One of the first characters they meet is a Dreamer. He is living in a big city, catching and storing dreams someone has lost or neglected. I ended up making the Dreamer to look like a raccoon, partly because I heard there are wild raccoons living in Berlin. The Dreamer catches the dreams into a pillow case and he sorts them out afterwards.
I spent a month in an Artist’s residency in Berlin where I officially started the story of Mau and Curly. I made more miniature characters and items there. I spent a lot of time writing, and I tested my ideas. Originally my plan was to find 1:1 locations where the events of the story would be photographed but it just didn’t feel right. I thought why would 1:12 size animals live in a 1:1 world? So I decided to just use the locations as an inspiration and I would create them in miniature as well. Although I still want to have some of the pictures taken outside. I took Mau and Curly for sightseeing, just for fun.
This is where the story begins. Mau the cat and Curly the dog will travel around the world: to many beautiful and strange places. I will tell about their adventures in picture books and this blog I will tell the side story, the making of and about the trials and errors, too. Curly and Mau are miniature characters about 10 cm tall. I have made them myself, as well as their house and any items needed and any means of their transportation there might be. I will make everything they see and everyone they meet in miniature.
There is always a recognizable and a magical moment when the characters I make come alive. It might be when I’m gluing on their fur or when I add a sparkle in their eyes. Some wait longer, some can’t wait to be born.
Curly the dog came to life earlier last year on a cold winter day in my studio in Finland. I had a very clear vision of how he would be like. He would be funny, witty, kind, loyal and one of those amazing ones who have a huge heart and can bring the best out of anyone they meet. Who is willing to help others, always ready for adventure, mischievous and just the most fun travel companion there could be. Even though I had a clear vision of how Curly would be and look like, I knew right away by looking at him that there was so much more to him that I didn’t know.
Mau took much longer to finish. For months she sat on a shelf half-finished and I was a bit afraid how she would turn out. But on a late night in Berlin Mau was born. She had to, since they were about to start their first adventure. For the last minute I was unsure who she was and was it even a she. But then she looked at me with a slightly shy smile and I knew. She was a traveler for sure. She would go to places even she might be afraid. She saw things others didn’t. She was slow at times but that was only because there was so much going on her mind all the time.