A few months ago I was dragged over to deviantArt. I kicked and yelled and finally gave in, determined to sit in my corner and pout. It took a while, but slowly I started to find my way around, and although it's hard to admit it, I am grateful to ... yes, well, you know who you are!
One of the artisans who caught my eye there is Cortney McLeod aka Cleody (pronounced as "cloudy"). She's from Arizona and we had a little "talk". Meet Cleody and listen to her story.
1. What's your craft and how did you get to do it in the first place?
I tend to be a jack of all trades. When I see something that I'm interested in learning, I learn it, and then I move onto something else. I used to draw quite a bit, I used to paint in photoshop, I used to make sculpey figurines... I've done quite a bit. Now I'm focusing on making plushies, and not just making them to make them, but I'm actually trying to really start something with them. Not just a toy line, but I'm sort of using them as a platform for instilling this spirit of adventure in people.
I work in the film industry. I originally got into film because it's the perfect medium. You can incorporate all other art mediums into it. And there's no other medium that can move people emotionally the way film does. I wanted to get into film because I wanted to give people another way to view something. I wanted to change people's minds for just a minute and show them there were other ways of perceiving life.
Of course the film lifestyle is easy to get burnt out on, especially in the local scene where you work EXTREMELY long hours and there's not much money for your efforts. So even though I'm not doing film as much anymore, that desire to change people's minds is still there. Only this time I am trying to do it with this story of a little alien race that comes to me in search of happiness and enlightenment. And by helping them to find enlightenment, I hope to help others, as well.
... that was very long-winded. Sorry about that.
2. Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from everywhere. I'm something of a sponge. I look at other people's art, I listen to other people's stories, I just look outside, I even look around my room and imagine how I would navigate the landscape if I were tiny. I used to think about that a lot when I was a kid and I went years without thinking like that. But now that I'm getting back into my art, all those fun ways of thinking and imagining things is all flooding back to me. I just want to show people simple ways of having fun, so I try to find fun in everything, and then share that.
3. Tell us a fun thing about yourself.
A fun thing about myself... hmm... well my profession has changed from doing special effects and effects makeup to making stuffed animals. So... blood, guts, gore, explosions, fire, zombies... to fluffy cute and cuddly things. So every now and then when I try to sit down and come up with a story, my cute and cuddly stories have explosions in them. Or really weird humor. I'm a bit of a contradiction. So this world that I'm creating is a little strange.
4. What other crafts do you do?
I do all sorts of crafts. I bet I've done just about everything once, as far as crafting goes. However, I am interesting in doing more custom toys and getting better at sculpting. So sculpture is next on my list. :)
5. Tell us about the "Slouchies".
One night, I woke up to this strange green glow in my closet. I had no idea what it was. I don't believe in monsters or anything, but it could've been a burglar or something. So I grabbed my baseball bat and crept towards the closet. When I opened the door, at first I couldn't see anything except this bright green glare. Then my eyes adjusted and I saw a dozen or so tiny little creatures all staring up at me from the floor. As I was frozen in shock, I noticed another green light in my peripheral vision. I turn around and see a green light coming from outside. I ran out of my room and went to look out into the yard. There were dozens and dozens of little spaceships landing in the front yard! As I was about to run out of the place, a large group of aliens cut me off. I started to back away, clutching my bat. As I was backing away, a little striped alien steps forward with arms raised, squeaking and making these noises that sound something like baby talk
An ex-boyfriend of mine who never got over it after we broke up, badly, had become an astronaut and ended up on the aliens' planet. He gave them my phone number and that's how they found me.
Now the entire alien race is coming through a portal in my closet and landing on my front lawn.
I told them that I'm not a guru or anything and that I didn't even know how to make myself happy. This was very disappointing for the Slouchies to hear. I felt so bad for them. They can't go back to their home planet. And they traveled all over the universe to find me... to find happiness. So I couldn't just abandon them.
Since that day I've started posting them online and trying to get people to adopt them. I simply can't take care of them all.
But them just being here is helping me to learn more things about myself. In teaching them to find their own happiness, I'm learning to find mine. And by helping them to find friends out there, I'm finding more friends, too. :)
By the way, if you want to read the whole story, here it is!
By the way, if you want to read the whole story, here it is!
6. Where would you like to take your business someday?
I would eventually like my business to be quite popular, of course. I would like a website with multiple toy lines and a comic for the Slouchies, if not an animated series. I would like this to be big! I want to start an online community.... oh man... so many ideas. No idea how to streamline them and actually make them all happen. Haha!
7. Where can we find you online?
You can find me on:
What do I want to tell the world? BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER
And my blog
8. Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?
I'm in love with the Slouchies already and I'm just waiting to find the little fellow who is perfect for me. How about you?? ;-)