Saturday, December 29, 2012

Magic Dance

The OTHER coolest (nerdiest, most fun for me and the client) order I got this holiday season was this, a set of nesting dolls in the likeness of the crew from the movie Labyrinth. I ask you, how could I turn that down?! I got the order just two weeks before Christmas, and had a few things to finish up first, but I was determined to make it happen, and I did, with just a few sleepless nights. I delivered them on the 22nd of December, just before leaving for my own holiday down to Kansas to see the family. These were so fun to make, and got a good reaction as I posted production photos on Instagram (I'm benrum, if you'd like to follow me).

Frankie, the client, and I had met at Renegade Craft Fair in September, and when he emailed me I remembered him wigging out over the Alice in Wonderland dolls I had made a few years ago (I showed him photos). He was very excited to give these to his girlfriend, and I hope she was just as excited to receive them. I know I was to paint them!
I think my favorite comment on Instagram was my cousin Margo, who asked if the infamous Bowie Bulge would be its own, separate doll. Great idea, but I went in another direction, just in case.
When we talked, Frankie agreed with me that, although Jareth is the main guy in the set, Ludo made more sense as the largest doll, as it wouldn't really make sese the other way around. After that it was an easy and logical descent to the protagonist, Sarah, Hoggle, one of the more prominent Goblins, and baby Toby.
Rock... friend.

It is always fun working in details like this snake, the owl on Mr Bowie's back, and the crystal ball. Those details are half of the fun when designing from a movie or series that I love, for someone who will catch and appreciate the little jokes.
One big, happy family/kidnapping-villain/nice-monster/turncoat-troll... Thing.
For all of the fun I had painting the others, this guy remains my favorite. He's the one who screams "Shut up, shut up, shut up!" when the horned goblin asks, "did she say it?" I love that part, though it spooked me out when I was a kid.
So... That's that! There's my fancy logo on the bottom, and I close the book on yet another Christmas miracle. Hopefully she liked them!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Smaller on the Inside

Anyone who has known me more than a few minutes knows that I'm a proud, self-proclaimed nerd, and any nerd worth their weight in ewoks knows that now (more than ever) it's a great time to be a nerd. I've been a Star Wars guy since my geeky little eyes first focused on a light saber, and the X-Men come second only to Batman in my superhero heart. One thing that managed to elude me (along with most of Star Trek until the oh-so-controversial latest movie franchise) was Doctor Who. It's one of those names that I have heard talk of for as long as I can remember, and remarkably more often in the past few years. So, after last March's C2E2, after meeting maybe twelve people in any array of Whovian costumes, I decided to give it a shot. I was not disappointed.

And then... I got an email from a woman named Bridger through my etsy shop, asking if I could make a set of select doctors, the largest nesting doll painted like the Tardis. My first thought, which I pretty much insisted on, was to make a box for the Tardis, as I had seen it done on a nesting doll and wasn't that into it. She liked the idea, and that free'd up the little doll to make room for a Dalek! Which is just awesome... In my humblest opining.
So, if you didn't know, these are the doctors, from smallest up, the First Doctor (William Hartnell), the third Doctor (John Pertwee), the fourth (and fan favorite as far as I have learnt) (Tom Baker), the fifth (Peter Davison), and she then skipped a few to my most familiar Doctor, the Tenth (David Tennant). They were fun to research, watching old episodes out of order on YouTube to sketch costumes, and just as fun to paint.

Evil... Tiny, tiny evil.
My friend and Doctor Who sponsor (he was so patient while I resisted the call of the nerd for two years or so) Josh signed off on likenesses, and helped me catch details that I may have over-looked left to my own devices.

Details, for instance, like the celery stalk on the lapel..
...Or how much more amazing the Fourth Doctor would be with his helpful companion, K-9 along for the adventure.

I was sorely tempted to paint the first Doctor in black-and-white, but I didn't want to have a stylistic break in the set, so I settled for a muted photo.


That's it! Here they are all nested up and ready to ship (almost). I didn't get a photo of it, but the inside of the Tardis, as tempting as it was to do something REDICULOUS, like a pop-up-style expanding interior (truly bigger) or mirrors (apparently bigger), I went with sparkly black felt to protect the passengers and give a cheap illusion of space. The recipient of this very nerdy and generous gift was reported to be blown away, which is exactly the reaction I was hoping for!

Thanks for reading, and have a happy new year! Time to go watch some Doctor Who!