November 22, 2014. JFK 50th Anniversary. Those of us who lived through the Kennedy years,all have our memories of the events. Here's mine. I was 5 years old when JFK was inaugurated. There was a picture of Mrs. Kennedy's Oleg Cassini designed inaugural gown in the newspaper and I did a drawing of it. My Mom sent it to the White House and I got this letter of thanks in return. Full circle moment: As an adult, working at The Franklin Mint, I drew sketches of that same gown for one of our Jackie dolls. Here are both the letter and that later sketch.
This book was so much fun to make! I say that about each new book, but it's true. I fall in love with the subject and become completely consumed with the research and exploration, the drawing, the color, and the challenges of figuring out all the design issues. I go to sleep thinking about it and I wake up thinking about it. It becomes an obsession. How nice to be obsessed for a time with the subject of haute couture!
When I do a book, I design the costumes myself, unless, it's based on a historical figure. But for generic subjects like fashion models, pop stars, fairies, mermaids, etc, I design my own costumes. I often borrow from the reference I study, in the case of this book, many Vogue magazines and on-line runway images. When I am inspired by a certain costume, I change it and make it my own and use my own color ways. While working on this book, I was loving all the jewels that designers were applying to their designs at the time.
I also spend countless hours working on the designs that accent each costume page of the book. In this case, it was working out the strips that run down each page with accessories and city symbols.These elements were all hand drawn, then scanned into the computer and put together there. Each page is a little different and though these elements may look simple, it takes many hours to work them out.
When I was about 5 years old, I had this storybook illustrated by Catherine Barnes. I loved the illustrations--and the stories.
I drew my own versions of the fairy tales on the back inside cover of the book.
In a career full-circle moment, I illustrated my favorite fairy tales, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty and designed my own versions of their costumes for Dover Publications' Fairy Tales Princesses Paper Dolls. So proud of this book, published in 2012.
My Fashionista as she appeared in the Spanish newspaper SModa in 2012. This artwork was commissioned as part of an article the magazine did on Paper doll artists and I was featured along with Tom Tierney and David Wolfe. Keeping very good company!