With the moving/packing/downsizing that has been going on in my life in the past few months, I was too exhausted to do anything creative on most days, even if I could find a free hour. I missed some possible publication opportunities and art exchanges, but happily, my creative mojo is back. Last night I pulled out three different unfinished projects, located some of my supplies (I am pretty much working out of a closet!) and got to work.
The first order of business was Zentangle Paper Dolls for my Roses on My Table trading group. Doll #1, wearing a halter top and long skirt, is Elena. I drew her clothing on my lunch hour a couple of days ago, then added arms from a template available on the Roses site. Her face is also from the template, but I added some eye details and Zentangley hair. The bracelets are snippets of ribbon, and the shoes are from The Graphics Fairy. http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/
Doll #2 is Peanut, because her face reminds me of the old Mr. Peanut ad. (I also used Peanut’s face for my Steampunk dolls.) I doodled zentangles on leg and body templates one night, added a hat and shoes from The Graphics Fairy, and used Adobe Illustrator patterns for her arms. I added a pleated miniskirt made from checked ribbon because she looked like she had one giant body tattoo without any clothing.
Making art paper dolls never fails to energize yet relax me. It is the perfect combination of child-like play, collage and fashion design. If I am in the mood to play with faces, I draw a bunch and keep them on hand, mixing them later with crazy outfits. I often scan the faces so that I can print them out and use the favorite ones, like Peanut, over again.
Sometimes I use my fabric designs or leftover pieces of other projects to create retro dresses, skirts, pants and blouses. The charm comes with happy accidents—faces that are too large or too small for the bodies and shoes that have no relation to the dress. I also like adding whimsical elements like hats and wings. I usually don’t start with any end result in mind, I just rummage through my collection of doll clothing, body parts and scraps of fabric, paper, lace and trim until I find just the right element.