Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vintage Circus: The Strong Man


A while back, I stumbled upon a blog that presented Mimi Kirchner's circus tattoo dolls that she made with vintage toile.  I was in love!  (You can check it out by clicking here.)  At one time in my past, I was an art doll maker too so this kind of find really excited me!  I loved the whimsical design and fun details that were employed to get a retro look.  I thought that the use of toile to represent tattoos was genius! 

Last night, I realized that the Carousel Cricut cartridge has a silhouette of a Circus strong man.  I decided to do a little character study on this cut with the inspiration I got from Mimi Kirchner.

First, I cut three figures from Carousel in my Imagine at 6.3", floodfilling it with flesh color.  I used RGB 250,229,210. 

On the first one, I cut off the dumbbells and added a bit of brown paper behind the figure for his clothing.  I used a foam eyeshadow applicator and a brown inkpad.  I just inked him and did a bit of shading to give him some volume.  I used Sharpie pens for the detail work and drew in some silly tattos. I hand-cut his nose using scraps from the dumbbell.


For the next one, I first went to Google Images.  I wanted more of the kind of character that Mimi Kirchner was able to develop and I needed some clues.  I searched "old fashioned circus strong man" and "vintage tattoo".  Talk about great characters!!  I trimmed off the silhouette of hair, realizing I wanted a bald strong man.  Now I knew that I needed to I use black to do the shading (due to the effect of the black and white pictures, I guess.)  I used stamps and black ink to create his tattoos.  (This was an epiphany that I should have gotten from the toile but got instead from the cover of a book called Vintage Tattoos.  Those old-fashioned line-drawing-style tattoos looked like something from a rubber stamp!) 



This time, I kept the dumbbells.  I also printed a 5.5" square of red stripe from Buccaneer.  I traced his legs to create the pants and glued them on.  I colored in the dumbbell.  I cut his mustache from Billionaire (the taller one) at 1/4" and then made a small cut so I could spread them apart.  I hand-cut his eyebrows and drew in the rest of the face. 


I felt like I had the character I wanted... but this time, I wanted to make this cut into a super hero.

I cut another 6.3" figure, this time, floodfilling in with blue (one of the built-in colors on the Imagine queue).  I cut away the head, hands, and dumbbell.  I used the head from the last remaining figure that was flesh-colored.  I inked him in blue on his suit and black on his face.  The nose I made for him was smaller. 


I created a cape by printing a 6" square of red paper with the star print from the Black and White cartridge.  I cut three pieces-- a back piece and two side pieces.  I rolled the side pieces to create the folds in the cape.  I created epaulettes by centering one of the stars with a hole punch and pressing it out.


So, why is he so 'super'?  He's handy!  (Yes, we are in big need of a handy man-- so much so that I think of them as super heroes right now I guess.)  The hammer and wrench were cut on Handy Man at 1-1/4".  The "H" is from the Hannah Montana cartridge, cut at 1/2". 



I love creating characters and I had so much fun with these guys!  I learned so much and can you believe the difference in outcome when inking in brown versus black!  You can really see that in the picture above (remember the flesh was all the same RGB)!  You are welcome to visit My Project Gallery in the tab at the top of my blog, or by clicking here, to see all of my other characters and projects!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

20 comments:

Ohhh Snap said...

Wow!!!! I have that cartridge and never saw these :D. Wonderful translation you've done! Thanks for all the inspiration : )

RockinRenee said...

These are SO cool! I like the carnival man best. I have buying a bunch of different papers and stamps sling with the carnival imagine cart and carousel lite to make fine circus themed cartridges and layouts. I have been inspired to create since then but just haven't got back to it. Now maybe I will!

Mrs. Green said...

This is fantastic! I really love how you explain your process of creating these people. Thanks again for sharing!

www.michelegreen.com

cdm317 said...

Hey Nadia,
These are just fabulous!
TFS
Colleen

Audrey Frelx said...

Nadia, these are great!!! Wonderful job!

Mary said...

Nadia these are fantastic! Your so talented putting together people.

Sandy from Ukiah said...

How fun...

KOLA said...

Nadia, these are great!! I love the first one with brown shading - it looks so realistic! But I think you really made those tattoos look authentic with the stamps!! Way to go!

Sis Patterson said...

Nadia -

You have moved up several levels on the fabulousness meter! So artistic and wonderfully detailed. I am awed!

Carolyn/MamaC said...

Nadia, The Amazing Paper Sculptor! You are my Super Hero! I always love to see what you are going to create next!
Carolyn
cccscraproom@windstream.net
http://cccscraproom.blogspot.com

claymedmyheart said...

Oh, Nadia...you are so creative...and a bit silly, I might add. ; ) I LOVE the carnival man with his old-timey tattoos and stripey pants and 3-D nose. You're such an inspiration. Now I want to make a carnival strong man. But hmmmmm....what I can I use him for?? Please share what you do with these guys. Natalie

DIANA L. said...

Pretty neat.


DIANA L.
http://dianamlarson.blogspot.com/

Hrvatica said...

I am just always flabbergasted by your talent. These are wonderful!

Diane Hodrick said...

These came out so cool. The stamped tattoos look so real! Your inking really brings these figures to life. These are fun creations. How do have the patience to craft that tiny nose? You are really quite amazing.

Nadia said...

Thank you all for your kind comments!

Natalie- I am totally silly! I don't have a single plan for these guys! I do think a vintage circus will be in the works sometime, though! For now, they are hanging up with some other paper cuts in a corner of my craft area. This was just an exercise to see what I could do with the cut! (And a little therapy to give my mind a break for a short while from the real issues in the office!)

A splash here and there said...

I just love the shadings you did on the muscle man cuts! And the faux tatoos were brilliant! I wish I had a Handyman..... ;(

Melody

Princess Poodle said...

Nadia, YOU are AMAZING! I love visiting your blog, there is always something wonderful to discover!

Kate said...

These are fabulous! I love the three different looks you've achieved with the same cut. Thanks so much for posting all of them for us to see. The different coloured inking really does make quite a difference too! Great job with the noses as well! Very clever indeed!

Dreama said...

WOW...what creativity. Your banner is delightful. Glad I didn't enter the contest now. lol

Happy Crafter said...

Amazing characters and I love the 3D noses, they really make an impact. Your shading really emphasizes the muscle structure.

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