Tom Tierney

Tom Tierney was born in Texas and began his career as an illustrator at a very young age, in fact he was already working as a freelancer when he was in high school but, after studying sculpture and painting and after a brief period in the army, he headed to New York where he worked as a fashion illustrator for companies like Sears or Macy's. In that adventure his parents accompanied him and his father became his manager so that Tom could concentrate on work. But if Tom Tierney is credited with anything, it is having "resurrected" paper dolls in the last quarter of the 20th century. Coincidentally, cut-out dolls had inspired Ruth Handler when, watching her daughter Barbara play with them, she thought it would be wonderful to make a doll in three dimensions and years later, along with other ideas, Barbie was born, displacing paper dolls in the 60's. Tom's first paper doll illustrations featured Jean Harlow and Clark Gable and were a gift for his mother who proudly showed her son's gift to her friends, including a literary agent who saw Tom's Talent and this fact led him to publish his first book "Thirty from the 30s: Costumes of the Great Stars" in 1974. Since then and until his death in 2014, Tierney published around 500 paper doll books among which there were, let's see if you can guess... Barbie cut-out books! But his personal mark were books of fashion paper dolls from other times that included costumes of other eras, Hollywood, costumes from great designers of the 20th century and even the wardrobe of Pope John Paul II. "I couldn't choose a particular era as my favorite; I like them all! And by the time I'm finished profiling a particular personality, I feel like I actually know her. After so many hours of study, I come to recognize her favorite colors and develop an understanding of her body language. It's kind of eerie" Tom Tierney en una entrevista para Dover Publications Also noteworthy are the sticker albums such as Barbie and The Rockers with a unique vision of Barbie, Ken, Derek, Diva, Dee Dee and Dana in which he takes the clothes, hair and diversity of the characters to the next level but not only them for he also brought to life Jem and the Holograms with his illustrations. In short, Tom Tierney changed the rules of the game of paper dolls, moving them away from the world of children, in most of his publications, and bringing them closer to the world of adult collecting that today still seeks and appreciates them.