I realized recently that I may be taking for granted that everyone understands the idea of a paper doll. And, for the most part that is true. All day long I have people (typically women) coming into the studio and sharing their memories of playing with paper dolls when they were younger.
I have had to explain them to a number of small children (who look at me like I am crazy when I say that I played with paper as a child.) But I have also discovered that some people (mainly men) have absolutely no concept for what a paper doll is.
So for those of you who have been wondering what in the world I have been talking about these past several months, and why I keep painting these headless figures, read on...
The concept of a paper doll is fairly simple. You have your paper doll figure (in the middle), dressed in her finest undergarments, plus an assortment of outfits, accessories, and hairstyles drawn in her same size and pose. It is like having the greatest closet ever, with everything already coordinated, accessorized, and ready to go.
And, just like for most real women, the difficult part is deciding what outfit to wear. (Another challenge with paper dolls is not accidentally cutting off the tabs or one of the doll's limbs when you are cutting her out. This is why I think the new magnetic "paper " dolls that come pre-cut are cheating. We had to work for our fun!)
After picking your dolls outfit, just line it up with the doll figure, fold the tabs back to hold the outfit in place, and, voila, she is ready for a night out on the town.
For you ladies out there who loved playing with paper dolls as much as I did, I hope this was a trip down memory lane. And for those of you who finally understand what it is I have been doing, you're welcome.
(And, a special thanks to August Vernon for making a few extra prints of my paper dolls so that I had plenty to cut out and play with all day in the name of blogging.)