Hip-Hop Ms. Mannequins: Meet Zola, Our Model


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Zola, a black paper doll, is a model for the Ms Mannequin series. She has curly hair and two pairs of tennis shoes.

Some series easily adapted to this new format and the Ms. Mannequin’s were one such paper doll series. Today, I’d like to introduce Zola, the first Ms. Mannequin to be done in the new series format.

There won’t be an accessory Thursday this week. Instead, I decided to put Zola’s shoes with the dolls, because her skin is visible on those pieces. Zola has the same skin-tone as my paper doll Tanya who was the first of the Ms. Mannequin paper dolls. They can, therefore, easily share shoes. I also wanted to keep the sets close to the format of the original Ms. Mannequin series as I could.

This week I’m going to be exploring Hip-Hop fashion. Many famous hip-hop artists (Jay Z, Pharell, Diddy, Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye) have created fashion lines. So, I didn’t want to keep ignoring this trend in fashion, but unlike a lot of fashion styles, this one seems focused more on men’s clothing than women’s clothing.

This brings us to today’s paper doll- Zola. Zola has two pairs of tennis shoes. As far as I can tell, expensive tennis shoes are a very important part of the Hip-Hop fashion genre. While many of these shoes come in all sorts of colors, I chose white and black for the mix and match options those two colors offer. Everything goes with white or black, after all.

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Thoughts on this week’s theme? It’s a departure for me, since I don’t know much about this style and I hope I can do it justice.

Oh, and Happy Labor Day! I hope people have fun whatever they are doing. I am packing to move, but I assume other people might have better plans. 🙂

Nicole: A Fashion Printable Paper Doll

Pixie Logo- Nicole Paper DollToday’s Pixie is a fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. I created her, because of a reader request.

Back in November, I got a email from a reader who asked if I could name a paper doll either Lynn or Nicole for her. She wanted a paper doll named after herself. Now, originally, she asked for a Mini-Maiden or a Marisole Doll, but I have pretty strict naming patterns for those dolls.

I offered a Pixie instead and she said that she’d be cool with that option.

Today, I am pleased to present the result. A Pixie paper doll named Nicole with some layered tops (as requested). I was sort of obsessing over different bird illustrations for a while and so I decided to adapt some of them into a t-shirt design for Nicole. For those interested, her bird shirt was inspired by the work of Dante Terzigini, Inaluxe and Scott Partridge to name a few.

A fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. She's got long hair and glasses, along with sneakers and jeans. Free coloring page to print from paperthinpersonas.com
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I love bright color schemes that feel a little unexpected. The orange red and very pale yellow are both acting as my neutrals in this set. She’s my first paper doll with glasses since April Showers in color & black and white back in May of 2014. That’s nearly a year. How embarrassing. I really do have to do more paper dolls with glasses.

A fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. She's got long black hair and red glasses, along with sneakers and jeans. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
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Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to remind people that to dress Nicole, you’ll need to cut long her shoulders under her hair. There are cutting diagrams that you can refer to if there are any questions about how to cut out the paper dolls.

While Nicole is a Greek name, I was thinking of a Mexican guy I work with while designing her skintone and hair color.

Weekend Denim: A Set of Paper Doll Print Outs for Morgan

Marisole Monday & Friends Logo- MargotOne of the things I really love to do is hold drawings where the winner gets a custom paper doll. Part of the fun of these contests is that I never know what people are going to ask for and sometimes I am really surprised.

Over the years, I have done everything from a 10th-century Anglo-Saxon paper doll to a pair of Puck paper dolls ready for a date. I’m always fascinated at what people ask for, though usually it’s a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set.

As always when I create one of these paper doll print outs, a part of me is very nervous. I always worry that I am not going to “get it right” for the person who asked for the paper doll set.

Morgan asked “For the clothes something comfy but still sort of dressy, tomboyish but still girly, if that makes any sense. For the hair color and style, curly long orangish red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. But if possible I would love to have the color theme be turquoise.” And she was kind enough to send me some great reference images.

A black and white paper doll print out with curly hair and a sixteen piece wardrobe. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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As I usually do with drawing winners, I wanted to post both of these sets at once, as I don’t think it is nice to make my winners wait when they have been so kind to wait a few weeks anyway.

