#WhyIMake | Why I Design Stuffed Animals
Why do I make?
Because I have an itch in my soul that tells me to create things that make people smile. I get to see other people smile at not only my work but also at the work they realize they can do when they follow one of my patterns. And I create because I get to show every crazy bit of myself to the world and watch people smile at it.
I Make Smiles
Who can look at a teddy bear and not smile?
Everyone loves stuffed animals. More than half of people (53% actually) still have a stuffed animal from their childhood. We are naturally drawn to things that remind us of our best memories, and for many that is childhood.
I had an awesome childhood full of Summertime night tag with the neighborhood kids and hours of playing on the trampoline in my backyard.
Something about soft toys — especially their glimmering, hopeful plastic eyes — melts our hearts and sends us back to that childhood full of popsicles and tea parties. They make people smile. They make people say,”Awwww!” and hug that familiar fuzzy friend with all their might.
Amigurumi take us back to being a kid again.
When there are bills to pay and chores to do, it only takes a quick hug from a stuffed animals to remind me that I was once a happy-go-lucky kid who just wanted to play. Even though we all have to grow old, growing up is overrated.
I Don’t Want To Grow Up
Which brings me to my next reason for this crazy calling: I don’t want to grow up.
Growing up comes with this yucky belief that we can’t be silly anymore. We are discouraged from enjoying “childish things” like video games, dressing in costumes, and collecting stuffed animals.
But I am proud of the things that make me unlike everyone else. I play games with my fellow-gamer husband, dress in costumes regularly (look up the Rebel Legion and you will see what I do on the weekends), and I absolutely adore stuffed animals.
Let the haters say I’m immature or weird. Weird is a great word — it means “strange or of extraordinary character.” I’m more than happy to own that definition.
I Get To Be A Paintbrush
So it turns out that others really like to embrace their inner-child AND there are fellow-weirdos out there. I started to write the patterns (thank that draw to publish from my English degree), and I saw the coolest thing begin to happen.
The joy of creating started spreading around to others.
Even better than the joy of the actual soft toys is the seeing the joy of crochet artists when they create something beautiful. They make awesome things — extraordinary things — that express their inner weird and make them feel proud of their creations.
Wow! What a super power!
Brilliant artists send me pictures, having created beautiful stuffed animals using my patterns. What I hear most is, “I did it! I didn’t know if I could, but I did it!”
I thank them for the pictures, add them to my collage (yes, there is an actual collage), and I smile, because I knew they could do it.
Art is awesome like that. Anyone can do it, and everyone should.
But even writing the patterns, I don’t want the credit for their art — I always just say that I offered them a paintbrush and they made the masterpiece. Their hands work the stitches, shape the parts, bring those safety eyes to life.
I’m so honored to the paintbrush! If my patterns can push crochet artists to create more, beautiful art, then I’m doing my part. If one weird person finds themself by creating their next amigurumi friend, then I happily welcome them to the Weird Club!
So why do I make what I make?
I make amigurumi to remind people of the freedom of childhood, but I write patterns to inspire others to express themselves. My patterns are the expressions of my goofy, joyful, weird little self.
Thank you Lovecrafts.com for the inspiration to write this blog post.
Kati is the designer behind Hooked by Kati. With thousands of patterns sold around the world, Kati prides herself in creating innovative, easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She has designed for several publications, including Crochet!, Crochet World, Simply Crochet, and I Like Crochet. Kati finds her inspiration in science fiction, video games, and numerous visits to the zoo — all passions she shares with her husband and two boys.
Kati your work affirms that there is still innocence and hope even in the grown up world . Thank you