I can’t believe I’ve never posted anything of my namesake on this website before!
Doctor Travian’s Supernatural Orphanage is a project I started about six years ago when I discovered a passion for painting dolls. I was fascinated by the Monster High dolls, at the time I was going through a Universal Horror phase and I was amused at the idea of these monstrous characters marketed to young girls. It inspired me to see where I could take them, how far I could push the concept, at first only visually, but later I developed elaborate backstories for each of my characters.
It is an epistolary tale, told by an urban explorer in the present day piecing together the story of an old abandoned Victorian asylum. It had once held Cordelia Travian as a patient when she was a teenager, her inexplicable connection with the paranormal had led others to deem her insane. Later she would return and purchase the sanatorium and convert it into an orphanage, but what the public never knew was that it was not inhabited by human children. Travian would travel the world researching supernatural beings, and in some cases adopt those found in perilous situations.
I no longer customise dolls but I am still invested in this story and it’s characters, so I plan on continuing the project through writing and illustration. This page will eventually become a directory to additional photos and illustrations.
Merge is an original character of mine from a story I’ve been working on for awhile. It is a symbiotic creature that began life as a kind of stem cell. It’s taken me some time to settle on the design, I think this is its finalised look.
This was an unusual project, I was approached by Marla, a photography student who had an ambitious photoshoot that they needed costumes for. The concept was androgynous reinterpretations of various periods in history, I love history and I have a fascination with androgyny, so I was keen. In total there were fifteen costumes, I was assigned these five pre-20th century periods and one futuristic one. Marla gave me rough idea of what they wanted but I had a lot of creative freedom and they were happy with these initial illustrations you see below. It was an intense project, very little budget and very little time, but such is the life of a costumer and I was up to the challenge. I only had one fitting with the models and it was one week before the shoot, I was sewing right up until the minute some of these costumes were photographed. But I always meet a deadline!
I love the Night at the Museum films and I also love Ancient Egypt, so naturally I was inspired to reinterpret Ahkmenrah’s costume. The goal was to be as historically accurate as possible while still being recognisable.
This took me a couple of months just to research, turns out there’s not a lot of information on clothing from 4,000 years ago. I’m still uncertain of how certain pieces are supposed to be constructed but this is essentially as accurate as possible given the available information. The costume in the film isn’t too far from reality, though it’s evident they were more inspired by Yul Brynner in the Ten Commandments.