Color scheme wise, I was asked for turquoise which is one of my favorite colors (well, teal really). Beyond being really hard to spell, it’s also a color with lots of variation. Since it can be a fairly green color or a fairly blue color, I wanted to use several shades. Now, I tend to stay away from monochromatic schemes, so I also used a bright yellow and a bright green as accent colors.

A paper doll print out with curly red hair and a sixteen piece casual wardrobe. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Anyway, I hope you like your paper doll set Morgan and if the color scheme isn’t quite what you imagined, let me know. I can recolor her. I always worry about color schemes. Meanwhile, to my other winner, I promise your paper doll will be up in a few weeks.

By the way, I think this is the first contemporary paper doll I’ve ever done with just pants and no skirts or dresses. I haven’t been through all the archives to confirm that, but I think it’s true.

Malina: An Autumnal Printable Paper Doll

logo-malina-autumnAs I move towards the end of the year, I always find myself beginning to think about the future and what has been done this year. One of the doll artists I admire is Mimi Kirchner and she does these wonderful year end posts where she talks about all the dolls she has made. I never seem to get on the ball about doing something like that. I suppose because with holiday travel and other concerns, I don’t always have time to sit back and think about where the little hobby of mine has taken me.

It’s November all ready though… and December is around the corner. Next thing I know, it will be January and then we’ll be in 2015. I guess I better start thinking.

Meanwhile, today we have a new Pixie paper doll. Malina is the female form of Malcom. It’s a scottish name. I don’t know why I decided that this paper doll seemed Scottish to me. There was no ‘logical’ reason why. Maybe because Scotland is chilly and she has sweaters? Yes, we’ll go with that rather stretch of a connection.

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Malina is my 13th Pixie Paper Doll post of the year, though technically my Pixie posts have been longer this year than last year. This year I did a three page Regency set of paper dolls for the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, a two page Steampunk paper doll set and a two page Turn of the Century paper doll set. Anyway, there will be another few Pixies before the year is over, I assure you.

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Malina’s wardrobe is based on the “sporty” trend of 2014, much like Adannaya from earlier this year. The color scheme was inspired by apples and orchards and other fall harvest things, like gourds. (I bought a set of decorative gourds to put on my dining room table… I feel so festive.)

I keep finding myself going back to my thoughts at the beginning of today’s post. How does one calculate the value of a hobby? What level of achievement is needed to actually feel that this blog accomplishes it’s goal?

Hmmm…. I haven’t really got answers to that question.

Pixie & Puck: Jose

josepaperdoll

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So, today, somewhat late, we have a new Puck paper doll named Jose. When I finished him, he looked like a Jose to me, so I decided that was his name. I like his nose.

I am tired of school, looking for work and stressed beyond belief. In truth, this printable paper doll has been sitting on my hard-drive for several weeks waiting for me to finish it up, reformat it and then posting it. I am continuing to work on drawing more men. I have another male paper doll finished and I hope to get it posted maybe this week, maybe next. I’ve not been very on the ball with this blog lately and that bothers me. Life is very complicated these days. I’ll be happy when school is over, I have a job and I feel a little more settled.

Marisole: A Walk in the Woods

So, I barely got this done on time. It’s nearly midnight on Monday and my brain is a little fried. I spent the day cleaning and doing some homework. I have nearly fiftly library books piled on my table and I think I need to sort through them and maybe return a few, but that’s a project for another night.

marisole-hiking

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Today Marisole has gone out hiking. Being from Alaska, long walks in the woods were always a big part of my life. There’s a bottle of sunscreen for her and a water bottle, based on the one I carried all through college. I have no idea what happened to that water bottle. She also has a practical pair of hiking shoes and pants with lots of pockets. The thing I am most pleased with is how the colors came out, I think they feel softer and less intense then computer color often looks. It adds the right “organic” feel to the clothing.

Also, I was asked to do a paper doll with East Indian coloring, so this is my attempt at that, but I think she looks more like she comes from South America.

Edit 4/6/2014: This set is now available here in black and white for coloring. Yay!

Marisole Monday: Sporty Girl

Lately, I’ve been thinking about children (or, as I think of them, proto-people) and paper dolls. Recently, a friend, upon finding out I drew paper dolls as a hobby, remarked that children must like them.

There was a beat as I thought about this and then I said, « Yeah, I guess. » But truth be told, I don’t think much about children when I’m drawing my paper dolls.

marisole-sporty-girl

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I think about play-ability a fair bit- will these pieces go together and could someone really play with this paper doll. And I think about color and shape and a bit about skin tone (ie: I don’t want all my paper dolls to be white skinned blond Babarbie-esque creatures), but I don’t think a lot about message.

