"Well, I've always been artistic, but I haven't always sought God's direction for my art. Because of the talent I had been blessed with, I was always approached by friends, co-workers, and eventually clients for comissioned work. So, the buyer was calling the shots for the purpose and potential of my art. I painted custom work, murals in million dollar homes, commercial peices for new businesses, and even took an apprenticeship with a local artist in California. I was plenty capable and was always grateful for that, but never satisfied. I would take the order, ask the questions, design the piece, and finish it without an ounce of passion. They were always pleased, I was always dissapointed. I have wrestled with questions about my talent for many years. Why did God give me this talent? What am I supossed to do with it? I'm not sure I've found the answers to those questions completely, but I think I'm heading in the right direction.
When my daughter was born, I decided to leave teaching and stay home with her. It has been a wonderful blessing to walk with her through these first two years of development and lead her toward God's will. One truth has become blindingly apparent to me: Children look for guidance. They seek direction and encouragment in everything they do...and what are we showing them? Walking through the mall, I read little pink t-shirts on 7, 9, and 12 year olds: "I don't have to be smart, I'm pretty." "Your boyfriends said I'm a better kisser than you." "Crazy Sexy Cool"..... Our little girls are no longer protected, no longer encouraged, and no longer allowed to flourish in the innocence of their gender. I felt paralized by the questions I had. How do I battle the effects of Hannah Montana? Why are they selling lacy panties and hooker boots in the little girls section? How do I cure Beiber fever? Who is going to be the teachers, protectors, and nurturers of the next generation if we all want to be famous dancers, singers, and athletes? Why doesn't anyone care? When the feelings of overwhelming desperation subsided, I was able to recieve wisdom and comfort. I am only one. And yet, at least I am one.
I designed my entire line of stationary characters and paper dolls with Psalm 139:14 in mind. In fact the scripture: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.." is printed on base of the paper doll file as a reminder with each purchase. Paper dolls were a precious part of my childhood. I played endlessly with the punch out clothing and accessories, and even made my own. I still love the versatile nature of these nostalgic toys as an adult and I hope to inspire a new generation of little girls to be imaginative in their play. But, more importantly, the clothing and accessories I design are guided by my desire to portray wholesomeness and innocence rather than the sexy diva culture our girls are surrounded with. The dolls are meant to celebrate each unique style and the endless diversity we see in God's children, without the sexual entrapment of Bratz, Barbie, or other fashion-based dolls. I know the lure of what's out there will always be stronger than my efforts, but I have hope in knowing I can at least provide something else, something better, for those who seek it. My hope is that moms, grandmas, aunts, and friends will buy these for the little girls in their life, cut them out with them, encourage discussion about current style trends, read the scripture, and give them some good hearty guidance in the area of value."
How, with God's help, she does it:
"The paper dolls were originally designed as stationary characters. My mom suggested that I make paper dolls since I loved them when I was a kid. I designed the first doll and just made multiple heads/hair for all the different girls. Then I assigned colors to each one and started designing their clothes. When designing an outfit, I lay my paper over the doll, so I can see her dimensions through the page and work around that. I made the boots my signature thing...so all the dolls outfits coordinate with the rainboots. =) Everything is done in colored pencil and scanned in to the computer. I use a photo program to brighten all the colors and have them printed at Office Depot on bright white cardstock. You can also put magnets on the back, laminate them, or use velcro for younger kids (my two year old). I am always thinking of new clothing designs, but am careful to make my designs reflect my ideas about modesty and innocence. "
I love her Girl Scout and Brownie Scout note cards 'cause I was like forever a Girl Scout. See how cute!
You can find her wonderfull paper dolls and note cards in her etsy shop MsKatiesArtStudio and also in Dollabee.com (in the category of "Other").
Great gifts! Great for travel! Great for Grannies to have on hand when your girls visit! Great to play with in bed at night under the covers with your flashlight! Who knows maybe you could design some great paper dolls some day too!