Some days it can be tough to be an artist. You get so much criticism on your prices, your style, your materials, etc. It can be very disheartening.
My craft is my joy. It’s my therapy. It’s the thing that calms me and makes me so happy to work on. I am inspired by just everything to want to create create CREATE. I love making my Cuddle Buddies and Baby Scrap Dragons. They just make me smile. But I don’t make them just for myself.
It’s such an amazing feeling for me when someone falls in love with one of my scrap animals and wants to adopt it. That moment when they pick it up and their eyes are shining.. it’s the best! And I love working on commissions. It’s a sad fact that I can’t be there most of the time because my Cuddle Buddies are shipping to Florida or California or once even to Taiwan. But it makes my day to receive feedback from my customers.
Recently I finished a Jack Frost commission from “Rise of the Guardians“. I was super excited about this commission because that’s one of my favorite movies!
I am so happy with how the embroidery is coming along on my Jack Frost commission. I love when somebody commissions something really fun! I have a feeling I will have to make a second Jack, though, because Nevi is already flailing over this one.
AND… SPRING COMMISSIONS ARE OPEN.
I’ve got a couple more commissions after this one but there are still some spaces open for the Spring batch.. so if you’ve been thinking about requesting a custom plushie, now is the time to get a quote! (Messaging me on Facebook is usually the quickest way to get a reply.)
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook’s “Memories” feature. Every once in a while it will share a memory with me of when I had a really horrible experience or lost someone close to me and I wish there was a way to tag those posts so they wouldn’t come up again in the future to reopen the wound. Most of the time the memories are mundane daily blah blah blah, but I love when it brings up a really amusing status that I maybe don’t even remember posting. Like just recently it reminded me of the Snoop Dogg plushie that I made on commission for a girl I worked with. When I scrolled over the pictures I just started giggling to myself. I can’t help it. Have you ever made something and, when thinking about it later, couldn’t help but laugh in disbelief at the thing you’ve done?
When Teesha asked me to make a Snoop Dogg plushie for her, I admit I stared a bit incredulously. Honestly, I think I mostly took the commission because I wanted to see if I could actually make a plushie that looked like Snoop Dogg. When I finished him, my room mates were dying laughing at how perfect he turned out and Teesha literally squealed, so I guess I did alright. When I did conventions people would ask me what other plushies I’d made than the ones I had for sale and nobody believed me about Snoop. Good thing I included him in my look book!
Can I just say for the record how much I really, really love what I do?
So So happy with how he turned out! And Jake literally squealed when I presented his Excalibur. lol (He even told me the next day that he slept with his plush that night!)
Excalibur was handmade. The eyes are hand-embroidered. He’s got 3 little buttons on his shirt dress and I used velcro to attach the cane so Jake could change the placement and smack people with it while yelling “FOOL!” XD
I’m working on a couple extras, since he turned out so well. They’ll be for sale in my Etsy store as soon as they’re done.
Next up on my list of commissions is a Julian (from “Parliament of Twilight” yaoi novels) so his boyfriend Siris won’t be lonely anymore. He’s been very insistent, let me tell you! I’ll post them both when Julian’s finished.
I am very excited to say that I’m almost finished with my first ever Baby Scrap Dragon commission! My little dragons are something that I usually just make up with bits of leftover fabric. They’re kind of an artistic playtime, if you will. Not really working at anything – just playing around with colors, buttons, bits of ribbon and such. This will be the first one that I’ve made to a specific request.
My client was looking over my Etsy store and noticed that all of my Baby Scrap Dragons have their own little personalities. Specifically she was looking at JC and how he loves to knit sweaters. She asked if I could make a dragon who loves hugs and fights monsters in dreams.
Apparently her babysitter thought it would be fine for her 5 year old to watch “The Walking Dead”. I’ll be completely honest here and say that at 34 I can only watch a couple episodes at a time! So surprise! Her little boy is having nightmares. She says he loves his stuffed animals and has been borrowing one of hers but he says it’s not strong enough because it doesn’t really belong to him.
