Friday, June 12, 2009


Michaelangelo said that to sculpt a camel, you had to take away what was not a camel.

Unfortunately this doesn’t help much when it comes to toy design, because you never really know how it’s going to turn out until it’s finished. I don’t know how others do it, but I start with a blob and make it look more and more like a camel. It takes a long time because I find myself going through version after version with mixed results until hopefully I can find something that satisfies me. As the artist (not Michaelangelo) said, a work of art is never finished, it is abandoned.

I was extra happy when I heard about this software designed by the University of Tokyo, have a look at this clip, the accent is a treat. I was stunned by the software, it seemed to be able to do everything I do by hand, although I thought the animals had far too many small parts. They then showed the final result and, um, well, oh dear. It looked good in theory.

So back to the drawing board I was designing a leopard.

I normally recycle my flops, as much for the materials as to get rid of the evidence. I made this leopard a while ago, and although I sold a few, was never happy with it. I wanted a standing big spotted cat, so I added head and body gussets.

Legs too spindly, head too big.

Oops, this looks like a refugee from the planet Godzilla.

Alright, but it's not a leopard, it's a cheetah.

Most definitely a cheetah, but the feet are wrong.

In cheetah fabric, now it's leaning backwards.

OK, this is a cheetah, not a perfect cheetah, but more cheetah than blob. Cheetah enough to be abandoned for now. If you like it as it is, you can buy it at my etsy shop.

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