In 2016, inspired by an idea from my husband and a love of Rose O’Neill’s kewpies, I made up my mind to make my very own kewpie dolls. The only problem was that I didn’t know how to make dolls. So I started by creating a paper doll coloring book starring my own kewpie-like character, taking reference from O’Neill’s illustrations, antique penny dolls, and chalkware souvenirs.
Meanwhile, as fortune (or the luck that comes from like-minded artists loving each other’s work) would have it, Kate Hart of Bitter Squeaks contacted me to commission some tattoo work. Kate has her own amazing story, the short version being that she is the caretaker and future-maker of the Edward Mobley toy estate. When we got together, sparks ignited. Turns out that one of Edward Mobley’s unproduced prototypes looked an awful lot like my little character. Perhaps he too was inspired by O’Neill’s work and early 20th century toys, or perhaps there was some magic that led to me picking up the character where he’d left off.
It was clear to us that this little doll had been waiting patiently for her debut. In 2017 we released the very first Pigeon the Kewp Doll as a series of one-of-a-kind hand painted art dolls. What’s next, you ask? Stay tuned - we can hardly wait.