All of these posts about Millie and her modeling these past few days reminded me about the time I sent for the Famous Artists School test. You know. This was the one advertised on the back of comics for years by Norman Rockwell and Albert Dorne, two "real" magazine illustrators. By the early seventies, I guess those two iconic artists were seeming a little fogeyish so this new, allegedly hipper ad appeared. This is the one to which I responded...age 12.
They sent you a nifty book with sections on a whole bunch of different art topics, one of which, as I recall (this being one of the few things I seem not have kept) was written and illustrated by L'IL ABNER's Al Capp, at the time one of my favorite cartoonists. (Hey, I was 12. I didn't get the political stuff. His pictures just looked funny, okay?)
The test booklet itself was actually rather thin. You had to define words and match concepts and trace copy things BUT...my favorite part was the naked lady. They presented you with a fully detailed illustration of a naked woman and you, as the aspiring artist, had to design clothes for her. As stated, I was 12. What the heck did I know about designing clothes? Especially women's clothes? I did, however, have a fairly extensive collection of Marvel's MILLIE spinoff, CHILI. So, I sat down and meticulously copied one of Chili's stylish outfits (probably drawn by Stan Goldberg) onto the naked lady.
I sent in the test and they wrote back saying I showed talent...but to come back when I was 18. Sigh. I coulda been a contendah! (or at least a famous fashion designer as long as Marvel was publishing these comics!)