Koby and Friends are my mascots, and they appear throughout my website, but also on my forum, Asperclick. I designed about 6 months before I started my WillowHope thing officially, but didn't quite know how to use them. They were too cute to use in my graphic design work; I kind of felt like they were mine and would have been too sad to see them go to someone else, so I just kept them in a folder. Of course in late 2012 I decided to set up all of my Facebook pages etc and do my video blogs again - plus I was going to be releasing my book, so I needed a logo, and these little fellows were the obvious choice!
I have big plans for them but I won't go too much into it now as nothing is set in stone. But the dynamics of the group and the certain aspects of each individual is all very much on purpose i.e. Junior is a bit crazy, Koby is the leader, Chuckles has no arms and Sparky is the only girl.
Here are their profiles:
"As you may have guessed, I’m the leader – this means I get to look after everyone. I’m not bossy though. I like to play games where everyone can join in. Sometimes I have a hard time with Junior because he’s so cheeky!"
I made Koby to look after the others, so he's the responsible one but he is very approachable, hence why he looks so jolly and happy all the time - and very round! I think he'll sometimes struggle in his role as leader because of difficulties drawing a line between being friends with the others, and being in charge of the others.
"I’m the only girl in the gang, but that’s okay. Koby makes sure that I feel included. I like the way my hair looks and pink is my favourite colour – which is useful because that’s what colour I am. I’m a little shy mostly, but Koby helps me with that."
Originally Sparky was just the 4th boy in the group but I quickly realised that there would need to be a girl so that the group as a whole were relatable to, for everyone. Sparky ended up being the girl purely because she's pink, and in hindsight, I guess pink wouldn't have been the best colour for a boy monster anyway!
"The others say I’m the cheeky, crazy one – which I guess is true. I stick my tongue out a lot and pull funny faces at the others. I like jumping around and dancing. I also like playing games with my friends."
Junior, if he was a real boy, would probably had ADHD - he's very hyperactive and a little cheeky and crazy at times, so I guess he can be a handful. I wanted him to be like a typical boy, and he reminds me of my brother when he was a child - I'd like to think that he gets on Sparky's nerves sometimes, the way my brother did for me!
"I like to laugh a lot and tell jokes to cheer the others up. Sometimes I need help from my friends to pick things up but I don’t mind. I’m really jolly and positive about everything and I love playing with my friends and my toys."
Chuckles is very outgoing and positive about life, despite not having any arms. I wanted to make him like this so he needed help from the others, and so that the others could understand that they need to look out for him a little more than usual. I think he's orange because that's what I always think of as a happy colour!
Aside from the plushies, I also have badges and keyrings available with the gang on - and I do paintings of them which will be available as prints if the original has sold. One day I will do a lot more with these cute little guys, but as with everything, it comes down to money - well, lack of money.
Here are some of the things you can buy:
Books (PDF) - £2.99 each
Button Badges - £2.50 each
Plushies - £14.50 each
All plushies are shipped with tags, wrapped in tissue paper and with the usual stickers etc.