Society

LOOKS GOOD ON PAPER


Former Rockdalian Gregg Nystrom (center) with a few of his favorite subjects (left to right): Jean Harlow, Veronica Lake, Mae West and Josephine Baker. 
Photo/OutSmart Magazine Former Rockdalian Gregg Nystrom (center) with a few of his favorite subjects (left to right): Jean Harlow, Veronica Lake, Mae West and Josephine Baker. Photo/OutSmart Magazine with, had we stayed there all 12 years of school), had our 20th reunion. I was happy to be invited. Great memories from that weekend.

Have you always been interested in art and drawing? Ever since I was little, I have drawn people, and whenever Kyle (Cooke) and I weren’t riding bikes to the dead end woods, or at the pool across the street (from the Cookes), I was drawing. Movie stars and models were of particular interest to me, and those are who I would usually draw. Being interested in the film and fashion industries, and loving to draw people, somewhere along the way, all these things converged into my paper doll artwork. I took private art lessons when we lived in Palestine, and took a few art classes in college at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches.

Do you have a favorite paper doll, if you had to pick one?

My fave paper doll... hmmmm...I REALLY like an early 1950s era Joan Collins I just finished. However, almost all of them are my faves while I am working on them.

How exciting is it to actually find your book on shelves?

It is hard to physically find my book on a store shelf, but Texas Art Supply here in Houston (on Montrose), carries it. I have seen Dover paper doll books for sale in some Barnes & Nobles, but seeing them on shelves there is very spotty, sometimes they carry a lot, or none at all.

Dover tells me to direct people to Amazon.com, whenever anyone asks. I can track sales by area on

Amazon, and some have been sold in Austin, but it doesn’t tell me where.

Also, some stores specializing in movies memorabilia, (one in New York City, the other in Seattle), have it on their shelves, so that is kinda cool.

Obviously you are an old movie buff. What are your favorite movies to draw from?

I don’t draw from old movies, per se, (instead, draw movie stars), but I have always wanted to draw paper doll sets from the casts of the Agatha Christie movies made in the ‘70s: Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, Evil Under the Sun and The Mirror Crack’d. Grease would be fun, too.

How long does it take you to make one paper doll?

It can take as little as two hours to complete a paper doll, and as long as eight hours, depending on how happy I am with the likeness. I usually do a preliminary sketch, then once I have that just right, draw it on the sturdier paper that I use to make my paper dolls. (It saves wear and tear on the paper from eraser marks, etc.)

I use colored paper to make the clothes, drawing highlights and shadows in the appropriate places. I use colored pencils to make the paper dolls, with everything blended with Q-tip to make a more airbrushed looking finish.

What is the most difficult part of the process?

The most difficult part is getting the likeness just right. After that, everything else falls into place, as I have been drawing these practically all my life, professionally for the last six years.

Tell me a little about your next book.

The next book is tentatively titled B-Movie Bombshells, but that may change. Such 1950s beauties as Anita Ekberg, Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joan Collins, Rhonda Fleming, Diana Dors- 16 total.

I have always loved the 1950s, and am happy to pay homage to not just the great stars of that era, but to some of the lesser known ladies, as well. shelves there is very spotty, sometimes they carry a lot, or none at all.

Dover tells me to direct people to Amazon.com, whenever anyone asks. I can track sales by area on

Amazon, and some have been sold in Austin, but it doesn’t tell me where.

Also, some stores specializing in movies memorabilia, (one in New York City, the other in Seattle), have it on their shelves, so that is kinda cool.

Obviously you are an old movie buff. What are


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