So for Steve’s birthday doll I wanted to created something a bit more masculine. After a bit of thought I decided to base his doll on some design ideas that he developed for Vaudeville Hippie in the early days based on zombie jugglers.
As mentioned in an earlier post, Steve and I enjoy practising circus skills, which includes the art of poi spinning. Now am I not sure, but I think we were heavily into The Walking Dead at the time, which sparked the inspiration for the zombie juggler range.
To create the artwork, Steve whole heartedly threw himself into this project, posing with a range of circus props in different zombie stances and facial expressions.
These were then hand drawn and then adapted in Illustrator and Photoshop with filters so that they could be prepared for a silk screen print for T-Shirt printing.
I tried to copy the stance and facial expression of Steve’s zombie poi spinner photo and drawing as faithfully as I could, with some artistic license with the hair.
I wanted to create a sense of the hair decomposing and therefore have used a combination of cut up plastic from beer can holders and small off cuts of black netting fabric.
Now, although this is based on Steve’s work, it has allowed me to start personalising the style of the dolls and moving away from the templates I have been using so far.
The body parts are a combination of patterns from both Jan Horrox and Patti Medaris Culea to get the shape of the arms that most reflected the photo I had chosen to work from, one bent and one straight, this meant resizing the length of one of the arms to keep them a uniform length. I also extended the length of the legs and added wire inside to enable to doll to stand in his zombie pose. To create a male torso, I widen the waist.
The details have been drawn on by hand with micron pens and water colour pencils and a little bit of stitching in red for the zombie scars.
The poi are simple and small woollen pom-poms.