls or felt a need to look at every blond paper doll, the option would be available. The three tags I am sort of uncomfortable with are Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll. I did them, because I erratically get emails asking about paper dolls of one of those three groups and I thought the tag might help people find them, but I also feel rather uncomfortable applying racial labels to my paper dolls, especially with Marisole who only has two facial options to begin with.
Here we are at nearly the end of December and here is another Shadow and Light paper dolls. Today’s paper doll is a bit steampunk-ish (though lacks the gears and goggles that seem to be required), still I hope no one will hold that against her. Truth be told, I can’t draw a gear to save my life, though I have tried on occasion to mixed success.
I forgot, living in Alabama, how pretty the snow is, but I also forgot how annoying it is to sweep off your car in the morning in the cold wearing black ankle boots. Toes freezing and fingers freezing and snow sticking to eyelashes under a grey sky with lights from the buildings flickering through, there’s nothing like winter in Southeast Alaska.
It’s a beautiful place up here.
Oh and by the way, there’s a poll on the sidebar. Please fill it out. I do actually pay attention to what people vote for and I use it to decide what I will do in the coming year. If there’s something you’d like to see and it’s not on the list, please comment.
“Flirty eyes” is a term used by doll collectors to describe the side glancing eyes popular in dolls of the early 20th century. I happen to love the look of the side glancing eyes- I think they have more character than front facing eyes and give the paper dolls a slightly mischievous look.
Ash wrote: I notice that you draw a lot from fashion magazines, which is actually pretty cool. So do you enjoy the early history of Paper Dolls? Do you have a favorite paper doll artist (one who isn’t online)?
I am utterly fascinated by the early history of paper dolls and I am trying on the blog to show off things I find on the web that are both historical and neat. My favorite paper doll artist, at the moment, is Nandor Honti who did a series of paper dolls for MaCalls magazine in the 1920s. Along with the figures, Honti’s paper dolls also include furniture and other items, crossing the fuzzy line between paper doll and paper toy and becoming something much more interesting. I have no idea how many paper dolls Nandor Honti did, but I dream of someday owning a set of the originals. They are so darn inventive.
Got a question you want me to answer on the blog?Ask me here.
So, I was pawing around the internet, as I do, and I stumbled across this wonderful German website that contained some beautiful vintage German paper dolls. The word for paper doll in German is “ankleidepuppen” which literally translates to something like “dress up doll” according to my good friend from Germany, but, she told me, its usually used for paper dolls rather than normal dolls. Paper dolls and paper models are still pretty popular in Germany, though not in the United States.
Right after college, I got a fairly dead-end job working at a local bookstore and toy store. One of the catalogs we received, though never ordered from, was a German catalog that sold beautiful paper models. The prices were far above what we could have possibly sold them for, so we didn’t stock them normally, though I seem to recall a customer who would come in and special order them.
I love beautiful paper toys of all kinds, though paper dolls are, understandably, my first love.
So, true story:
There was this girl in one of my classes last semester who had the most amazing hair. Every class she’d come in with it styled in a different way- sometimes it was in a huge afro and sometimes it was in tons of little braids and sometimes it was straightened and sometimes…. you get the idea.
So, one day she came in with all the small braids coiled up into these huge pair of buns on either side of her head. The way the braids were wrapped around each other made it look like they were woven- almost like baskets. It was utterly beautiful.
I wanted to try to draw that hair style for this paper doll.
I don’t think I really captured it.
Seriously though, I always wondered: How long did it take her in the morning to get ready? I’m lucky if I get my hair brushed and my clothing on.
So… here’s the thing… I said to the apartment people..I need a second bedroom, because I want a work space and a guest space…
What I didn’t say is this:
I draw paper dolls.
I don’t know why.
It’s not because I have an artistic vision or something… I just like them.
It’s a little nostalgia, a little amusement. It’s my hobby.
Why do some people knit or crochet or make pottery?
I don’t know.
I don’t even really know why I draw paper dolls.
Every paper doll is a potential story. What humans wear are physical manifestations of social and cultural forces. We dress ourselves so we can become what we want to be. We dress ourselves as what we think we should be.
Every paper doll is a potential character. What that paper doll wears is about what that paper doll can become. Every time I draw a paper doll, I can create a world.
Also, I like pretty dresses.
This is my hobby.
I don’t knit. I don’t crochet.
I draw paper dolls.
Plus… well… I do need some guest space.
So, first of all, I want to thank everyone whose entered my drawing and asked me a question. The questions have all been really interesting. It’s fascinating to think about what maybe I have or haven’t said on the blog that perhaps I should have said… and if that’s not the most convoluted sentence ever… I don’t know what is.
The drawing is open until next Tuesday and then I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner.
And now…. A few words about the printable paper doll of the day….
The Shadow and Light paper dolls are drawn in a style I developed in college after complaining that most black and white paper dolls needed to be colored to look good. I wanted to draw some paper dolls that were graphic enough to stand alone without being colored, plus I was reading a lot of comics in those days and had a love of the heavy shadowed style of Frank Miller’s Sin City and Marcelo Frusin, who was drawing the Hellblazer comics at that time with Mike Carey was writing it. I stopped reading comics when I got to graduate school, far to much to do and not enough time to do it in, but I hope to get back to them and at least finish Lucifer which I never did get done with and darn it, I wanna know how it ends.
Okay, I know how it ends, but I still wanna read it…
This particular paper doll has “flirty eyes” which is a term used to describe dolls that look to the side rather than forward. It’s a pretty common term in antique and collectable dolls and “flirty eyed” dolls were particularly popular in the 1900s with Googlies and Lenci dolls.