From drawing to Amigurumi

I have been crocheting for many years now and most of my creations have been inspired by Pop Culture characters or generic Amigurumi animals such as dogs and cats that I crocheted spontaneously or without preparation. Most of the time I didn’t know what the end result would look like. I was the queen of improvisation until I went to the DesignerCon convention last November.

DesignerCon is an annual art and design convention that includes collectible toys, customs, plush, designer apparel and pop art of all kind. I was blown away by the talent and creativity of all the artists and it really inspired me to go beyond what I have been doing for the past few years. I decided to learn to draw characters and use my imagination to be more creative. I started with online beginner tutorials that helped me understand the basics and crocheted a doll based on the Manga Monster drawing tutorial I learned from artist Christopher Hart.

Using a drawing I made from a tutorial was a good first practice. I have learned a lot in the process and even though I ended up with a few mistakes along the way I am very happy with my first try.

I had no problem making the body but the real challenge came when I started crocheting the head. I was afraid to make it to small or too big. I ended up making it a little too narrow (if you look at the drawing, the face is a bit wider on the sides). It’s no big deal since it’s for practice, but I did learn that I shouldn’t be afraid to crochet on a larger scale!

I named this little monster Olallieberry, which explains why its main color is purple (I picked the name before deciding on the colors). I added the blue and pink based on color combinations I found on google.

I had intended to put the ears a little further back but I forgot myself for a second and glued them closer than I intended. It still looks cute, but I was a little mad at myself because the main purpose of this practice was to make a replica and…Oh well… Live and learn! lol

I had a lot of fun doing this, and I intend to continue in that direction this year. I hope to learn and improve my skills by doing this, and I can’t wait to make my second doll using this new process.

I will still make Fan Art dolls because my love for Pop Culture will never fade, but I am going to focus more on my own creations because I really want to use my imagination and see what I can do.

I can’t wait to start on my next one!! Stay tuned for the next episode (I can’t wait to show you what I have in mind).

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Ryuk from Death Note

I am a big fan of Death Note. If you are not familiar with this manga, then you might have not heard about Ryuk, a very bored god from the Shinigami realm. He is a tall and skinny character that could give your nightmares with his sharp teeth and bulgy yellow eyes. He is not exactly evil, he is just a very bored supernatural being that will do anything that serves his own interest and amusement… Yeah, that can be evil.

I wanted to make a crocheted version of Ryuk for the longest time but it looked so challenging that I gave up on the idea until now. I started to work on the legs last December and just finished putting on the last accessories one month later.

I love crocheting Fan Art. Replicating fictional characters from movies or video games allows me to challenge myself and learn new techniques in the process. Ryuk was not easy to make, it took a lot of patience but I am really glad I tried. I love my Shinigami.

One of Ryuk charateristics is that he loves apples. He would do anything for apples, he’s a cheap date. Good thing I always have apples around the house!

Ryuk carries “Death Note” notebook on his side with a skull on it. He has a lot of accessories that I hard to find so I had to think outside the box to replicate his belt, rings etc… His body has wire inside, it allowed me to bend him into his grotesque crooked shape.

You can’t really tell on the pictures, but he is quite tall (about 20 inches). I was going to keep it for myself but decided to give it to my little nephew who is a fan of the Death Note anime series… I am such a good aunt!

My journey with Ryuk was very inspiring. I am amazed at the creativity and imagination of the artists that create these characters, they are super talented and I can only hope to be that creative someday.

Himura Kenshin

I gave myself two challenges last month, one was to learn how to embroider eyes and the other was to make one of my favorite manga characters, Himura Kenshin. I started working on this doll at the beginning of September and finally put on the last touches yesterday. It took a lot of patience but I am very happy with the result.

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Himura Kenshin is a former assassin turned wanderer in search of redemption during the Japanese Meiji era. He is distinguishable by his orange hair, his purple eyes and the scar he wears on his cheek. He is a manga character that was also featured in an anime and live action series.

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I started the doll by crocheting the head, then practiced embroidering the eyes until the face was so worn out I had to start all over again. I tried different tutorials from Pinterest and YouTube before figuring what worked best for me. It took a lot of patience and I think I spent an entire day just trying to get it right.

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I had the most fun with his Kimono. I love crocheting costumes, it’s always my favorite part. The skirt was not worked in rounds, I crocheted the front and the back separately and sewed both sides together with yarn. It was rather easy even though I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.

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The hair was quite a challenge. First of all, I had to make a decision on the color.  It’s between a reddish and orange color, except for Takeru Satoh version of the character (live action) which has much darker tones. I opted for a deep and vibrant orange because red would blend too much with the kimono and more fun to work with than a darker shade. I made the hair in layers to achieve some volume, and for that reason, it took me a long time to cut, glue and spray the entire head. It is nerve wrecking because any mistake might ruin the entire doll. I have a love-hate relationship with my glue gun for that very reason. The key to success is time and patience, crafting will definitely teach you patience!

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The last challenge was his Katana. I really wanted to add it to the doll because I cannot imagine Himura without his sword. I didn’t know what kind of material to use to make one, I had to improvise and think “outside the box”. I ended up using felt and after trying different versions I opted for the one I liked best. (Here is a fun fact about Himura sword, it has a reversed blade which was made that way because he had sworn to never kill again after ending his career as an assassin).

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I love my little Himura Kenshin, maybe I should consider making a crocheted version of Kaoru to keep him company. I definitely want to make more manga characters, they are so much fun!

Here are links to different tutorials to embroider eyes:
Step by Step pictures by Feri_Dolls

Youtube Tutorial by Petus Ochoa” target=”_blank”>Youtube Tutorial by Petus Ochoa

Another step by step pictures by Fery-Y

Happy crocheting.. and embroidering!