When I was in kindergarten, I got the chicken pox and was home on the couch for a week. (Now, thankfully, my children will never know that “joy” due to the chicken pox vaccine, but I digress.) My grandma and mom tried to help cheer me up and pass the time by making homemade paper dolls. They tried to make the magazines of the day work , but the images were not like those of yesteryear. When they were young, the girls in the magazines could be cut out and homemade paper dolls created because the pictures and drawings were roughly the same size and it was easy to make them fit together (see the advertisement for goldflex frocks). Though we couldn’t make it work with the 1980’s magazines, that memory was the catalyst for my fascination with paper dolls. On my sick bed, I imagined the gorgeous styles, clothes, and scenery and how I would play with them.
Fast forward to the computer age and my own children. It is so easy to find beautiful paper dolls online that talented artists have created to be shared. As we were searching, we came across some of the most beautiful images that I have seen. My daughter went CRAZY!!!
I mean look at these:
An artist named Cory Jensen has a facebook page dedicated to paper dolls that he’s created. He takes no money for them (as they are fan-based), but I think that it is a wonderful way to build a resume – and I’m sure that with his amazing talents, he will go far!
I contacted Cory in order to write this post and he was so willing to share some information about his creations and talent. He modestly said that he didn’t have any professional training and wasn’t a professional artist, but I’m sure you’ll agree with me that he is a talented artist nonetheless.
1. How long have you been an artist?
I have been interested in art my whole life and I have been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil! So minus the 2 years where I could only scribble, I would say I’ve been an artist for 20 years!
2. Where did you get your training?
As I said, I have never had any actual training or schooling in art…yet. Although, I would like to attend an art school in the near future. I never even took art classes in high school, which I do regret. I watched all the Disney classics when I was a kid and I was in awe of how the drawings literally came to came to life on the screen! So even without realizing it, from a young age I was studying these movies and learning the basics of art. Obviously, Disney movies have remained a big part of my life and I continue to study them as well as the work of countless artists. So, I wouldn’t say I am self-taught, but taught by hundreds.
3. Do you do “Paper Dolls, by Cory” for a living, or for fun?
As of right now “Paper Dolls by Cory” is something I do for fun. I started making these “retro” style paper dolls several years ago and posting them on my DeviantArt page. People seemed to like them and I liked making them so I started “Paper Dolls by Cory” to reach more people. I would like to make a living of making these paper dolls but because most of the dolls I make are of copyrighted characters I don’t feel comfortable selling them. I would, however, like to create original paper dolls and sell those in the future. But for now, knowing that people enjoy my work is enough for me!
4. Are your paper dolls hand drawn or do you use a program on the computer?
I start off the dolls by hand drawing very rough pencil sketches which I then scan into my computer. Usually, the first sketch is far from perfect so I scribble several notes on what needs to be adjusted on the computer (i.e. slight pose changes, and proportions.) After I scan them I start using a program called PaintShopPro 9, which is essentially a less expensive Photoshop. I also use a Wacom Bambo Create pen tablet to more easily draw and color on the computer.
5. What other types of artistic work do you do?
Almost all of the art work I do is done digitally. But I am always sketching ideas in my sketchbook and even on receipt paper from where I work…they don’t like that too much…ha ha I love to draw people! Whether it is a Disney character, someone I know, or just someone I thought of. My goal when I draw a character is to convey an emotion, from the eyes and facial features, to the pose and gestures. I feel like I have done good work if someone looks at a piece of art I’ve done and they feel something.
6. What advice do you have for kids who are interested in becoming artists one day?
Explore the world around you! Find what interests you, draw it, and study it. Draw what you see and how you see it. Make the world your own! I’ve found that another good way to learn about art is to look at other artists’ work. Study their technique, ask questions like “why did they draw that expression?” or “why did they use that color?” Let them inspire you, but find your own artistic voice and style.
7. If someone wanted to purchase a set of your paper dolls, or commission some work, where could they go?
I don’t yet have paper dolls available for sale, nor am I currently taking commissions, but when I do the information will be available on my Facebook page.
I want to wish Cory the best of luck for his future and thank him for the hours of fun that my daughters had with his creations. I know that he will go far!
- Do you ever do paper crafts (or Paper dolls) with your kids?
- What are your favorites?
- When I was young, my brother had a set of Cowboy and Indian paper villages. Any other great ideas for boys?
As a current follow-up to Cory Jensen, he has continued to create and does have a shop. You can find his work at –
Red Bubble – Cory Jensen Art Where you can find t-shirts, stickers, phone cases, pillows, etc.
Tumbler – Cory’s Art
Amazon – Actual Paper Doll Books – YAY!