Wendy Tsao made her first toy based on a drawing by her 4-year-old son Dani. The school had asked the children to bring a toy from home. The idea was to use it as an emergency measure if the child were to throw tantrum or had a crying fit. Wendy didn’t want to send Dani’s favorite toy with him to school fearing he may lose it. Instead, she decided to make him a new toy. Using a drawing made by her child, one which he often repeated, as a guide, Wendy Tsao improvised a toy snowman.
Five years later, Wendy Tsao has her own business, the Child's Own Studio in which she transforms drawings of children into plush and cloth dolls. Wendy Tsao receives requests from parents all over the world, and she made several hundreds soft toys based on children’s drawings, each one as unique as the child who drew it. Details and color choices are reproduced as closely as possible so that the stuffed toy that arrives in the mail is immediately recognizable to the child who designed it.
“It’s a fun, rewarding process, and kids love seeing their drawings come alive”, she says.
Wendy is so overwhelmed with requests that she has made a list of artists around the world who are doing similar work, and published it on her blog. She recommends some 20 craftsmen, 14 of them in the United States, two in Australia, two in Canada and two in Europe. If you want your kid’s doodles to be turned into toys, send her a request. Be aware, the list has 500 people waiting.
If you liked Wendy Tsao’s work you will also love The Monster Engine: Children’s Drawings Painted Realistically