Occupation: I am a Graphic Designer; I think it’s the best job in the whole wide world because it means I can be creative during the day, not just in the evenings after work.
Favourite Colour: Hmmm-that’s a tough one because I have three, Purple, Hot Pink and Black.
Favourite Animal: LOP EARRED RABBITS! Oh my word they are just the most adorable creatures ever ever ever! I would have one myself but I just don’t have the time what with working from home, I just couldn’t bring myself to keep it cooped up all day in a cage or run 5 days a week.
Favourite Arty Book: Hmmm-Again that’s a tough one because I have many! I’m just going to say anything to do with vinyl character and toy design, cartoon animation, illustration and of course Graphic Design.
Favourite Song or Band: Aarrgghh another tricky one, seriously you are challenging me! I have grown up listening to many great bands from the alternative Scene, Metallica were my inspiration to take up playing guitar and so for that reason I think I’m going to have to say METALLICA!
Inspiration or Favourite Artist: OK- I am completely and utterly obsessed with Kawaii Japanese illustration, I think it’s just amazing and adorable! My favoutrite artist had got to be Italian illustrator Simone Legno-creator behind Toki Doki; both he and my love of all things kawaii Japanese have highly influenced both my own illustration and needlecraft creations.
Shop Name and Link:
What do you Make?: Plush dolls of course, which are based on animals and nature. Typical characteristics include large bodies of a rounded nature teamed with over exaggerated extremities (big long arms for cuddling and oversized ears) with itsy bitsy feet and wide apart facial features that are what gives them their unique whimsicalness!
Who Taught You What You Know and Do You Use a Sewing Machine?: My mum taught me to sew from about the age of 5, I have been hooked ever since! In-fact she introduced me to those little ‘make your own’ kits, you know the ones with the pre cut fabric pieces that made up an animal of some description. I made hundreds of the things! My favourite one was a squirrel that had a red gingham dress, I still have it I think, I’ll have to try and dig it out.
Do I use a sewing machine you question? No I do not. Absolutely every inch (apart from the thread, fabric and buttons) are lovingly sewn entirely by my own bare hands. I don’t actually own a sewing machine yet-although that may change in the very near future. My mum has one that she never ever uses and is going to get overhauled when she get round to it! Although I have not quite decided as I feel that there is an element of magic about my dolls-the fact that they are untouched by any means of technology. They tell a story of my creative past and I feel that it’s that element that adds to Ogl Dolls uniqueness, I've not come across anyone that creates plush dolls completely and utterly by hand.
When Did You Decide to Sell Online and Why?: I decided to sell online just over a year ago. The reason being is because prior to that Ogl Doll’s were still in the development process. I wanted to get them to a polished stage-I’m incredibly fussy like that, everything has to be just so! Also I wanted to test the market before hand by holding stalls at craft and gift fairs in my local area. It was the success that I encountered from those that I decided It was about time I built myself a website to show Ogl Doll off to the world.
Do You Sell Off-line To?: Yes-I do sell off-line, I try to attend as many craft fairs as I can. I tend to book them two months apart from each other to give me a bit of leeway to create new dolls and re-stock on my prints. In-fact I have one coming up, it’s on 2nd March at Great Stukeley Village Hall in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire UK
Eventually I would like to own my own giftshop café that not only sells my own work, but the work of other artists. I want to be able to support other budding artisans, I really love the sense of community for me it’s not just a means of making a nit of cash but helping others. Oh-and I would sell lots of scrummy home-made lunches and cakes too!
Where Do You Make Your Stuff?: I design and create my dolls in my work room, which although incredibly poky is jam-packed with all of my dolls (well- as many as I can cram onto my bottom shelf!) and some of my vinyl toy collection and other bits and bobs that I have made in the past such as the card-board retro Macintosh computer you can see and the boxy characters. I like to be completely surrounded by lots of colourful objects to help get my creative juices flowing. I also work in both my kitchen and my living room, it depends on how I feel and what else I’m doing. All of the rooms in my home are decorated with both my own artwork as well as the works of other artists.
What are Some Other Interests/Hobbies You Enjoy Doing?: As well as making fluffy happy dolls I play electric and acoustic guitar. I’ve actually been playing ever since I was 15 but I don’t play as much these days as I’m just so busy all of the time. Another hobby of mine is baking. Its actually another passion of mine-I adore it! I bake most weekends; one of my specialities is Date, Orange, Ginger and Honey Flapjacks. I also make a scrummy Banana, Carrot and Courgette cake too. I’m planning on getting the recipes posed up on my blog when I get five minutes spare!
My second favourite piece of art I have created as got to be my Tree of Enchantment doll. She is very unique, I can honestly say that I have come across a plush tree doll before; I think she has the sweetest little face too and boasts oodles of character! The idea of her just popped into my head one day, it took me a while to find the right fabric but it was definitely worth hunting for. Like Sora the Owl she is another labour of love, even just her branched took some work getting the correct shape, I spent ages trying to get the balance right! Then there’s all her leaves which where cut out and then pinched and individually stitched before arranging and carefully sewing them onto her wiggly branches with a tiny contrasting green button.