Donna Brinkley - Designs by Donna
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Hello, I'm Donna Brinkley. Born & raised in Ohio, I was taught to draw by my artist dad just as soon as I could hold a pencil. I was sketching horses before I started kindergarten, and got to indulge my love of art by taking gallery classes at the Cleveland Art Museum when I was 10.
I double majored in English & Art in both high school and college, and in the late 60s, I trained at Cleveland's Cooper School of Commercial Art.
Writer? Artist? Horse trainer? So many plans when I was young!
I left my job as a promotion artist for The Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1970 to pursue a career assisting my racehorse trainer husband in breeding, training and racing our small stable of Thoroughbreds. Years of hauling back & forth to race, mainly in Ohio, while raising horses and a family at our home in western Oklahoma kept me busy, but I managed to keep a hand in the art world by doing commissioned portraits (mainly equine) and experimenting with different styles and media, including digital art.
I'll never forget how excited I was to discover something very new to me: the world of OOAK fashion dolls! While browsing online for something "Barbie-ish" for my Granddaughter's birthday in April, 2006, I saw these gorgeous customized dolls - I had to ask what OOAK meant, but I knew I had to try my hand at repainting!
I sold my first dolls (a Mel Odom Gene repaint, followed by a Tonner Sydney repaint), a month later. I keep striving to improve my technique since then, adding re-sculpting and re-rooting to my arsenal, as well as more realistic shading and contouring with mixed media, all with the help and inspiration of some amazingly talented, helpful, supportive and generous friends in the doll community since those early months of trial and error.
I feel honored to be joining so many of them in this creative collaboration!