Except a friend has decided she would like to turn some of my paper dolls into magnets for when she is working as a school librarian to have at a play table for the kids. And while I have assisted her by removing tabs and resizing the dolls (instructions and versions of printable magnetic Marisole). I still haven’t quite gotten over the idea that children will be playing with them.

I know just enough about toys and modeling behaviors to feel like its important that I draw some versions of Marisole as something other then a ninja or a pirate. So, I decided to draw some sporty clothing (from a basketball uniform to a tennis dress), because I figured it was a good thing to show Marisole as a sporty girl as well as a girly girl, but I also think this sense of obligation is one of the reasons the paper doll sort of fails. I don’t know much about sports wear and outside of my erratic yoga class, I don’t do a lot of sports. I think it’s pretty clear I wasn’t committed to the set when I drew it. So, while I don’t think it’s the worst set of Marisole stuff I’ve ever drawn, it’s not at the top for me. But, I do like all the neat little sport balls and the tennis racquet, so it’s not a complete loss.

Edit 1/6/2014: Get a colorable version of this paper doll to print here.

Pixie & Puck: Roxanne and Irene in Black and White

I’ve never done a black and white Pixie paper doll before, that I recall and I must confess I’m only doing one now because I’m busy and I needed something to post. I felt a little guilty just posting paper dolls I had already posted in black and white, so I did two of them to make myself feel a little less guilty about recycling material. Besides, sometimes the choice is between something or nothing and I’d rather post something.

pixie-irene-black-white

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I’ve been terribly busy this weekend prepping for classes that start next week and preparing to travel to Pennsylvania for a wedding. I’ll be out of town for a few days. The blog should post on it’s own without me (assuming I get done what I need to get done to make that happen), but there might be a slight hiatus while I travel.

pixie-roxanne-black-white

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I enjoy weddings, though I was never one of those people who dreamed about my own wedding day. I never caught the “wedding fever” so common to young girls. I did have a wedding Barbie doll, as I recall, but I think she spent most of her time either fighting monsters or going to balls in her pretty white dress.

Pixie & Puck: Irene

Writing is hard. Drawing is hard too, but somehow less hard then writing. I think it’s because I draw in stages- pencil and then ink and then shade and then scan and then re-size and then color and then add tabs and then do layout and then re-size again and then post. Sometimes those events occur in a slightly different order, but I always have multiple pieces in multiple stages of work (at least I do when I’m on the ball and things are going well). Yet, writing I find I stare at a white screen and have to think of something to say.

pixie-irene

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Ideally, something intelligent and nuanced to say… Okay, maybe not nuanced, but at least intelligent. Or coherent. I think I at least get coherent. Most of the time.

All I can really say about this paper doll is that I am pleased with how she came out. I really love the muted color tones- achieved by using a mostly transparent wash of grey over all of the clothing after it was colored. I find getting muted tones is a lot harder then getting obnoxiously bright tones on a paper doll and everything looks different on different screens of course. Her toenails in her sandals are another little favorite of mine-rainbow toes.

Puck: Dillon

So, I got to have an epic adventure today. I tried to clean my scanner bed. Recently, I have been getting dust marks on my scans and since I’ve never actually cleaned the scanner bed, I decided I should do so.

This is what I learned: Cleaning a scanner bed is scary.

punk-dillon-boy-paper-doll-150

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Maybe I’m just a coward, but I’ve had the same scanner since freshman year of college and while I love my scanner, it’s fairly cranky. I could probably afford a new one by now, but since it still works I don’t see the point in replacing it. Anyway, I was scared of somehow damaging it. After reading all sorts of horror stories on the internet, I finally got up the nerve to spray a little cleaner on my rag and rub it on the bed and then let the bed dry.

Of course, nothing went wrong and the scans are coming out much clearer now. I wonder what I was so worried about. The mind can be a funny thing sometimes, I think.

Today’s paper doll is another Puck paper doll. Someone remarked that his arms are a bit long which is true or his legs are a bit short, I haven’t decided which yet. Now, of course, I must decide if I want to re-draw him and there fore render useless the several other Punk paper dolls I’ve already drawn and scanner for later use or maybe do some other male paper doll. I haven’t decided what to do yet with him.

Oh, and I have a poll.