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Submitted on
May 5, 2011


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Rather than answering these individually over and over again, I'm just going to leave this here and add to it as needed:

First off!
- I'm not telling you which princess I'm doing next.
- I would appreciate it if you didn't tell me what character I should do next, or what you're looking forward to, or what character you hope I'll do!  It's very sweet and I definitely appreciate the sentiment, but consider the fact that you're something like the 400th person to tell me about Elsa, or Anna, or Merida- it's not adding a lot to the conversation.
- No, I'm not doing any Kingdom Hearts characters.  There's no particular historical precedent, so they don't really have anything to gain from this series.

Are you going to do Merida?

Are you going to do any more pieces in this series?
Yes!  Let it be assumed that I will continue doing these until stated otherwise.

Which princess are you going to do next?
I honestly don't know until I start working on it, and I also don't like spoiling the surprise.

Can I make a request?
Please don't!  There are only so many Disney princesses, so requests come across as a bit redundant.

I'm researching all of the Disney princesses simultaneously, actually, since I tend to find reference for one while I'm looking through books for another.  As to the order in which I do them, it's completely up to my whim.

For further clarification, I literally have a list of the female (or otherwise) characters in the grand Disney pantheon- I know what my options are, I can promise I'm not forgetting anyone, and I don't have some master plan where I know which one's I'm going to be doing.

When are you going to do [INSERT DISNEY CHARACTER HERE]?
See above- I also don't have some master plan as to the order of these things.  I usually have a couple files going at once.

Oh hey, look at that.

What about Alice/Esmeralda/Jane Porter and all of Disney's other non-royals (or, in Kida's case, non-official royals)?
They are not being ignored.  I have some weirdly obscure Disney tastes, though, so you might end up seeing a certain cowgirl on a catfish before you see Esmeralda.

What about the men/ancillary characters like Aladdin and Lottie?
I'm honestly not planning that far ahead, and I also have a lot of other non-Disney art projects that I'd rather spend time on.  Granted, Inca Emperor Kuzco would be...  Yeah.  Epic.  We'll see.

Are you going to do Anastasia?
I'm afraid not.  I never liked the film much (Let's ignore the fact that I own the soundtrack what of it SHUT UP DON'T JUDGE ME), and I want to stick to Disney.  It's what I grew up with.

Actually, I meant Cinderella's stepsister, Anastasia.
Oh!  Well then.  Possibly.

Did you know the original story of [DISNEY PRINCESS] actually took place in [YEAR] and/or [PLACE]?
Yes!  I've researched all of these to a fault.  If it honestly feels like I've missed something please do comment, but also remember that I'm basing these specifically on the Disney versions...  Imperfections and all.  Sometimes the date of the original source material is relevant (Pocahontas, Esmeralda, etc), sometimes it isn't.

No, but really, Princess Badroulbadour is supposed to be from China, and-
Yup!  I read that Wikipedia page too.

I disagree with your choice of time period, and only one of us can be right!
In the long run, these are compleeeeetely for personal gratification and enjoyment.  Sure, The Little Mermaid fits pretty well into 1837, but I don't like the '30's (seriously guys WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE:… ) and Ariel's legomutton sleeves are placed high enough to scream "Belle Epoche," so, y'know.  Loophole.  I'm thrilled to hear how other people interpret the films, just not to the point that I'm going to go back and change my art.

Well these aren't entirely period accurate, are they?
These are for fun.  Stylistic liberties have been taken.  If the films themselves are at about 50% historical accuracy, these are more around 85-90%.  Closer, but they're not diagrams.

Why are all their eyes closed?
I really like the demure sideways/lowered glance, so after doing Belle looking down at her mirror it seemed like another way to tie the series together.  I like that they're not engaging the viewer, that they're in their own world, but in the long run I just really enjoy drawing them!  It implies large eyes without looking too cartoony.

Are you doing these because you hate the original Disney princess dresses?  THEY'RE SO PRETTY WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM I BET WALT IS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE
These aren't meant to be better, just more historically accurate.  Don't freak out.

How long does it take you to finish one of these?
Judging from my process videos, somewhere around ten hours if you don't count pauses, the earlier design process, etc. It depends- some of the princesses were pretty effortless, but it takes a lot more time and thought when I'm less familiar with the time period.

How long does it take you to research each character?
Hard to say! I'm researching a lot of these simultaneously, so these are now the result of research spread out over the course of months, or even years. It's a lot easier if I'm familiar with the time period- Cinderella and Ariel were proverbial walks in the park- but sometimes it's a solid week of reading books, looking up inspiration, doing studies. I put way more work into it now that I did back in the beginning.

Do you have any suggestions as to where I can research historical costuming?
I do, finally!  You can go check out the journal entry here… , and I'll try to update it regularly.

What specific references were you looking at while designing Jasmine's costume?
Racinet's plates were a primary source of inspiration:…, along with paging through sites about Persian miniature painting and middle eastern clothing terminology. have handled her completely differently had I drawn her today, but these are the references I was looking at at the time.

Can I cosplay your costumes?
Please do, I encourage it!  All I ask is that I get to see photos of the final product. :)

Favourite Disney princess?
LILO I DON'T CARE IF SHE ISN'T A PRINCESS. Best all around Disney character. Ever.
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May we draw the princesses in your historical costume designs, or is only cosplay permitted?:)
lilo is amazing and her sidekick is not an animal hes alien experiment 626 which makes them better than everyone
I don't think your ever going to post merida :( but otherwise I love the art! 
shoomlah Mar 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I apologize but this series is for me- People are not entitled to my decision whether or not to continue this series. Please think about these comments before you leave them- it's extremely rude to complain that an artist isn't meeting your every whim.
Please add Anna and Elsa to your lists if you haven't already! :)  You're amazing <3
shoomlah Mar 16, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Actually, now that I look at it, literally the second line item politely asks people not to ask about Elsa and Anna! I 100% appreciate your passion and excitement, but please try to read the FAQ in full before commenting. <:)
My apologies!  Will be looking forward to your next uploads! :)
shoomlah Mar 16, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
You are the 500th person to tell me to do this, yes. As the FAQ states, I know what my options are! Asking/telling me to do your favourites starts to make this personal project feel like more of an obligation.
alphabetsoup314 Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
First off: Love your interpretations of the princesses! The designs are much richer visually, while keeping the feel of the original (though I can understand simplicity in the movies, it would be a pain to keep animating Jasmine's henna designs over and over again). 

Second: I'm curious about the mental process that you use to pin down the time period. Do you generally prioritize the original source story, or the visual clues in the film? If you use films, what clues do you use to figure out the time period/location, and more importantly, how do you search for that clue? For instance, I would not have thought to look up 'leg of mutton sleeves' in reference to Ariel's poofy sleeves, because I am not familiar with the term. Also, I've noticed a general lack of consensus on when and where Little Mermaid takes place, so I wouldn't have even been able to pinpoint a country of origin or time period. How would you deal with a situation like that? Sorry, a lot of questions I know. 
shoomlah Mar 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
As it says in the FAQ, the source material is of little concern to me unless it's specifically relevant (Tiana, Esmeralda, Pocahontas, etc.)!

I'm not sure if I can explain the process, you just spend enough time ensconced in historical clothing that you can start to pick up the relevance of necklines, hemlines, men's trousers vs. pantaloons vs. culottes, closures, hairstyles, waistlines, etc.
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