As I was putting some finishing touches on my project (I expect to complete it tonight or tomorrow morning, and hopefully get some nice daylit photos tomorrow!) I pondered the simplicity that lies beneath the deceptive complexity of a finished design. It’s the same simple shapes in many different forms; when I start a new toy I always know how to begin. The things that make them different are the details! The colors, the embellishments, and the ways they are arranged. Really, putting them together is a breeze. Often when I want to make a new toy, I begin with a drawing. That gives me a reference for the shape and proportions. I break it down into simple shapes, like in those ‘learn to draw’ books I pored over as a child. It’s strange, but no matter how many circles I strung together it never looked like the horse in the illustration. However, if I want to make – say – a teddy bear, I just need a ball for the head, an elongated ball for the body, four tubes for limbs, and a pair of semicircles to make ears. It’s the same thing if I want to make a cat. A ball, an elongated ball, four tubes (five really, you’ll want a tail), and two triangles for ears. Want to make a zebra? It’s balls and tubes and triangles. Then all you have to do is embellish. This first hit me back when I was crocheting Max’s Noah’s ark. There were so many different kinds of animals, but all of them had the same basic structure. “I’ll bet I can do that,” I thought, and soon afterwards I designed my first stuffed animal.
So, I guess what I’m saying is – if you’ve ever been tempted to design a toy but you thought it was too complicated, why not give it a try?