Barbie Art: Behind the Scenes

The collaboration Malibu Barbie/Ken shot has officially been released! It turned out great. For some reason the late 60’s early 70’s Kens are way better looking than the Barbies. (It was previously the other way around, GREAT Barbies and meh Kens) I figured I’d tell y’all a little bit about what goes into making one of these fabulous Nicole Houff creations and about prop styling on a miniature scale and what happens when 2 creative friends play Barbie.

First off, Starbucks. Lots of Starbucks is used to make these art photographs. Weeks before shooting we both started combing eBay for things we might like to see in our photo. I scored the 1971 Malibu Beach Bus on eBay for 10 bucks. 🙂 We then decided that a mini Playmate cooler was perfect for the shot and that Malibu Barbie needed a swimsuit makeover. The original suit is this sack of fabric that would make horrible tan lines…sadly, the new one didn’t fit. It happens. Nothing that scissors and packing tape can’t fix.toosmall

The Ken we used in this shot was BRAND NEW in his ORIGINAL BOX! It felt great to pull him out and find him still secured to his card. The Barbie is a reproduction that was also BNIB. Nicole had the mini Mexican beers, sand, and ice already. I found the heart sunglasses on eBay last year and they previously made their way into a Barbie pic last Christmas.



The watch, suntan lotion,towels and pineapple are original Barbie accessories. We had to hide the spare tire cover on the back of the beach bus, as it was branded with the Barbie logo. Good thing my logo (thanks again Brian) fit perfectly into the picture! There’s lots of trial and error with what actually makes it into the shot. Just like on a full size set, things can get lost or too busy.

A few Barbie sized bobby pins later, we were ready to set up for the final shot…Collab

This photo will be making it’s debut at Twin Cities Pride this weekend. The limited edition prints will be numbered with vintage style hotel keys. More about those later this week. Also, we’ll be having an Instagram giveaway this weekend! Hope y’all love it as much as we do!

-xo Malibu