Squshies has been hard at work on a super secret project since December, and we got an exclusive Daft interview to learn more about their new project: March Monkey Madness!
When I decided it would be fun to do a full month of a particular animal, I needed to pick something that there were a lot of different species of. There are lots of monkeys, right? I had no idea how true that was until I started this project. There are over 200 different species of monkeys! Just monkeys! That doesn't count Prosimian (pre-monkeys) or any of the great apes. Another reason I really liked the idea of monkeys for this project is because I knew so little about them. I've always thought they were cute but, had never paid much attention to them. I've always tended to focus my attention on the weird and less known and loved animals (vultures, pangolins, binturongs). Monkeys are pretty well known and seem to get a lot of love, but only some of them. There are so many unique and interesting types of monkeys and many I'm thinking people are unfamiliar with.
Which was your favorite monkey to work on?
So many of them! I can't pick a favorite.
How long did it take to prepare for this project and what all went into it?
This project has been kicking around in the back of my brain for most of last year. Last December I finally decided to start tackling it and has been my main focus. First was deciding on my 31 monkeys. This was a lot of research. I had to make sure all the monkeys I choose were actually monkeys. I had to find picture to base my designs off of and make sure the pictures were correct for the specific monkey I'd chosen. There are a lot of similar species and large variations between males and females in some species so it got a bit confusing. Second was taking my doodles and cleaning them on up the computer. I go to the computer to make my sketches more even, fix proportions and play with color choices. It is a lot easier to plan and make changes digitally than when I go to felt. Third was cutting every monkey out and sewing them all. Lots of cutting and sewing. All the cutting and sewing is done by hand so it is a time consuming process. Fourth was picking names and stories for each monkey. Normally I randomly pick names and create little stories for our critters. To do this for 31 monkeys all at once was daunting. The monkeys seemed like they should be handled slightly differently and in a more cohesive way. Names were choosen for each monkey based on a country you can find them in. Their short stories were whenever possible based on a fact about that particular species of monkey. This was a lot or research again. Finding facts to base stories on and making sure monkeys that had distinctly male or female markings had appropriate gender names.
This projects seems like a really fun & educational tool for parents! What do you think?
I hope introducing everyone to lots of new monkey species will help increase awareness and interest in the various species. I hope others will learn about the wide variety of sizes and shapes monkeys come in. I also hope these cartoon felt monkeys might help others to recognize a few different species they might have not have recognized before. I know I really enjoy going to the zoo and being able to identify specific monkeys species rather than just calling them all a generic monkey. I encourage everyone to look up their favorite monkeys and learn more. Monkeys are really fascinating and every monkey's story is based on a fact we learned about that particular monkey when we were doing research about that monkey.
Which do you think will be the most popular?
I would guess the monkeys people are most familiar with will be the most popular. I'm really hoping that introducing people to some of the lesser known monkeys will generate interest in these unique and wonderful animals.
Squshies has released the first monkey in this project today - the Capuchin monkey! Learn more about this monkey here and be the first to collect Marco, the Capuchin monkey by Squshies!
Be sure to check out Squshies shop daily this month to see which new monkey species gets added the collection!