(Note: no penguins were harmed in the making of this video, even though the penguins in Mochimochi Land taste like licorice, which is one of the walruses’ favorite candy flavors.)
In early November I had the pleasure of knitting characters and props for Nickelodeon for the second year in a row! (This is the project that took over my life and my desk for a couple of weeks.) The resulting animated IDs are now airing on the network during commercial breaks, so you’ll probably catch one if you tune in this month.
Here’s a reel of all the new IDs.
I didn’t participate in the animating process this time, but of course the Nick promotions team did an excellent job without me.
The guys you see in the first two animations are SwaySway and Buhdeuce from the show Breadwinners, which is about ducks who deliver bread in a flying rocket van. They’re your typical tiny mochi size.
The biggest challenge among all the little characters and props was the arcade that the Breadwinners play. It had to have structure, some design details, and also a way for the screen to change colors as if it’s switching on. And it had to be pretty small, so that tiny SwaySway and tiny Buhdeuce could walk up to it and play it. It was a little bit helpful that I had designed a knitted arcade earlier this year, so I knew what kind of shaping I wanted to get, but Quarters would be skyscraper-sized to these characters.
My first version was really tiny and was close to the shape I wanted, but it lacked the structure that it needed (since it was just filled with stuffing).
So for my next version, I started by putting together a styrofoam base that was bigger and more or less arcade-shaped.
It’s a bit big for tiny SwaySway, but close enough to the right scale for the purposes of a cute stop-motion animation.
Then I did some measuring and swatching, then some more measuring and swatching. Once I had measured and swatched enough, I proceeded to knit the covering flat so that I could seam it onto the styrofoam. An interesting moment was trying to shave down the styrofoam just the right amount while the knitted covering was on so that there would be enough room for the screen to lie flat. It was finished in an evening, because it had to be!
(I couldn’t stomach the thought of more duplicate stitch for a few days after!)
So that’s a little look into the process that went into my portion of this project.
Since working with Nick two years in a row and also picking up a few other commercial projects in the meantime, I’m happy to find that I indeed love working with someone else’s creative vision and also creating my interpretation of existing characters. I hope I get to do more!
Big thank-yous go to Matthew Duntemann at Nick and to my agent Koko for making this project happen.
If you’d like to see more, you can find last year’s animations (which include more Mochimochi Land creatures) here.
And just in case anyone is wondering, unfortunately I can’t make patterns available for any of the Nick characters or props. (Although you’re welcome to use my versions as inspiration for your own personal-use projects!)
In 2013 I got to work with Nickelodeon on animated holiday IDs using Mochimochi Land creatures and some mochi-fied Nick characters. I’m happy to say that the animations are back on this month, and there are new ones too! I’ll share more soon, but you can also tune in to Nickelodeon to catch them on air.
Things got a bit wilder than expected at the Mochimochi Halloween party this year…
Made with help from Maureen Boyle!