I hereby present you Eliza the Cat, a custom made doll in collaboration with Oana Barbu aka Eyecandy Monsters!
Eliza the Cat
Custom doll in a limited series of 10 dolls
Materials: cotton, ecological wool, pebbles
Height: 37 cm
Weight: 525 g
For a while, I have been playing around with the idea of making some of my drawings into 3D objects. And what better candidate could I have asked for than Eliza the Cat, the first artwork I made after closing my first exhibition, Bestiary, which launched a turning point in my visual style. Eliza came out spontaneously out of the flow of a single work session, from the good energy gathered while I was installing the exhibition and it was the first in a series of new expressionist monsters with fluid lines (see Bunny Guy, Mucus, Wormhole, From the Earth, Indifference). In fact, Eliza is also part of the first series of TOM stickers, which are available to buy in the Humanitas bookstore chain in Romania, it was the cover of a zine I made in 2016 and that was distributed in Sibiu and has visited a great part of Europe.
First, I thought of doing a 3D printed version so I researched the possibilities and I found out that this technology was poorly represented on the Romanian market. I quickly gave up the idea. Then I remembered there was a time I tried working with discarded textiles from around the house and I was creating different animals made out of cloth for the sake of working and, usually, for the sake of someone. I used to work on them manually, using only needle and thread, and gave them away as presents. Each was unique in its own way.
I realized that Eliza deserved a skilled hand, preferably someone who had machines; Eliza deserved a professional. I had several people in mind who were creating custom-made toys which I had been following on social media for a long time, so that's how I decided to work with Oana Barbu. Oana launched Eyecandy Monsters in 2009, and presently she's very busy because people really appreciate her work. Oana recreates toys that people had when they were children, she creates portrait dolls and anything else you can imagine. I pitched her the project without imposing a strict deadline and she accepted. I wanted the doll to be made from materials that were as ecological as possible, this was something I cared most about besides the fidelity of the design which came true! Thus, we began an online correspondence to clarify all the details. And there were lots of them. With Oana's permission, here is a part of her creative process, with the entire set of details, planning and dedication that went into this project.
I'm already joyfully working on your toy, I think you're going to be super-happy about the final product! ;)
The first phase is my interpretation of each detail of your drawing through embroidery.
And after spending a long time on each piece of embroidery, I'm attaching the simulations I've done and I'm waiting for you to approve them so that I can search for the main materials plus the embroidery threads that are most faithful to those in the attached simulations and then I can embroider the necessary pieces to construct the final version of the toy.
Obviously, feel free to tell me if there's something you don't like or if you want some modifications. I tried to keep as much of the details of your drawing, of the feeling and expression of the lines as possible when translating them into embroideries at our measurements. In order for me to be able to integrate this rich level of detail, the final version of the toy will be approximately 35-37 cm.
I find the embroidery I made after your drawing to be very poetic! I fell in love with each piece that will be embroidered!
I'm very eager to get your feedback on this! ;)
I'm only replying to you now because I've been testing, doing and undoing and - guess what? - the prototype for Eliza the Cat is done!!!! And - guess what2? - while working on it and making the embroidery, I fell in love, I can't help but stare at it! ;)
Below I will give you details on all the optimal solutions I came to in this long process, where I made choices to move the project along so that you could see a finished product and understand what you are seeing. Your indicated preferences were always the main option.
The main materials are black and red - I'm pleased to tell you that I found this version of cotton and so I gave up on the polar or plush version.
Embroidery - I used a mixture of colors to stay in your color palette, at the same time using the available nuances that looked good in composition with the main materials. The embroidery of all the parts takes a long time for each toy but the embroidery is what makes it a collectable object. A print on the material would not have had the same impact and could not have had the same amount of details.
Because on the back of the toy the material had no details, I thought I would add the signatures, also embroidered on the head in a simple way. I hope you will like this idea. (I loved the fact that Oana stepped in here, I wouldn't have thought of that!)
Height - the toy is now 37 cm - the minimum height needed to be able to recreate all the details on the correct scale.
- pebbles on the base.
- wool in the rest of the body and the head (ecological stuffing, thank you for that!)
And then, several days before my birthday…
Can you guess who's coming your way? A big box, filled with your cats! A box weighing almost 6 kg - with pebbles on their bottom, the ten cats have literally gained weight ;)
A year has passed since I commissioned Eliza the Cat. I'm so thrilled by how it came out and I was dying to share the result with you! 7 dolls are for sale, please contact me for price details on e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through direct message on facebook or instagram.