Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Full Circle Moments or BLACK MAGIC POPPY The Remix!

This is my Remixed version of Black Magic Poppy being modeled by
Barefoot in the Park Poppy Parker in her fabulous Mid Century living room. 
Many moons ago I was asked to be a part of a team and work with a toy manufacturer to create a design for a convention. At first,  I was thrilled to be involved. It was like a dream come true. I was finally going to be able to combine my love of designing fashion and my love of dolls - and both those worlds were about to collide. Well, as many of you may know by now when have too many cooks in the kitchen the soup gets spoiled. And even thought, I love working in teams (in fact I've based my whole career around fostering the benefits of teamwork....and the fact that there is no "I" in it) even under the best of circumstances the ugly head of envy can always pop its green little head out. This is a recurring theme that I've had to deal with my entire life. Sometimes I tell people upfront and say "I'm like Madonna or Lady Gaga, you are either going to love me or hate me." LOL It's unfortunate because I, in my heart of hearts am a "people person". I'm really more like Sandra Bulllock more than I am either of the aforementioned POP Divas. I really try hard to make myself likable to people, but I draw the line at selling myself short when it comes to working hard and putting my best effort forward whenever I do something. For some reason, this really pisses some people off. Perhaps they think I'm a glory hound....far from it. I'm always thanking others for any accolades I may get on any work I am a part of. No man is an island and no one can truly create wonderful work with a supportive, cohesive and spectacular team.
These were the original 3 designs that I did for the doll I was working on.
Please don't judge them too harshly as it was 1996 and the quality of  IT & FR
was still in the near future. I highlighted the date so you could see just how long
this doll design has lived in the recesses of my mind. 
    Now back to the doll design project. When I first started it, I went the route that I normally go. Which is sit down and have a "client interview" with the jury of people that had asked me to do the project. I asked them what the theme was, when it was due, how many needed to be produced, what their budget was...blah, blah, blah." All the usual questions. Once I felt they had given me all the tools that I needed to start my work, I began doing my fashion croquis (which are just fashion illustrations). I normally design thinking of a "head to toe" look, what hair color, style, jewelry and other accessories are going to work best with the attire. That way the clients can have a fuller picture of what the final product is going to look like. I don't normally present more than 3 options and I try to make them all very different, while still meeting the general expectation of the individuals I'm working with. Now, truth be told, I always have a favorite among the three. One that I truly feel strongly about and I tend to "sell" that one a bit harder....Ultimately it is up to the clients to choose which one they like the best. Sometimes this works in my favor and my preferred design wins....sometimes I get stuck with my "less than favorite design" but once I am committed to a project, my job is to do the best that I can do....oh....and I'm a bit of a perfectionist (and that comes into play a lot). In the end, this is what happened on this project and I had to keep reminding myself that I had given them a choice of my 3 designs and in the end one was still being produced.
    Like many ill started projects, this one too had an unhappy ending. Although, I met and exceeded all the expectations set by the team for me, I guess I did them too well. Because they were afraid that the crowd would be shower me with accolades because of all the work I had done and in their words it was going to become the "FRANK show". Little did they know that was never my intention and that I would NEVER forget to shine the spotlight on the team. They never gave me the chance to show them that. This is where the "GREEN EYED envy monster" comes in and the whole experience scarred me so. These cretin's (who I had confused and believed were friends) made my life a living hell before the final event came to pass....to the point that I decided not to even attend and stopped collecting fashion dolls of any sort for about 10 years. CUT TO: Then I met my friends David and Ken quite innocently and by accident  at a local comic book show and they told me about the FR Convention which I reticently ended up attending...but now after going for 5 years...I'm sooooooo glad that I did. Making new friends and reconnecting with old ones has been very nice for me over the years....but especially life re-affirming....EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
    Well, at this last FR Convention in L.A., I was able to have a full circle moment. I saw a Poppy Parker doll that was designed by my dear and talented friend David Buttry. Her name was Black Magic but all I could see was a dream come true. I rarely look at dolls as "one whole concept" (even though ironically...that is how I design my OOAKs). I tend to look at every part of the doll as separates: clothes, accessories...etc. I guess it is the designer in me that wants to make things "my own" and I like to do a bit of switcharoo with my dolls. Plus, isn't' that what doll play is all about? Well, for me it is.
I love playing "stylist" and pulling things together that make a doll special and unique to my collection.
    Below is the fashion illustration that I did in 1996 (yes, I am that old) and above is the doll that I put together using the Black Magic fashion and the Barefoot in the Park Poppy to make my final vision come true.
    David, you had no idea that you were doing this when you were designing this doll, but it has helped heal a wound that I've been carrying along for way too many years. So, for that my friend, I thank you and love you!

xoxo,
Frank

P.S. Putting in the mid-century home was a nod to YOUR favorite style of decor.
Muah! F

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