Baby Jouwe

I finished my Jouwe today for the show art TAG.

Let me explain this piece.  From the beginning it was always my intention of bringing the Jouwe character to life. When I finished my Celsius piece I felt that I had maybe gone too far away from the platform and not showcased the original toy enough.  So I immediately decided I wanted to just take the red Jouwe character and animate him.  My original concept was to have this guy on a swing hanging from a tree.  Ambitious but I thought it would connect with people.  Unfortunately time wasn\’t on my side and I had to scrap that idea.  So I kept the idea of taking the existing character and just fleshing him out a bit.  I moved the horn down to a more realistic position for a rhino and added a mouth and nostrils.  I then  figured I\’d sit him down and have him reaching up toward the viewer. I actually made a baby rhino very similar to this about 13 years ago for an ex-girlfriend who loved rhinos. I kept thinking, ehh, I\’m copying an old idea.  But I figured that was a long time ago and no one has seen that piece. The piece seemed too simple so I decided it needed something else.  I toyed with the idea of putting a lolly pop in his hands and a pet food dish at his feet.  But none seemed to work for me.  I did then think of putting a butterfly on his horn.  I liked it, it was simple, pure and fell in line with the cute baby rhino look I was going for.

Well, today as I was packing this fella up to ship, and I was digging through boxes, I came upon the original Jouwe box.  Now anyone who\’s purchased this toy, and you fellow customizers, might be aware that it came in an awesome box that had some great artwork on it.  Well, today as I looked upon the box I was reminded of the art and to my embarrassment one of the illustrations on the box is the Jouwe sitting down, much like my finished piece. Actually, it\’s in nearly the exact position as my old baby rhino I did. To add to my embarrassment, there are butterflies as well. I don\’t know how I didn\’t remember that this was on the box or if it was really my subconscious memory recreating what I had seen.  But I felt silly.  I looked at my wife, laughed and said, oh well, what can you do.

So here\’s my Jouwe, straight off the box.  Like I said, it had been my intention of showcasing the toy and not veering far off the platform.  I just got carried away I guess.