I heard about the RPG Jelly Plush Kickstarter via an email announcement with an offer to do an interview, etc.. Loving a) plush toys, b) RPGs, and c) jellyfish, I figured “why the hell not?” What followed was a series of email with Alaina Prana, The Floof Queen, who designed and currently hand-makes these awesome jellies.
What inspired your RPG Jellyfish plushies? How did they come to be?
At first, I was inspired by the anime Princess Jellyfish to make the first batch of plush jellies. The original pattern I designed was my own take on one of the characters from that show. I loved making the character so much that I decided to branch out and create some of my own from that original design. They are SUPER fun to design and I love making them!
The idea of applying RPG elements to them wasn’t hard to come up with, since I grew up on those things – as a result, the Warrior types are some of my favorites, since that’s what I tend to play the most. The designs come from fantasy stereotypes, classic RPG classes, and bad puns.
You mentioned these are hand-made. About how long does each take to produce?
They can take anywhere from 3-6 hours a piece, individually. It depends on the complexity and how many I’m doing at once – I think I made 40 over the course of 10 days once, almost constant working. It’s hard to keep EXACT track, my crafting schedule is near constant.
That’s a LOT of work! How did you start marketing the plushies? What made you decide to take the next step into manufacturing?
Lots and lots of conventions. Convention travelling is my main form of getting around and getting product out. I had noticed a couple of other artists I came across during my travels had original plush designs – and I kept it as an idea in mind for ‘maybe someday’. …The problem is plush making IS a lot of work!
The biggest factor here, honestly, is time, and wanting to be able to expand without killing my body. I’ve ended up suffering from overworked induced infections more than once, and my arms require constant attention to keep pushing the way I do. But – I LOVE my designs. I love making things, but I also just adore DESIGNING plushies.
The other factor is less of a restriction on more complex designs. I don’t feel that I could pull of a Narwhal plush at a price I would find fair. But a manufactured design…they can do a lot more at a fair price for what I want to produce.
How many different designs will be available through the Kickstarter campaign?
The first two, the Paladin and Rogue jelly, we self funded and are available as backer rewards. Our Mage is the first goal, and then our two stretch goals are the Narwhal Warlock and Bard jellies – a total of 5 designs, assuming EVERYONE gets funded.
What future plushies can we look forward too in the future?
Future plushies? Well I would really like to expand to a few other more complex sea creature designs based on the same themes – some of my ideas include Devil Squids, ‘Orc’a Whales, and Dragon Turtles! I’d like to keep some jellies though, I would love to see the Witch Jelly be a manufactured product someday!
What’s your upcoming con schedule look like? Where can people go to see the jellies up close and personal?
I do conventions all year round, as many as I’m physically able, though I tend to stick to places close to home for travel cost reasons. I’m based in Ohio, and we put up our convention schedule regularly on our website, tumblr, and Facebook. This year we have UBcon, Anime Park, OMG!con, Indy Pop Con, Glass City Con, Anime Iowa, and Kentokyocon confirmed so far!
Sounds great! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
The RPG Jelly Plush Kickstarter can be found here. A plush of your choice can be snagged with a $30 pledge.