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Jan 17

My Freelance Illustrations for Barbie Magazine

dress and barbie magazine cover

Dress and Barbie Magazine Product

Recently I was hired as a freelance illustrator to provide illustrations for three issues of Barbie Magazine being developed in Germany.  This article explain the requirements and will show some of the work for each Barbie Magazine issue that I illustrated as well as some sketches created during these projects.

Barbie Magazine and Dress

Each issue of Barbie Magazine would feature Barbie wearing a specific dress to a particular event.  The really fantastic part of this product was that each Barbie Magazine issue, also distributed the actual Barbie Dress being featured in each issue, in a plastic sleeve attached to the front of the magazine! Little girls could dress their Barbie Doll in the same dress as they were coloring, drawing, and reading about!

Hand Drawn Illustrations

The Barbie Magazine issues I illustrated included several drawing lessons for Barbie wearing that issue’s featured dress and other activities related to it, such as Barbie’s hair style, Barbie’s makeup, cut out accessories and other elements. To that end, one of the requirements for the freelance illustrations was to create each drawing lesson illustration, and the intermittent illustrated steps, to look as though the work was hand drawn using colored pencils.

freelance illustrations of how to draw barbie wearing her carnival dress

Some illustrations of Barbie’s Carnival Dress drawing lesson.

Hand Drawn vs Electronic Artwork

All of the illustrations needed to be delivered quickly and in an electronic file format. There was no time in the production time line to deliver actual hand drawn illustrations by snail mail. The publisher also wanted to be able to request revisions to the hand drawings in some or all of the individual illustrated steps. This could not be quickly and easily implemented unless the “hand drawn” illustrations were actually drawn on computer. So I illustrated all of the “hand drawn” illustrations in Adobe Photoshop using custom brushes designed to replicate colored pencils.

freelance illustrations of how to draw barbie wearing her spring dress

Some illustrations of Barbie’s Spring Dress drawing lesson.

Vector Requirements

Other illustrations for each issue, other than the illustrations used in the drawing lessons, had to be illustrated and delivered in a vector file format using Adobe Illustrator. As a result the final illustrations for both the drawing lessons (hand drawn look) and other magazine artwork (vector work) were created, downloaded, revised, and delivered several times from California to Germany instantly by direct electronic download from my server.

freelance illustrations for barbie magazine, issue #1601

Some of my freelance illustrations I did for Barbie Magazine, Issue #1601

Issue 1601 Barbie Goes to Carnival

The first issue I illustrated was Barbie attending Carnival. It included several drawings for the individual steps involved in drawing Barbie wearing the Carnival dress. Other drawing lessons in this issue included how to draw Barbie’s makeup, how to draw Barbie’s mask, how to draw Barbie’s hair style, and Cut-Out Accessories that the child could color, cut out, and paste over their drawings. It also included coloring pages of each of the drawing lessons final art.

freelance illustrations for barbie magazine, issue #1602

Some of my freelance illustrations I did for Barbie Magazine, Issue #1602

Issue 1602 Barbie’s Spring Dress

The second issue I illustrated was Barbie and her Spring Dress. It included a drawing lesson with several drawing steps of Barbie wearing the Spring Dress. It also included a drawing lesson with several steps illustrating how to draw Barbie’s makeup, how to draw Barbie’s fascinator, how to draw Barbie’s hair style, and several Cut-Out Accessories that the child could color, cut out, and paste over their finished drawings. It also included coloring pages of each of the drawing lessons final art.

freelance illustrations for barbie magazine, issue #1605

Some of my freelance illustrations I did for Barbie Magazine, Issue #1605

1605 Halloween Barbie

The third issue I illustrated involved Barbie wearing a Halloween dress and items related to her costume. As with the other issues I illustrated, this issue included several drawing lessons and illustrating the individual steps involved. The drawing lessons included how to draw Barbie wearing her Halloween dress, how to draw Barbie’s hairstyle, how to draw Barbie’s makeup, how to draw bat wings Barbie will wear, and several Cut-Out Accessories for the child to color, cut out, and paste over their completed illustrations. It also included several coloring pages of the final drawing lessons and other coloring pages that included Barbie and her friends wearing Halloween costumes.

Sketches of Barbie I Created

Barbie Sketches

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this recap of this project and the freelance illustrations I created for Barbie Magazine. I thought it was a wonderful product; each magazine issue designed to feature a particular Barbie Dress, the actual Barbie Dress being distributed in a plastic sleeve on the front of each issue, and the exciting How to Draw Barbie drawing lessons included inside each issue. I was both flattered and honored to provide freelance illustrations for Barbie Magazine.

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