In all honesty I was a little uncertain.. like I said, my baby dragons have always just come to me in playtime mode. I’ve never actually tried to call one up with a pre-determined personality. So I went to my fabric stash and kinda sifted through the pieces that I had set aside for future dragons and tried to think about her request. I was ecstatic when the fabrics responded and I was inspired.
Truly, this is why I make dolls – or any of my art, really. It’s to bring more joy into the world. I could not be happier than to make this little dragon to love her little boy and protect him in his dreams from the monsters so he can sleep soundly again.
Well I gotta say, I’m pretty proud of how my Stacee Jaxx commission turned out. He looks exactly like I was hoping he would. To be honest I wasn’t planning on the fur coat when I started him. It wasn’t an original ask in the commission, but once I finished hand-embroidering the tattoos I was preparing the pattern for a simple slinky black shirt and I just knew he had to have the jacket. (I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I admit, but I strive for authenticity.. well.. as close as you can get to authenticity when we’re talking about a 9″ plush version of someone. LOL)
I’m having so much fun doing my plushie shoots with the new ideas. See, I originally thought it was smart to have my plushie on display against a simple white or black background so that all the handiwork was clear. Then I read something on the Etsy Sellers blog about how people shopping online can’t handle your products and really look at them like you can in a store. The article said the best way to entice shoppers was to show your products in use – dishes with food on them, jewelry or clothes on the body, etc – and I thought that made a lot of sense.. but my products don’t really have a “use” that I could portray in a photo shoot. So I figured I would shoot them like I was shooting the character they’re based on. It turned out even better than I imagined! The first one I shot with this new vision was my Twilight Sparkle and the pictures came out brilliantly so I kept with that theme. I think I might actually go back and shoot some of my other dolls (a few of them were gifts for my besties so they’re still chilling around my house) so they have the same kind of display quality.
In case you’re curious at all about my process, I thought I’d share a little bit of how my brain works. I don’t have any trouble making the dolls of anime characters, but I have to kinda convert real people to dolls or schwoopies in my head to make dolls of them. So here is my sketch of Stacee Jaxx as a schwoopie that I used to make his doll.
So he’s all finished and I’m on to the next commission on my list. Let’s see.. at this point I’ve got..
1. Toothless (from How To Train Your Dragon)
2. Rainbow Dash
3. clothes for custom Ciel Phantomhive Lalaloopsy
Plus various other sewing projects – working out making/upcycling clothes. And I’m going to be taking a break from commissions, most likely, because I want to build up a stock of plushies for Ramencon in September. (My 1st con!) I’ve still gotta figure out what I’m making for the con.. busy busy!
I’ve been working on my latest commission and it just keeps me laughing. The doll is of Stacee Jaxx, the character that Tom Cruise plays in “Rock of Ages” (which is a fantastic movie, by the way – especially if you grew up an 80s kid like me!).
Now if you’ve looked at my gallery you have an idea of the kind of work that I do. Very cutesy, cuddly (hence Cuddle Buddies, right? lol) and if it wasn’t odd enough to throw Snoop Dogg, my last commission, in the mix with My Little Ponies and baby dragons, this one is really a major departure. Now don’t get me wrong – I welcome a challenge! But I never realised when I started taking commissions that I would end up making rappers and tattooed rockstars! I’m pretty pleased, though, with how the tiny tattooes are turning out and I can’t wait to get more of the doll put together.
But I can’t help cracking up as I sit here embroidering tiny tattooes and drawing on nipples to the bared chest. I never could have imagined such a thing! And let’s not forget the skin-tight leather pants. Oh ehm gee.
A big part of the reason that I do what I do (make plushies, clothes, art) is because I want to spread more joy in the world. Yes, of course I expect to be paid for my work, but my motive is the same. I want to make people happy. So there is nothing better than delivering a commission myself and seeing the total joy on my customer’s face when she opens up the box with her plushie inside. When I gave Teesha her finished commission today she literally squealed and hugged me. She was hugging him and giggling over how perfect he was. That gives me so much joy – to see someone that happy as a result of my work. It really makes my day.