Tom Tierney deserves to be known as the King of Paper Dolls.
For decades his prolific output of books has made him the most
successful paper doll artist of all time. Fashion, history and
glamorous celebrities are favored subjects of the octogenarian
artist. If his paper doll books were to be stacked up, they
would tower over the man himself, a handsome, compactly built
figure whose sparkling personality is larger than life.
Tom Tierney is the best known paper doll artist in the world,
but he didn’t begin this chapter of his career until 1974
when “Thirty from the Thirties,” a book of Hollywood
stars was published. He had originally created it as a gift
for his mother. At the time, Tom was enjoying a phenomenal success
as fashion illustrator. His career began in Texas, his home
state. He had drawn extra clothes for his cousin’s paper
dolls and that launched his interest in fashion illustration.
Tom studied with fine teachers and graduated from college with
a degree in Fine Arts. A stint in the army did nothing to slow
down his pursuit of art. He painted a four star general’s
portrait and did posters for the WAACs during the day and freelanced
fashion illustration at night.
When he moved to New York City in 1954, Tom rose to the top
of the ranks in commercial fashion illustration. Because of
his serious fine art training he was equally comfortable drawing
women, men and children. Not only that, but he was so adept
that he could imitate other artist’s styles, a valuable
skill in the heyday of commercial art. Purposefully, Tom did
not sign his art so that he could work in different styles for
different clients without any conflict. At one time, he even
managed to juggle Macy’s and Gimbels, famously antagonistic
Not content with his successful art career, naturally charismatic
Tom took on show biz. He studied dance and singing, developed
and debuted a nightclub act and then decided that performing
took too much time away from his drawing board.
the popularity of fashion illustration began to wane, Tom Tierney
almost single handedly revitalized the lagging paper doll publishing
business. He published two books of paper dolls, “Thirty
from the Thirties” and “Attitudes.” Then in 1978
connected with Dover Books where he produced scores of popular
paper dolls. His subjects included movie stars, fashion designers,
presidential families and a series that chronicled fashion history
as worn by an American family, all rendered in his instantly
recognizable style with strong, supremely sure line. His own
website lists almost 350 previously published works!
latest chapter in Tom’s incredible career is the collaboration with Paper Studio Press. Publisher Jenny Taliadoros
says, “Having Tom Tierney join my stable of talented artists
is a genuine thrill because he brings his incredible experience,
his great talent, his knowledge of fashion and his never-ending
enthusiasm.” Tom's current titles for Paper Studio Press include Rosie the Riveter, History of Denim, Fun With Grandma, Stopover and Pretty Pink Paper Dolls.
Titles by Tom Tierney for Paper Studio Press
In the Swim
Fad or Fashion