Have you met the Dannii Dolls?

Well, there are ‘dolls’ and then there is Laura! Laura Quinlan is an artist I discovered through Twitter when she posted some of her work for me to see. I was a judge on The X Factor at the time and ‘Dannii Dolls’ were born! I love the elaborate recreation of each outfit in the illustrations, and the cute pared-back dolls with their authentic hair and accessories. Laura has covered years of my fashion looks across The X Factor and Australia’s Got Talent now and injects the same meticulous attention to detail in each of her illustrations. I love to highlight artists, so to all my real life ‘Dannii Dolls‘, here is some more about Laura who will be 24-years-old in November.

DM: Tell us a bit about your background as an artist. Did you study?
LQ: I studied art at GCSE, did a Double A level in art and design at college and followed that with an Art and Design Foundation course, specialising in Graphic Design and Illustration. I also have a City and Guilds qualification in Life Drawing (Not something I plan on doing again).

DM: Do you make your living by being an artist? 
LQ: I am not a professional artist. So far this has more or less always been a hobby. I am sometimes asked by friends to paint or sketch something for them and I am also a face painter. I have a passion for pop culture and hair & make up. I spend many an hour on YouTube, watching tutorials and trying out different make up styles. I am a fan of Disney, old Hollywood glamour, musicals and pop music. I love bright colours, Pop Art and celebrities! These are my passions and they constantly inspire me.

DM: Have you always had a talent for art and drawing?
LQ: I have always doodled and sketched. When I was four years old my whole class did dot-to-dot drawings of snowmen and I added high heels and handbag to mine! In the 90s I did cartoons of the Spice Girls; in my teens I did them of McFly so I guess the natural progression has led me here.

DM: How did the Dannii Dolls originate?
LQ: The first ever illustration I did in this style was a Dannii Doll. I was watching the Judges’ Houses stage of The X Factor and it was the first time we’d seen you in that series, due to the birth of Ethan and you looked stunning. The maxi dress was so perfect for you and I sketched it as I was watching. I didn’t know what to do with the drawing, so I scanned it and just ‘messed about’ with it on Photoshop. I loved how it turned out, so planned to do it again for each of the live shows. This was all just for my own satisfaction so when I posted them on Twitter and you caught wind of them, I was shocked. 

DM: Where did the ‘Dannii Dolls’ name come from? 
LQ: Another Twitter fan happened to comment and called one a ‘DanniiDoll’ and the name stuck… When The X Factor finished, I decided to make dolls of other people as well. I visited my boyfriend in Australia in April this year, and got HOOKED on AGT. I had the bug again so got onto my Dannii Doll illustrations once again! 

DM: How do you create each Dannii Doll? 
LQ: Each illustration starts off hand drawn; in pencil first, then outlined bold. I scan them onto photoshop and bring them to life!

DM: Where would you like your art to take you? 
LQ: I’d always pictured myself illustrating children’s books or designing wrapping paper but I have no set career plans at the moment. I am focussing on getting back to Australia to be with my boyfriend and I enjoy doing the dolls in the meantime. They are something I can create whether I’m in Manchester or Perth!

Well, fashion illustration always catches my eye. I’m wishing you all the best with your future career Laura, and to all the ‘Dolls’ out there check out Laura’s latest creations by following her on Twitter @laura_aka_lil


Dannii x

PS If you have a passion for fashion or illustration, please share it with us here on my blog