Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Emily Connell - Artist of the Week

Today it's time to meet the Jumble Bugs! Who are they you ask? Well Australian born artist Emily Connell is the inventor and creator of these fun little creatures.
Leilani the Hula Girl

Johnny the Punk
When Emily started creating her Jumble bugs she handmade each little bug, a process that takes her around 8 hours to make just one. When they became popular she knew she couldn't keep up with the demand, so she decided to have some of her designs mass-produced.  In 2007 she found a company online that recreated the toys from her patterns. The Jumble bugs would be a great gift idea! They are safety tested for ages 5 and up. They are still hand sewn so they need to be treated more gently than a regular toy.  The two Jumble Bugs pictured above are available for sale on her website Jumble Bugs.  They are both available in the "handmade" style and are packaged in limited edition plastic bug jars.  Emily said she is currently working on "new and improved" Jumble Bugs designs, that will be machine sewn with softer fabrics, so they are more durable, washable and look more like a "real toy".

Emily has big plans for the Jumble Bugs...she would like to bring them to life by writing stories about them.  When I asked her about stories, here is what she had to say;

"This is a brand new venture for me! And something that I have been "talking about doing" since I made the first Jumble Bug in 2003. Over the years I have thought up different character traits for the Jumble Bugs. In my mind I know how they act, speak and their unique personality quirks. Putting this to paper has been a challenge, and my stories are still works in progress. Some recent encouragement from my sister and my husband has got me looking through old notes I have jotted down, and I am back thinking about and creating the world of the Jumble Bugs in written form. "
To bring them to life even more, she is also planning on producing an animated TV series or a Movie starring the Jumble Bugs!  Emily works full time as a Creative Director for the "As Seen on TV" industry, so she does have some familiarity to the television industry.  Here is what she has to say about these exciting plans:

"My overall dream is to turn the Jumble Bugs into more than just plush toys. Growing up in the 1980's I loved the Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Thunder Cats - and I'd love the Jumble Bugs to be well-loved toys and a well-loved TV show. (Or a movie!). I spend most of my time at work animating in a program called Flash, so when I get home I am usually quite burnt out and the last thing I want to do is more work on the computer! That is one of the reasons I started sewing in the first place... I wanted to create something real and tactile. So I do have the skills to work on a pilot episode, it's the energy and time that is most lacking, but little by little I hope to make the dream a reality."
Emily has many different Jumble Bug characters. When I asked her how she gets her ideas, here is what she said:

I like to create different themes, or "sets" of Jumble Bugs, like the Halloween themed ones, circus, Christmas and so on. In my stories they would all live together - the Halloween bugs live in the creepy castle, the circus bugs would travel the land together.  The rest are pretty random! The cool thing is that pretty much anything you can think of can be turned into a Jumble Bug! I have a long long list of new ones I plan to make!
Emily was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Wollongong, which is about an hours drive south of Sydney on the coast.  She now lives in San Diego, California with her husband Kevin, and their adorable old poodle named Pierre. They adopted Pierre last year, he was a rescue dog who is 14, blind in one eye and completely toothless so his tongue hangs out of his mouth all the time which Emily finds very endearing.  I think I see a future Jumble Bug design?

To look at some of Emily's other crafts, take a peek at her other website called Look What Emily Made. This site has other non-jumble bug craft projects like dolls for people in her favorite bands. She said that she made Vince ShamWow a doll and sent it to him and he loved it!

I hope you enjoyed meeting Emily and the Jumble Bugs! Make sure to stop back on Friday, I will be announcing a Great Stacie Jewelry Sales Promotion that will be starting on Black Friday and ending Cyber Monday.


Allison said...

Very Fun! I love the faces/eyes! Handmade toys are always a treasure.
Great vision!

stephey said...

Hello! Fellow coconut! These are awesome! So makes me want to be a kid again! I love how you've finished each one - the stitching detail is perfect! love each little personality.

stacie said...

Thanks for stopping by guys! I think the Jumble bugs are great too!