So as we were traversing the Instagram Universe we came across something so wonderful, so out of the realm of what we could even contemplate, that it stopped us in our tracks. It is a perfect example of “when worlds collide” and to be honest, we can’t WAIT to see what’s next.
Enter model maker/ 3D artist Natalie Stevens. Natalie has taken one of pop culture’s most beloved characters, Barbie, used her signature pink colorway and smashed it together with some of sci-fi’s most iconic vehicles. The end result is a glorious Barbie Dream series that we would GLADLY purchase and proudly display.
We reached out to Natalie and she was kind enough to give us a bit of info behind our newest obsession.
B+ Hey Natalie, thanks for taking the time to feed our desire to know more about these fantastic creations. What are you calling the “Barbie” series?
Natalie The Barbie images don’t really have a name. It’s just a fun project I started doing in my spare time.
B+ Well for the sake of reference, we shall be referring to it as “The Barbie Dream Vehicle series.” So what prompted you to mash up the world of Barbie with sci-fi properties?
Natalie The initial idea was coincidence. My computer has two screens, I had a Syd Mead concept painting from Blade Runner on one, and an advert for a barbie movie trailer popped up on YouTube on the other. I just had this thought of Agent Barbie flying around in a Spinner, retiring rouge Kens. Barbie had some pretty cool vehicles when I was young but, she never had a Spinner. It might have been cooler if she did. The overall look of the series is inspired by the 1980 Barbie Dream Corvette packaging. Beyond that, I’m interested in confabulation, monopoly and nostalgia
B+ We love the organic nature for the seed of this brilliant campaign. After looking at these it only seems natural to ask, “Well, why WOULDN’T Barbie have these cool vehicles at her disposal?” You really have done a great job of taking these over the top sci-fi vehicles and tweaking them to fit into Barbie’s world. So we know folks are assuming that these are AI generated but let’s clear the air and let everyone know what your process is for these creations.
Natalie Generally, the process starts in cad software (Rhino). I do a rough model then make several renders. I take all the layers into a paint software (Rebelle Pro) and use the renders as reference to “air brush” the color and shade. After the “paint” step, I take it into Photoshop where I assemble everything, add text etc.
I love the look of toy box art from the 80’s, particularly the Japanese stuff. Great examples would be the early Takara Transformer toy illustrations. Airbrush and pencil illustration from that era has a really lovely nostalgic vibe for me. So, I was looking for ways to try to bring some of that analogue feeling into my digital work. Like most the stuff I post on Instagram, its usually experiments, trying to learn new things, practicing stuff etc.
B+ Agreed, the 80’s had a plethora of really great art/ collectibles. Having grown up during that decade, it holds a place near and dear to our heart as well. How many “Barbie Dream Vehicles” have you made and are there more on the way? ( PLEASE tell us there are more on the way…. please?)
Natalie There are 7 so far. I have several more in various stages of completion… all from various 80’s films, series, cartoons etc. I don’t like to say what I’m working on before its done.. It’s a great way to jinx a project but, hopefully people will enjoy them as much as they’ve enjoyed the last lot. I think it’s an interesting mix.
B+ PHEW! We are SO happy to hear that there are more on the way and COMPLETELY agree with you about the jinx curse. Best just to let us all wait, and then surprise us with a little pink gem that we can all agree, would look GREAT in our office amongst other highly desirable collectibles. What about prints? That could be a great alternative.
Natalie I’d love to make them available as prints, the trick is finding the best way to go about it.
B+ We love that you call Kaneda’s Vespa SS 180 an “action scooter.” What about a Barbie Stargate with blinking chevrons or maybe a Barbie Mothership or Barbie Slave 1 bounty hunter ship! We are leaning towards the latter given our love of Boba Fett but there are SO many ways you can take this series.
Natalie The response to them has been pretty incredible, so many people leave me comments and suggestions, I wish I could make them all.
B+ Well forget the masses, focus on us and let’s make it happen! SLAVE 1, SLAVE 1, SLAVE 1! So where can people find you and more of your work?
Natalie I’m a bit old fashioned, the only social media I have is Instagram, which I just use to share scribbles. If people want to see more, or ask questions, that’s the best place.
HUGE thank you to Natalie for taking the time to quench our thirst for all things Barbie Dream series. Be sure to follow Natalie on INSTAGRAM to see what her NEXT Barbie Dream piece will be…..(Fingers crossed it will be Slave 1)