Lisa Perrin {Interview}

Lisa Perrin

{ etsy }

{ flickr }

{ blog }

What made you decide to make paper dolls?

I think paper dolls are just lovely things! And I got to combine many of my interests in their creation, like history, costumes, drawing, painting, decoration, and the occasional bit of dark humor. Paper dolls have functionality, which makes them a very accessible art form. They are something that unites many of our childhoods. They ooze with possibility. Not in a gross way.

Do you prefer that your customers put them on display or actually play with them? Do you have your own sets to play with?

I get a bit of a dorky thrill when I think of people actually cutting them out, and putting the little outfits on, and enjoying it, and what not. Of course I also feel very humbled knowing some people frame them and put them on the walls in their home. That’s really quite cool.

If you could go back in time to any era in history, when and where would you go?

Good gravy! I don’t know if I could choose. It’s a bit of a tie between Victorian and Tudor and Civil War and the 1920’s…that’s really not a definitive answer is it?

I love your dark sense of humor! What happens when a funny idea for a paper doll strikes-- do you start immediately, jot it down on paper, laugh hysterically?

Thank you! I like the imagery of the word “strikes.” I imagine myself doing some mundane task like flossing or folding laundry when I am struck by some unforeseeable blast of lightning. “Gadzooks!” I might say after it happens. Actually, I get my best ideas when I am trying to fall asleep at night. Then I amble, drowsy, out of my bed and jot it down. Half the fun is trying to decipher what I wrote the next morning. I am a prolific keeper of lists. Then I think about the idea for a few days, let it fester, and make up some sketches.

I read on your blog that one of your favorite illustrators is Edward Gorey (me too!) -- and I can definitely see his influence in your art. Do you read his books often? Do you have a favorite?

I am glad to have found another Gorey fan! He was my first real “hero” in the world of art and storytelling. I loved the line work, the wall paper, the Victorian garb…I was hooked. I have all of the collections of Amphigorey’s which I leaf through from time to time. I am bad at picking favorites but I reckon it might be The Doubtful Guest or The Object Lesson. And the limericks! Let’s not forget the limericks!

What do you do to get the creative juices flowing if you're having artists' block?

Sometimes I think the best thing you can do for a drawing is simply to stop drawing. Do something else for a bit, like finish folding that laundry you neglected once you were struck by some sort of proverbial lightning. I think the key is getting inspired. There is such a wealth of fantastic art on the internet (etsy, and flickr, etc.) It gets me jazzed to keep going. Looking at your favorite art, the art that makes you giddy about being an artist, that is the stuff to revisit when you are having trouble.

Have you ever designed the sets for a play yet? What play would you most like to design, more than any other? Would you also like to do the costumes?

Gosh, that is a dream of mine. I have taken several costume design classes at school. I am enthralled by the idea of creating a world, which is something theater does. If I had to choose (which I am awfully bad at doing) I might say Sweeney Todd or Into the Woods, or anything of Shakespeare’s really.

Do you collect anything? Vintage paper dolls, perhaps?

I collect old Victorian photos, antique gloves, tiny paint brushes, strange/pretty doo-dads and knick-knacks, and dust.

You mentioned on your blog that you are currently a student- are you studying art or theater design, or something else?

I am indeed a college student. I am a double major getting a BA in English and a BFA in Drawing and Painting. I am busy!

Besides Edward Gorey, who are your favorite artists?

Aha! I have a list prepared should I ever be asked this particular question. My favorite artists include Erte, Klimt, Schiele, Aubrey Beardsley, Dame Darcy, Heinrich Kley, Mucha, and a number of the truly amazing artists on etsy!

Do you do artwork full time, or do you have a separate 9-5?

I try to be both a full time student and a full time artist. Mathematically that doesn’t add up, does it?  C’est la vive. 

If you could only listen to one cd, read one book and watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

The CD would have to be The Crane Wife by the Decemberists, the book would be Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and the movie would be The Triplets of Belleville. I would probably go crazy though if I couldn’t read/watch/listen to anything else. Crazy, I tell you!

What do you hope to be doing 15 years from now?

Ooo hoo! That is a terrifying question for a college student! I hope to be some kind of professor teaching within the arts, and publishing illustrations, (and paper dolls, of course!) painting, designing, meeting wonderful creative people and growing more at ease with my wackiness. Above all, I hope to undermine my destiny and not become a crazy cat lady. 


Diana said...

she has some amazing stuff. thanks for sharing!

Linda Crispell said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely and talented artist with us! The paper dolls are wonderful, I love the fire that comes with Joan of Arc!

Funnylttlefrog said...

i love me some lisa! I'm very proud to say that I have one of this talented artist's sketches and that she totally rocks.

Lrc said...

a fabulous interview! I was so happy to see her blog and look at her new pieces...I love her influences and dark humor! It makes me feel that there are people in the world like me!

vivienne strauss said...

Thanks Kate & Lisa for such a fun read and really beautiful work :)

Dusty said...

i am very proud of my talented niece...

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