Very often I receive questions concerning the process of creating my teddies. I’ve collected the most frequently asked questions here and tried to answer them in details.
Why did you decide to make exactly bears?
As I’ve written in the topic “About Artist”, designer's bears came to my life all of a sudden. They just looked at me from the computer’s screen. And after 3 days of monitoring the Internet, I got enthusiastic about the idea to make a classic Teddy bear as my Mum’s birthday present.
Mum often told me about some favorite bear she had in her childhood. “Big, light, with the revolving limbs and it roared!" – said Mum. Mind that there almost weren’t toys in my childhood, and later appeared Chinese toys of poor quality. That’s why I can’t understand how it was possible – a bear with revolving limbs… Only in 2009 I’ve understood what that bear looked like.
That’s how I started to sew Teddy bears, and it was impossible to stop.
From that moment I’ve tried different kinds of creativity, but none of them could carry me away for more than a couple of weeks.
What was an incitement to you to start making miniature Teddy bears?
Oh, this is a funny story! When I saw the first miniature bear, I thought that it’s really cool, but I definitely would never be able to do like that! So I proceeded to sew normal-sized teddies from 20 to 40 cm and forgotten about the miniature ones.
And once during end of an exhibition in Moscow I saw my friend Julia Ovtsyna took all the rest little bears put them in a metal cookie box, put it into her bag and went home! I was so fascinated, that I decided to try as soon as I return to Ekatherinburg.
What is more appropriate to you: to sew by yourself or to sew on a machine?
I rarely sew on a machine. For me it’s faster and more convenient to sew parts by myself. Besides that, I often sew teddies’ details together not at home but wherever possible, when I have a spare minute: staying in a queue, sitting on a beach or in a park, in plane, in train, in a café waiting for lunch and so on. Almost always I have workpieces, threads of the same colour, needle and scissors on me. Here you can see photos about this fact.
I use a sewing machine for making big bears. I make limbs and body on a machine but head and little details I sew by myself.
Do you invent patterns by yourself? If so, how do you do it?
All ABCbears teddies are sewn by my own patterns.
When I want to create a new character, I start to sculpt from the prototypical plasticine. I can spent a couple of hours or months or even a year. If I pleased with the result I make a paper pattern from it in a particular way. And only after I start to work with the materials.
Where do you find an inspiration?
I consider inspiration is in everything that surrounds us. I can talk about it for hours.
I’m inspired by nature, travelling, new acquaintances…
Sometimes one irrational purchase made during a trip becomes a start of a new collection. Sometimes I’m collecting accessories for months in hope to get inspired to make a new teddy. I can spend a couple of hours at the souvenir shop looking for the appropriate little thing for bears.
Soviet cartoons and books for children exert a huge impact on me, because they’re made with a great love. Their plot, style, humour are brilliant! They are so colourful and kind for real! They are my eternal source of inspiration and positive thoughts!
Also I always observe what is happening around and carry my notebook on me to write down and draw my ideas as they come to my mind.
When has your own author's style formed?
Frankly speaking, it’s hard to say when exactly it happened.
At the beginning I was worried about it. It seemed to me that I’m sewing somebody else’s bears, that I take somebody else’s style. I was afraid to be accused of plagiarism.
That’s why I was constantly looking for something mine, left undone bears (I even had a hole suitcase of separate bears' parts), tried over and over.
Before my first exhibition I mastered cutting patterns from the plasticine models. That made my works be remarkable, so I became salient. But still my works lacked in charisma and special appeal.
I think my first identical work was the first miniature elephant. It was sewn in the summer of 2011.
Do you have any people to help you with the ABCbears? If so, what kind of help do you receive?
In general I deal with all processes and aspects of ABCbears.
At the beginning I thought that to make Teddy bears means just to sew them. Now I’m a seamstress, a graphic designer, a photographer, a supply-manager, a sales-manager, an organizer, a copywriter, a PR-manager and a postman.
But there are some moments I can’t work out myself. That’s why I regularly cooperate with professionals.
I’m very obliged to my friend Max Fomin, a photographer, for many beautiful photos in the website. He also consults me about the object photography when I need it.
Once I was acquainted to Aleena Razumkova who makes accessories from glass in the lampwork technique. We were so impressed by each other creativity that we decided to cooperate. As a result Aleena supplies ABCbears with different handmade beads, in particular made from my scratches.
Specially for you I and my photographer made photos of making a piglet’s snout process:
I would become mad because of the computer work’s amount unless my Husband helped me. He is the major ABCbears’ IT-specialist. He deals with the site’s development, support, promotion and many routine computer processes’ automation and new software mastering.
Besides, sometimes I involve my parents in the process. That’s how my bears get knitted things and wooden accessories.
Is it easy for you to part with you creations?
It’s easy to part only with ordered teddies. But I stopped work to order at the beginning of 2014. It’s hard to part with other creations but I know this is vital for my professional growth.