I decided rather than flip through a hundred thousand magazines to find a picture of a model in the right size, whose face I liked, it would be easier ( and more fun!) to just draw my own.
I got out a sheet of nice watercolour paper and placed a shirt cutout on it, to use as a guideline for the body.
I rendered it loosely at first, and then solidified the lines and added detail.
(I left her braless because some of the shirts I'd cut out had plunging necklines and I didn't want to mar the look with a drawn-on bra, and also because let's face it; bras are stupid and pretty pointless for a paper doll.)
My natural drawing style is very cartoony, but because the outfits were photos of real things I tried to make the head and face as detailed as possible while still staying true to "me".
My, but I am a talented photographer. Anyway, now came what was surprisingly the funnest part of the whole endeavour: trimming the outfit pieces down to fit her. Some pieces were far too big for the doll I had designed:
others would never fit the body type I had chosen to draw:
and some were too small, but I liked the patterns enough that I just couldn't not use it! This one was too small to be a dress...
but a quick cut and paste job turned it into an awesome t-shirt!
And the blue dress above would never ever fit her hips, so I turned it into a simple tank top. Others just needed to be trimmed slightly to fit shoulders, etc.
When that was done, I coloured the whole thing with pencil crayons and cut it out.
Then I glued it to the magnet sheet using an ordinary school glue stick. (Aannnnd I forgot to get any pictures of this stage...huh. Well, I'm sure you're all clever people and can imagine it.)
Are you imagining the doll stuck to a large black sheet of magnetic material? Good, because she was. Then, I cut that out.
As a final step, I separated her legs and torso, her arms and her hands from each other. The reason for this was that some of the outfits had been photographed to face a different way than straight ahead, or had their sleeves folded in front of them or something. This way, she was movable and could fit all of them.
I did the same gluing and cutting steps on all of the outfit pieces, and voila! Interchangeable awesomeness!
An example of the movable arms and hands in action:
It's not perfect - because of the kind of magazines I had to work with, I was limited to a certain type of fashion and also to a certain body type. Also, I had wanted to make a guy doll, but oddly there weren't many ads for guy's clothes in Cosmo and Vanity Fair.
But for what it is, I think it turned out perfectly. It's already as fun as I thought it would be - today she's wearing her wild-print pencil skirt and guy's sweater, jacket and scarf.
Only one problem left - what do I make with all the leftover magnet scraps???
I hope you make something cool today! Thanks for reading! Love, Emily.