I'm always looking for awesome fan-made content. I'm in love with and fascinated by the way fans respond to stories and characters we love, creating our own works of art in reply to ways we're inspired. And today I found something that knocked me right on the floor. That thing is the Historical Princess Series by amazing artist Shoomlah.
They've taken well-known Disney characters (in this series princesses - but there are a lot more in their gallery!) and given them a unique twist. Shoomlah has researched the fashion and style of the places and centuries in which the Disney stories take place (or at least are based), and dressed the princesses up in what they would have more likely worn in real life.
They're still quite recognizable as the original characters, but stylistically, this is something entirely new... or, I guess I should say, old.
Now, given the popularity of the characters and the creative license taken (even in the name of gaining historical accuracy), people naturally have some questions. Fortunately, Shoomlah has answered the most frequent ones - which you might also be wondering. Here's a sample:
I disagree with your choice of time period, and only one of us can be right!
In the long run, these are compleeeeetely for personal gratification and enjoyment. Sure, The Little Mermaid fits pretty well into 1837, but I don't like the '30's (seriously guys WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia… ) and Ariel's legomutton sleeves are placed high enough to scream "Belle Epoche," so, y'know. Loophole. I'm thrilled to hear how other people interpret the films, just not to the point that I'm going to go back and change my art.
Well these aren't entirely period accurate, are they?
These are for fun. Stylistic liberties have been taken. If the films themselves are at about 50% historical accuracy, these are more around 85-90%. Closer, but they're not diagrams.
Why are all their eyes closed?
I really like the demure sideways/lowered glance, so after doing Belle looking down at her mirror it seemed like another way to tie the series together. I like that they're not engaging the viewer, that they're in their own world, but in the long run I just really enjoy drawing them! It implies large eyes without looking too cartoony.
Are you doing these because you hate the original Disney princess dresses? THEY'RE SO PRETTY WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM I BET WALT IS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE
These aren't meant to be better, just more historically accurate. Don't freak out.
How long does it take you to finish one of these?
Judging from my process videos, somewhere around ten hours if you don't count pauses, the earlier design process, etc. It depends- some of the princesses were pretty effortless, but it takes a lot more time and thought when I'm less familiar with the time period.
How long does it take you to research each character?
Hard to say! I'm researching a lot of these simultaneously, so these are now the result of research spread out over the course of months, or even years. It's a lot easier if I'm familiar with the time period- Cinderella and Ariel were proverbial walks in the park- but sometimes it's a solid week of reading books, looking up inspiration, doing studies. I put way more work into it now that I did back in the beginning.
Favourite Disney princess?
LILO I DON'T CARE IF SHE ISN'T A PRINCESS. Best all around Disney character. Ever.
Thanks, Shoomlah, for providing us with what's essentially a cool interview to go along with the lovely art.
You can also find a whole lot more great art at the artist's official gallery on DeviantART. Now enjoy the rest of the series!
And my favorite...
Well, Maid Marian was a fox. (Now I'm kind of scared for her chicken lady-in-waiting friend.)
Thanks for reading, and as always, please show the artist some love!
Which is your favorite historical Disney princess?