Paper Dolls // Inspired by Madewell

A bit ago (when I started this project), I was feeling conflicted with the direction of my artwork. Laboring to expand my portfolio in a way that is simultaneously enjoyable for me, and yet communicative and conducive to commissions and the market… is a little difficult, if not daunting.

I decided that following counterintuitive advice might be easiest while doing so blindly. “Streamline your process, Alex.” “Combine your skills, Alex, in a way that communicates on a deeper level.” “Stop with the portraits, Alex.” Eventually, these translated to my midsummer self as, “Allocate drawing time every single day, Alex.” “Fashion is… conceptual, right Alex? Maybe?” And, my favorite, “Cut off their heads, Alex!”

As I was dawdling on the Madewell site (which totally tickles my aesthetic tastebuds), a fashion-oriented, vector/graphite friendly, re-interpreted “paper doll” illustration campaign found itself winding itself around in my mind and fingers.

The bare bones (below), are graphite renderings inspired by some of the Madewell catalog models.


I see the expansion (vector) as being somewhat limitless, pending the desires of the client. There is the option of exhibiting photographs of the clothing fit upon the graphite mannequins’ frames, but also a treatment in which the look of the clothing is more implied than explicitly shown.

For example, vector patterns:


[Click to enlarge]

Alternately, it could allow clipping masks (textural images, watercolor splotches, photography, etc.) of limitless content.

I would love to work on more of these. They are successful in that they’re marketable, they’re flexible, compositionally sound and precise, relevant to the trendy (but timeless) handmade/DIY appreciation, and it made me remarkably happy to create them.

[See process entries here, here, and here.]


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