Our Insta feed’s become a whole lot cuter since we started following Anabella Cahwje’s What a Curly Life. We knew as soon as we saw her work we just HAD to have her design a little friend for you to make. Issue 99 saw her little Christmas pals on the front cover and now she’s back in issue 109 bringing you your free gift. Just look at this little dandy lion gift kit that comes free with issue 109.
We caught up with her to find out more about her collectable felt creatures, Mollie Makes latest cover stars! Annabella’s BFFs (Best Felt Friends) are always on their adventures and we love seeing what they get up to…
Hi Anabella, how does it feel to see your characters featured in Mollie Makes?
It’s very exciting! I’m really proud of them. I started What a Curly Life as a hobby and seeing how far these little friends have come means a lot to me. I wasn’t expecting to receive so much love from people, but the response has been amazing and that keeps me constantly motivated to create new little friends and baby mobiles. My favourite hobby is now my full-time job and I am super happy and grateful for this.
What inspired you to create your felt creatures?
I love old fashioned teddy bears and wanted mine to have a similar style, but with a modern twist. I instantly fell in love with wool felt when I first tried working with it. I created my little bunny from this and was so happy with it that I made the rest of the animals too.
Your felt friends always seem to be on their travels. Where’s their next adventure?
Yeah! Travelling is one of my biggest passions and I always share my adventures with my little creatures. I’m planning to go to Portugal soon and for sure the little friends are coming with me! After that I might go to South America but I’m still planning this trip.
You really bring your characters to life with your pictures on Insta. Have you got any tips for other aspiring photographers on there?
Before you begin, think about what you want to show with your pictures and what emotions you want your Insta followers to feel when they see them. If you’re just starting out, using natural light is the best option. You don’t need any equipment, and the results are bright and detailed. Take your photos at the point in the day when the light is brightest. If you’re indoors make sure you’re close to a window.
Use white cardboard or different coloured sheets for a background, which can be placed against a wall or laid on a table. You can then lay all the elements of the picture on this. Take lots of pictures from different angles, change the position of the elements, and then you can choose your favourite shot. You might want to invest in a DSLR camera at some point, but the cameras on modern phones are pretty good.
Before posting your pics you can edit them on Insta or on digital programmes like Photoshop. I sometimes like to add some extra details and draw doodles on images with my tablet. Try to keep your feed solid, harmonious and unique to you. Every Insta account is different and your audience should be able to identify yours as soon as they see your pics. Find your style and be unique.
What’s coming up for you? Have you got any new projects you can share with us?
I think I have more projects than time to make them! It’s probably a familiar feeling for all creators out there. I’m making some new characters, mixing wool felt with new materials. You’ll see these ones soon. There are new baby mobiles and little friends coming as well. I’d also like to make some bigger soft toys. I already have them sketched and I am so excited about it.
Your characters have a really beautiful finish. What are your top tips for creating your creatures?
Thank you! I would say lots of patience and practice. You won’t see amazing results unless you invest time in your creations. I’d also say love what you’re making, as you can see this in the final results too.