Milkmaid Leaves House On Prairie, Scores Sunflower Wedding Cake
The Rumpus is an online magazine that publishes essays on eclectic subjects. They asked me to illustrate one called In My Clothes. In it, a woman looks back on her life, musing on what she was wearing at the time. You can read it here.
Certain lines will often conjure up ideas for me. This early memory, for example:
I touch my braids, wrapped around my head like a milkmaid. I feel silly.
And then there is my Little House on the Prairie dress.
All the references to clothes in the essay made think of paper dolls. I may have gotten a little carried away with the braids. The milk can and cat bracket the main elements, and give the illustration some extra appeal.
Here’s a detail image:
Towards the end of the essay, the author writes:
I am forty-three, and I am getting married today… There is small cake from Wal-Mart with an orange sunflower on top… We eat bowls of fried rice in the living room and we say, I love you.
I knew there was a wonderful illustration in there as soon as I read the lines. I substituted a takeout box for the bowls of rice, because, for me, Chinese food is very much identified with those boxes. And little packets of soy sauce.
This illustration is a good example of how one’s subconscious mind continues to tinker with an idea even after you think it’s “settled.”
I had envisioned a pair of ordinary chopsticks, but as I roughed out the line drawing, it occurred to me that I could do something a lot more creative, which would also allow me to extend the paper doll motif.
Here’s a detail image:
We all have vivid memories of certain events. Do you have any where you can remember exactly what you were wearing?
Did anybody play with paper dolls when they were young? I remember seeing paper doll outfits in comic books. They’d be credited to the readers who sent them in. Were you one of those budding fashion designers?
Has anyone ever eaten sunflower cake? Do the little seeds get stuck in your teeth??
Hope you’ll leave a comment.
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