Leo Espinosa
Plush Goes The Splunk
I'm constantly marveled by the endless creative possibilities that web-based communities now have at their fingertips. Channels like our own Drawger, Flickr and Odosketch have served as creative catapults that allow artists to propel themselves and grow individually and collectively using each other for support.

It was through Flickr that I discovered the beautiful work of Violetta Testacalda. The uniqueness of what she creates and the ability that she has to put a soul inside and around every single character she stitches together is simply marvelous.

We regularly exchange comments and thoughts and just recently, one of those short conversations made me realize that a collaboration was due. I immediately imagined the characters from my first children's book Otis and Rae and the Grumbling Splunk done "a la Violetta" and asked her if she would be interested in sprinkling her magic on them.

To my delight, she enthusiastically agreed. I mailed the book to the other side of the world and a few weeks later, I started to receive updates with beautiful sketches of the Splunk, the trees and mushrooms from the forest where he lives.
Last week, pictures of the finished figures arrived and I couldn't believe my (watery) eyes! It's not often that when working (remotely) with other artists on my own creations (animation, product design, etc.) the first results are THIS wonderful!
Not only the Splunk is incredibly accurate but now his shy and sweet personality seems to be even more defined and it will be a great reference to use as I illustrate the second book -another fun, fun story written by my wife, Laura-!
I wanted to do this post before the end of the year because getting to know this amazing artist through such a personal project is one of the highlights of a very intense, very joyful and very, very meaningful 2009. I hope we get to do many more in the years to come!

Tante grazie, cara Violetta!

To see more of Violetta's fantastic work you can visit her Flickr and her blog.

Recent Articles

Sketchattack! (68)

Sketch-o-rama (74)

Euro Moto&Scooters (12)
Otis + Rae