Last Friday, me and couple of cool cats decided to do a little photo shoot in Trafalgar Square on our wait to work. It was bloomin' cold, but being true artists the cats bared it all with a stoic spirit (please, don't call RSPCA, I defrosted them and my fingers later on)
These were made for a commission that nearly took the best of me, but first, let me explain a little bit about why I started making toys so that you can understand my initial reticence towards this project.
I am a really fortunate person as I have the privilege to work on something that I love, not many people can say the same. However, just like any creative job where your working for someone else, I spent most of my day creating someone else's idea of perfection and it can be a bit frustrating. Ask most artists that work with me and you'll find a lot of ways to vent off after a long day at work. Some make their own movies, others play instruments, rock climbing, play games, etc, etc... I on the other hand make toys.
At home in my little corner, I'm a little toy dictator. I make what I want when I want and no one can say otherwise (even when I ask for an opinion). It's a bit silly but, it is what keeps me sane some days!
Usually, I am really lucky when I get commissions, most times people have seen my work and are glad to give me pretty much, free reigns.
But, this time it was different, the person that asked me to make these cats was really really specific, down to the difference in the size of the cats' eyes, fur tone and spot shapes amongst other things.
My ickle brain fused! It was almost like I had brought work home and for weeks I had a creative block like I hadn't had in years and just to make matters worst I got an email asking me if I couldn't lower the price by making them smaller!!
Oh the cheek!
For weeks I was completely stuck until a little light switched on in my brain and decided to go completely in the opposite direction... I retained a bare minimum of his suggestions and made something extremely stylized. I didn't care any more if he liked it or not, this was a matter of pride, how could someone ever make me feel so creatively frustrated to the point that I didn't even want to make a cat soft toy?!?
... guess what? It worked! He loved it and even payed more that I asked for :)
So, the moral of the story is... When in doubt follow you instincts because, at the end of the day you have to be able to live with yourself :)