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  • Writer's pictureJme Foronda

Playing with Paper Dolls

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

I grew up with a very creative mama. She loved designing clothes (gowns, in particular), and I guess going to her boutique every day after school and having tons of art materials just accessible to me will definitely make an artist. I have fond memories of lying down on my tummy under her table with paper and markers and colored pencils just drawing all day until we went home.

I had a lot of paper dolls, too. Barbie paper dolls were common, as well as the Disney (I remember I had The Littler Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast), I also had Rainbow Brite, but my absolute favorite was this one:

If you got hit by nostalgia, you're welcome!

I'm not sure why I loved this so much, but it's probably because of the waviness of the hair (if you look at a huge chunk of my past artworks, the wavy flowing hair was almost always present), and the amount of detail in the outfits. Barbie and Disney Princess paper dolls were fine, but they were sort of boring, to be perfectl honest.

My mom went further. She had the tools and resources (mainly seamstresses working at her boutique to do the actual sewing), she was able to design and MAKE honest-to-goodness miniature clothes for the Barbies I had. In fact, we had more fun designing clothes than playing with the dolls themselves. I wish I had photos or the clothes still, but these were more than 2 decades ago. Way before a time when photos were as easy as taking out a gadget from your pocket.

I don't think I ever outgrew paper dolls. Right now, I still have a sizeable collection of paper doll books

Most of them aren't for playing, namely the Tom Tierney ones that you need scissors to cut. But I do have some that are really for kids to have fun with - the perforated books. I really like seeing Filipino outfits in them.

Quite adorable, and I just know kids would really like these, too.

So, anyway. I guess that's a long preamble to what I'm trying to write down in this blog post, which is...

.... illustrating my own paper dolls!

Unfortunately, due to recent events (which I shall share when there's a better resolution), I'm really not in the mood to do any more indigenous themed artwork.

ANYWAYS. Maybe I'll focus more on the Spanish ones. Baro't saya and Barong Tagalog.

These were done on-and-off during 2022, and I somehow ended up with a lot (and a couple of in-progress ones, as well).

The base:

And so far, I've been releasing them in sets.

As well as FREE (Ifugao and Aeta) ones:

I promised myself I'd update my website/blog more than my social media. I'm just super tired of social media, guys. And the INTERNET, in general. There's pressure to get likes, follows, views, whether you like it or not... and I'll still be posting finished content on Instagram and Facebook (because I essentially won't have income if I don't), but for behind-the-scene posts and musings, I'll be on my blog.

(P.S. Happy Holidays, everyone!)

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