This post is all about Mei Li. She is my Muse in plush form.
I’ve been wanting to create my own personal muse for a while now, and this week I was finally able to bring my design to life!
The first time I started thinking about what my own muse would look like is when I bought The Faerie’s Oracle tarot deck a couple of years ago (by one of my favourite artists Brian Froud). The deck comes with 66 cards that are beautifully illustrated, however, the zero card is completely blank. This card is called “The Guide”, and it is left blank with the intention of the owner completing it with their own personal muse. I never knew what to do with this card — what did my muse look like? What if I got it wrong? Looking back I’m not surprised that I didn’t know at that time. I would not be on my own personal art journey until a few years later, when my ex and I moved to the States. Then, just a couple of weeks ago when I was working on Plush Team’s favourite childhood plush project, an idea for a plush design popped out at me. I immediately had to draw her out. I knew that she was a white rabbit spirit girl, with white hair and grey skin.
[She's the one with the heart on her chest.]
Mei Li represents my muse, a white rabbit zombie girl. Mei Li used to work in a turn-of-the-century travelling carnival. You know, the type with fire eaters, a freak show, exotic animals and trapeze acts. Her act involved acrobatics and white rabbits. Mei Li’s act was quite good, but the ringmaster kept pressuring her to make her performance more and more dangerous — for the enjoyment of the crowd (and to fill his pockets). Mei Li didn’t like the ringmaster too much, but unfortunately life as a carnie is limited, and it leaves a strange little girl with really no other options in life. Mei Li agreed to increase the risks in her act, but something went terribly wrong and suddenly Mei Li’s life was over. But for some reason, she remained in this world as a wandering ghostly zombie girl. Mei Li took interest me when I was just a little girl. Maybe my clumsiness reminded her of herself, or my love of rabbits. Whatever the case, this strange little zombie girl has been my inspirational muse ever since.
I decided to name her “Mei Li”, after some of the Mandarin characters (梅李) that are used to make my name, Emily. I made sure that I used the Alice In Wonderland fabric, and put the white rabbit on her front, to really keep with the theme. (Alice is on her back.) And of course she needed her own White Rabbit buddy! I chose to give her hair buns to represent rabbit ears. ^_^
[Here are a couple in-progress shots. Lucky insists on sitting right next to me as I work. ♥]
I used a new technique on her that I’ve been dying to use on a plushie! (Well, it’s not really new, but I haven’t used it on dolly plushies yet.) I gave her smokey eyes and blushed cheeks using pastels, and applyed them with q-tips. I’ve used this technique on my doll customs (you can really tell on my Holly). It gives it a really neat look that you can’t get with fabric or thread.
Mei Li is now on display with my other favourite toys. ♥
[Oh, now that we're all finished, it's time for a nap! ^_^]