We had so much fun getting to know Lori Andrews last week we decided to keep the fun going and pick the brains of more Blurbarians. This week we introduce to you Sharleen Morco, creator of ‘The Misfit Bunny‘.
Why do you do what you do and where do you find inspiration? I do many things! And I do them because I feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness when I do what I do – especially when what I do can bring smiles to other people’s faces.
I knew since I was four years old that art was my passion in life. My dad’s hobby was photography, and that rubbed off onto me as well. And as for needlework (crochet & knitting, mainly), it started off because I saw amazingly cute hats & scarves in shops, and thought, “I could make that!”. As I explored more crafting websites & books, I learned about a Japanese crochet craft called amigurumi, meaning “knitted stuffed toy”, which is the style in which I created The Misfit Bunny.
My inspiration comes from everyday/simple things, food, and/or Japanese pop & crafting culture. I like to bring life to non-living things, and explore the possibilities of what these things would do if they could think and move on their own.
What is your favorite childhood book? I have so many! But if I had to answer one – The Jolly Postman (Allan & Janet Ahlberg). Even now as an adult, I love how interactive the story is – not just reading about the mail delivered, but being able to open up an envelope and read the letter itself.
How did the little misfit ever come to life? Do you think you’ll make any more books on his adventures? The Misfit Bunny was born when I was trying to do some yarn stash-busting (using up yarn I had accumulated over time, and preventing myself from buying any new yarn until I could clear up some of the stash!)… Originally, I wasn’t even set on designing a new bunny. But a bunny is what he turned out to be… and a multi-colored one too. As he came together, I thought, “What a surprisingly cute mess you turned out to be!” and instantly fell in love with him.
It is highly likely I’ll be making more books about the Misfit Bunny, and his misfit friends, in the future. I had actually wanted to do a story while I was in Tokyo, since he is after all designed in Japanese-style crochet, but I was too overwhelmed with excitement to be in another country, that I spent my time photographing while sightseeing instead.
What were some of the highlights of making your book? Making the characters for the story was definitely a highlight. I brought my yarn and crochet hook everywhere! People would ask what I was doing, and I’d simply reply, “Making an army of bunnies!”
Photo shoots were challenging, but fun. You would be surprised how stubborn the Misfit Bunny would be in some locations, refusing to stay still!
Another highlight was the editing process. I would bring prints (with, or without, accompanying text) to class critiques, and was surprised that some people took the imagery to be sexual in nature – for example, I recall someone referring to the image of bunnies tangled in yarn as “yarn intercourse, and the bunnies being born from it”. And I suppose, that is what it is, but it didn’t feel quite so naughty until someone had associated the words with it. The good thing is that afterwards, people didn’t look at my project as a children’s book anymore. I wanted my book to have a wider audience – something that could be enjoyed by children, but also by adults.
If you could bestow one bookmaking tip on the world, what would it be? Make an outline for the book from start to finish. It’s impossible to put together a finished work if you only know just the beginning, middle, or end, rather than the entire story.
Thanks Sharleen! Want a Misfit Bunny of your own? Check out Sharleen’s etsy shop here!