Monday, January 21, 2008

Inspiration Monday: Toys

Today’s Inspiration Monday is focused on TOYS. I worked as a product designer for one of Australia’s largest toy companies for over three years and continue to draw inspiration from this industry in my own art and illustration. Here are some gems from my own collection, as well as some personal favourites.

Jim Edmiston is a UK based toy maker who hand makes a unique collection of toys and products that include mobiles, animal boxes, and magnets. He has held several exhibitions and published many books on his art. Incredibly, all of his products are hand made and painted and I am drawn to his strong colours and fun characters.

I came across Jim's work when I was living in England several years ago, and I bought this fabulous animal box which has become one of my favourite items. I also bought one of his mobiles as a gift for my nephew, and I now wish I had bought more from this talented artist.

Unfortunately Jim appears to phasing out his toy business, but you can still buy his products by contacting him here. Spend some time at his website here, and I challenge you to resist these mini puppet theatres or these animal boxes!
Our local talent this week is Colours Of Australia who are based in Melbourne’s West (yes I am biased!) Renske Carbone is the talent behind these unique products and over the years she has developed her passion for textiles and felting into a wonderfully unique business sold under the Papoose label.

Their felt ranges are particularly gorgeous and I was lucky enough to have been given these products as a gift! I just adore them and intend to hang them on my walls, once I work out which room needs them!

Papoose also sell some fabulous craft packs including felt beads, wools and squares in a stunning array of colours, and it's easy to find a "must have" among the great selection of bags!

It’s also worth reading this section here on how and where the product is made.

I had some difficulty in locating purchase points for any of these products, but if you are really keen perhaps you could contact them directly here, or try your own explorations on the website here.
I don’t normally like to post about things that I discovered via other people’s blogs (as it can end up just re-hashing what others have written) but I have to make an exception today. I discovered this artist via Natasha Rosenberg's beautiful blog.

Anja is a German based illustrator and I am struggling to find the words to express my adoration of this artist so I will let her images speak for themselves. You MUST check out her website and blog .....and this one!

I like to leave you with a few things you can explore in your own time and here are a few temptations for you:

Are you familiar with Eeboo? They specialise in games, cards and gifts for kids using the talents of children’s books illustrators. There are some fun products and some great artists. Check it out here when you get the chance. These products feature children’s book illustrator Melissa Sweet.

I know that Mamma's and Pappa's are a large commercial business, but they are doing some fantastic product design at the moment, and these items in particular make me want to get crafty myself! (Yeah I hear ya - I am all talk on the craft front aren't I?!) But at least check out this section when you have some time.

I hope this helps to kick start your week. Be sure to check back next week for a peek at some more great inspirations.


Rachelle Anne Miller said...

Thanks for the great inspiration! I especially like Melissa Sweet's illustration work. She also has a great website!

Keep up the great work :o)

Alicia Padrón said...

Oh my gosh Dan, I looove that pair of mice!! How cute are they??!!! I want them...want them :o)

Kelly Medina said...

Very cute puppets. I love the colors in children's toys and illustrations. It so lively and fun.

Great post, Danielle! :)

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