Career Paths (My Paper Doll Obsession)

It’s funny how rapidly your career ideas change over the years, especially when you’re a kid. Realistically, kids start thinking about future jobs as early as five, mostly due to the unimaginative conversation starters adults use, with ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ being prominent among them. The answers usually range from little boys that want to be firemen, to little girls dragging their dolls around by their hair that want to be ‘mommies’. There are a few original kids in between, but I was definitely the former and most of my old dolls’ hair is a testament to that to this day. In fact, I went through most of the popular ‘job’ choices that appeal to little girls, including ballerina.

And yes, I did think I looked graceful. But when I was around nine, I decided that I was going to be the chief paper doll maker for Mary Engelbriet. I wasn’t entirely sure if that position existed, but I was pretty confident I could make it happen. After all, I made awesome paper dolls. Meet Susan, my original paper doll:

Fairly soon afterwards, I got a printer/scanner, and began the process of scanning my paper dolls into the  computer, then using the paint software on my old PC to give them a better, more polished look. The first doll I made using a computer, was Donna:

I named her after my friends mom which was a little weird, but I do like the name. Before computer:

After computer:

I thought this was just so clever. Unfortunately, it was not at all original. At the time I was knitting a scarf just like the one the pair of pink pajamas is making, and had also given Donna a miniature of my black iPod Nano, and she apparently had a strange fear of earbuds and had a set of ugly black headphones just like me. I was extremely cool. But hey, that’s just being nine. I eventually began to branch out. I gave Donna a little sister. Dee Dee:

I don’t know why I decided to give her a pinkish-tan swimsuit.

Of course, all this was before I realized that Mary Engelbreit was a full-blown company, rather than just a woman, news that for some reason kind of ruined it for me. Not the paper doll making, I still loved that, but instead of working for M.E. I was going to be a small business owner with a genius product; coloring page paper dolls:

I was very proud of my invention. See, I was going to name my business ‘Sheila’s Paper World’ after the blog I had when I was eleven, in which I wrote as my alter-ego Sheila, who was a paper doll. It was not a very good blog, and I only kept it from 2007 to 2008, after which I promptly deleted it. I didn’t do a very thorough job though. I was able to recover it pretty easily. This is Sheila in blog form:

And here she is on a sheet in all her paper doll glory:

It features Sheila’s dog, Sucanot and inclued creepy extra heads so she could wear glasses and different expressions. Again, I was ten.

Here you can see the Sheila doll post-deletion of my old blog, and pre-much-needed-haircut. I was thirteen.

After the coloring page paper dolls, came the personalized paper dolls. The concept was, send me a picture of yourself, and I would make a paper doll of you. I practiced on my friends:

These two are sisters. The first one is the writer of the blog; The Somewhat Official Chronicles of Me (her pen name is Roxy). And her sister has a blog called Genius in Ballet Flats, and she goes by Larkie. And no, I have no idea why my paper doll versions of them look so tense.

Over time, I improved a little, but not much:

I eventually got tired of making paper dolls, and since then I have gone through many job ideas, non of which stuck. I decided to become a writer, then it was an interior designer, and I have recently changed my mind in favor of marketing. It just goes to show, you never know what you’re meant to do. Unless you do, in that case… Well, I wouldn’t know. Good luck to you, readers.

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