It was about 1:00 am and I was getting tired because I was working on something very tedious. So decided to take a break. I started looking at the really cute illustrations of Naughty Dog characters that Alexandria Neonakis did for their Valentine’s day cards.
stuffed stuff: Clicker from The Last of Us based on art by Alexandria Neonakis
I can’t stress enough how much I suck at re-designing realistic characters into plushable forms. I have great respect for those who can simplify or “cutify” characters.
I’ve tried making a plush of a realistic character before. But because I can’t redesign, the plush will still have all the details which could/should be omitted. For example the Master Chief plush I made for my friend was a nightmare! It turned out okay and my friend loved it, but I know it could’ve been a lot simpler and cuter. And that’s why I used Scott Campbell’s painting for the plush of Gipsy Danger and Otachi from Pacific Rim.
I’m a copy machine. A copy machine doesn’t/can’t create original content. Have you seen a MakerBot? That’s me. Maybe that’s why I love MakerBot and makes me want to hug it every time I see it. All those years of my art school “training” in Japan still comes back to bite me in the butt. It’s unfortunate that they don’t let you be creative for the entrance exams for art colleges in Japan (which I didn’t get into. Thank god.) But then again, because of that training I can make a 3/4 angle of 2D image into a 3D shape.
Anyway, ever since I saw Alexandria Neonakis‘ cute illustrations of the characters from The Last of Us and Uncharted, I wanted to do something with them. Someone already made Joel and Ellie dolls, so I thought maybe I could make a simple plush of the Clicker or Runner she drew.
You can see the Runner on the bottom which would be easier to make, but Clickers are definitely more representative of The Last of Us. Also the Clicker girl in the illustration is trying to kiss Joel which I thought was super cute.
Without a Joel, I thought it’d be a bit weird to make the Clicker girl the way she posed, so I decided to change her pose from a side view to a front view.
I tried to re-draw her by myself and failed. Her proportions didn’t look right. So I put a piece of paper on my laptop monitor, and traced Chloe, another character from Uncharted which she had drawn. I tweaked the drawing a bit and made the first pattern for the body.
The first pattern for the body was really tiny, about 5 inch tall. I thought the smaller the cuter. But after I cut out the felt, and sewed it, I realized that it was too small to turn it inside out. So I had to make her about the twice the height.
After I made the body, I made a tank top and pants. I felt like I was making clothes for a very twisted Barbie doll, which was a lot of fun. I even put pockets on the back of her pants just like she has in the illustration.
The first head got too narrow after stuffing it, so I had to make a wider one. Then I made the face “fungus” parts next. I had just bought a bunch of fabric markers, so I used them to color the edge of the face parts. I’ve painted fabric before but never used fabric markers so I was a bit worried about how it’d look. Felt is probably too fuzzy to draw sharp lines but for the Clicker, I think it worked out fine.
I wanted the Clicker girl to make a “<3″ with her hands, so I made separate forearms and sewed them on the upper arms. In the illustration, her hands are black but I made it bloody to go with the <3.
For her hair, I put embroidery threads through the head and made knots so the hairs couldn’t be pulled out.
It was 6:00 AM by the time everything was done. The whole project was done in one sitting of 5 hours! That’s pretty short (for me, at least) considering it included the pattern making & tweaking process.
If I had more time, I could’ve made her body more 3D and with different fabric, but I really wanted to make something simple and fun in a short amount of time, and this project turned out to be just that.
One thing I realized when I was looking at these photos is that I forgot to make her toes! I usually use thread to create lines for fingers and toes but as I waited for the fabric markers to dry, I totally forgot about it.
I won’t lie. Making something that’s not “exactly like” the character or the original art is totally out of my comfort zone. It bugs me a little that it’s so flat and everything is made out of felt. There’s part of me that wanted to make the Clicker girl’s head more 3D or have wires inside… Every time I look at the photos, I have to keep telling myself that it’s supposed to look like a Raggedy Ann, but infected.
Hope Alexandria likes it!
For more pictures of this plush, visit stuffed stuff: Clicker from The Last of Us based on art by Alexandria Neonakis set!
You can also check out more stuffed stuff on my flickr.