Vancouver-based Wendy Tsao started Child's Own Studio, a home-based toy design studio with a twist: Tsao doesn't design the toys. Children do. Tsao's brilliant insight was to create one-off toys for a child modeled exactly on a drawing done by that child.
[Children's drawings are] a wonderful expression of childhood [and] the starting point of the collaborative project. 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.
While you can see how it's do-able enough to create a toy from a drawing by an artistically-gifted child, like these...
...you've gotta be impressed when Tsao pulls off the more abstract drawings, like these:
Seeing those latter three makes me reflect, with shame, on times in the past when I received a less-than-clear sketch from the head designer on the job and privately complained about being asked to realize it in CAD. It looks as if Tsao could probably pull off plush Picassos. And with a few hundred creations under her belt and counting, she won't be running out of business anytime soon.
Join over 240,000 designers who stay up-to-date with the Core77 newsletter.
Test it out; it only takes a single click to unsubscribe