Hello, I'm Leslie. I live in LA, and I make the Beastlies. When I'm not sculpting, I work at a comic book store. I love comics almost as much as tiny monsters...
2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
Well, I first became a fan of Etsy as a buyer. And then a few years ago, I made some little figures and took them to a comic book convention to sell. I was really excited when people actually liked them and bought them, so I thought I'd give it a shot on Etsy. It just seemed like the natural place for little handmade critters.
3. Do you sell your Beastlies anywhere else?
I still love taking them to comic conventions, so I do three or four of those a year. Usually the San Diego Comic Con, the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, Stumptown in Portland, and later this month I'll be at Designer Con in Pasadena. I also bring some Beastlies into Meltdown, the comic shop where I work.
4. How did you choose the name for your little monsters?
At first I was just calling them Little Beasties, but I wanted a name that would be more unique, something that wasn't quite a normal word. So I combined beasties with my first name and liked how that sounded.
5. What are your favourite things to do?
Luckily for me, I really love to sculpt and create characters. I already mentioned that I love comics, both reading them and helping create them (I sculpt the weekly Atrox comics at theatrox.com). That sums up the majority of my waking hours, right there...
6. What inspires you?
I always love to see amazing character design, from the Muppets to vinyl toys. I also love to go to aquariums or just find photo books of strange or hilariously cute animals and take mental notes about the best features.
7. Which of the Beastlies is your favourite to make?
Anytime they look like they're yelling, or they look really especially dumb, those usually end up being my favorites.
8 How long does it take to create one of your Beastlies?
Usually in the neighborhood of an hour. Sometimes a little more or less, depending on the complexity.
9. How do you come up with the Beastlies names and their profiles?
The names come from anything I can think of, pretty much. For the profiles, I focus on their expressions and think of what this creature would be like if it was up for adoption at an animal shelter. I used to work at a rabbit rescue organization, and I'd write little descriptions of each bunny that was looking for a home. When you're doing that, you try to think of creative and interesting ways to convey if a rabbit is especially friendly or curious or shy. That's the basic idea of what I'm trying to do with the Beastlies descriptions. Sometimes it wanders from that a little, but that's what I start with.
10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
lauren m. wong
Thank you to Leslie for being my favourite Etsy shop feature this week. How can you not love these little guys. They each have different personalities but all equally as cute. Whenever I look at this shop it makes me want to collect them all. Megan and I spent an afternoon once just giggling over them while reading their profiles. You really do have to check out the sold section as well to see all of the Beastlies that have been made in the past. I think every household needs at least one Beastlie in it.