I am obsessed with Dolly Oblong's paper dolls and stuffed toys. Check out her latest work below!
How did you start creating your work?
Well I started knitting just over a year ago. Before that I was always crafting and designing using all sorts of different media, but never really developed an own coherent style or found a medium which suited me. Learning how to knit was quite the eye-opener, before I knew it I was knitting and developing toys every day. The choice to knit plush toys in stead of clothes was very simple. I’ve always collected (plush) toys myself and to be honest knitting clothes is just too much of a hassle…
The paper side of my work began after starting a blog and opening up shop (my house was getting way too crowded with plushies!). I thought it would be fun to release a paper toy based on one of the plush named Pepa. I was surprised to discover an entire online paper toy community. Paper toys are a refreshing and affordable way to collect toys, all you need is a printer, some scissors and a bit of glue. My paper designs have now developed into somewhat a world of their own even though a great deal of them is still based on a plush alter-ego.
What is the process that goes into creating each piece?
It usually starts out while doodling away thoughtlessly with a ballpoint on some scraps of paper lying around. Most ideas pop up while listening to music, watching films or traveling on the bus. For both plushies and paper toys I try to keep the design as simple as possible. So this means both basic shapes and basic expressions. Yeah what can I say, I just like a clean but crafty look…
After sketching I usually dive in my mountain of wool in search of colours that would work best with each other and the design. Then the knitting starts, which mostly takes place in the evening in a comfy chair. Knitting is quite a lengthy process compared to for example sewing, so it takes at least a couple of days from start to finish. The most fun part for me is the actual stuffing of the toys and stitching on the felt facial details. This is when they really start coming to life and get a personality.
For the paper toys I usually work out the sketches on the computer with programs like Illustrator. There are much more technical bits ‘n bobs involved but seeing a finished paper toy is equally gratifying as a stuffed plush.
What is your full time job? I studied film and television and after different internships started working for film festivals. The atmosphere at festival organizations is absolutely fantastic and differs from most office jobs. It usually means some quiet months when the festival is still far away and a crazy running around period when the festival is approaching fast. I wouldn’t want to trade it in for any other job in the world even though it some times means the crafty things don’t really start until evening time.
How do you balance your creative side with the rest of your life?
Well at the moment the creative side actually seems to take over the rest haha. Perhaps its time to start thinking about some studio space for better balancing. Although it’s actually probably not that bad interweaving creativity in everyday life. I have not yet reached the point where I mistake my friends for knitted bunnies or spot a paper toy on every corner.
Currently reading/ watching anything?
What is your full time job?
I studied film and television and after different internships started working for film festivals. The atmosphere at festival organizations is absolutely fantastic and differs from most office jobs. It usually means some quiet months when the festival is still far away and a crazy running around period when the festival is approaching fast. I wouldn’t want to trade it in for any other job in the world even though it some times means the crafty things don’t really start until evening time.
Not so much reading at the moment but I’m listening to music all the time. Current favourites include Grace Jones’ dark disco vibes on her very personal album Hurricane and the amazing soundtrack-like L’enfant assassin des mouches by Jean-Claude Vannier. Movie soundtracks, especially French ones, work best for me while working on new pieces. I’ve recently also watched the new Takeshi Kitano film called Achilles and the Tortoise which was highly inspirational. It’s about an artist struggling to find his own style, and ultimately finds out that having fun while creating is the most important part of art. That’s what it’s all about…wouldn’t you say?