In the beginning
I spend a great deal of my time on Facebook. That's an established fact. Memes fascinate me. I like to stay up-to-date with the latest lingo, the music, the things people are into. It's fun, and it keeps me connected. So when the fascination with mudskippers came about, I was right there in the forefront, keen as mustard. This was just one of many mudskipper photos being shared and re-shared, but it stuck in my head.
And then, of course, there was this funny clip - put the sound on, and try not to laugh. I dare you.
Mudskippers are kind of a big deal
I decided that I needed to know more about them. How big were they? What sound did they make? What kind of creature were they? What was their bone structure? And then, I decided to draw them.
I was still enjoying the shape of them, and I needed a motif for the bronze casting class that I was attending. I decided to make a model in plasticine, and see if it would work as a bronze sculpture.
It turned out to be far too ambitious, so it got shelved - there was no way I was going to be able to carve that out of wax, with my rudimentary sculpting skills! Not in a way that would satisfy my own standards...
Mudskipper soft toys, v.1
I had just got into sewing again, so I decided to try making soft toys. I made the Sneaker Shark, and it went fairly averagely, and I made several others (a jellyfish, and an octopus with cat ears). And I also had a go at making mudskippers!
The mock-ups of the triangular body design were encouraging, so I went ahead and made a couple.
Mudskipper soft toys, v.2
Fast-forward a couple of years, and I have just started selling fat quarters at the Shelly Bay market. I decide to bring my soft toys as examples of things that can be made with my fabrics. After many requests, I have a shot at making a sewing pattern for them.
It's not the best, but some people manage to create some adorably derpy toys.
Colourable Mudskipper Bags
People also keep asking me to make colouring books - I promise, they're in the works! My style of line drawing lends itself well to being coloured in, so I thought - why not combine colouring with sewing mudskippers? So I made these!
And finally, of course, Mudskipper fabric.
I took the same drawings, and the mudskipper food artwork that I used as filler for the colour-and sew bags, and I made a series of fabrics and jewellery, on their own, and combined with the stars of the Underwater Unexpected series.