Last month a dream of mine came true. I witnessed the birth of my first Chuck moneyboxes.
Moneyboxes? Indeed. Moneyboxes! Cute, colorful and most importantly unique moneyboxes with a touch of silly.
The beginning of a beautiful story!
Chucks for everyone!
I have spent several years creating paintings and sculptures of the CHUCKFAMILY, a family of bizarre figures that question our traditional ideals of beauty.
Each of these characters has their own personality and story. But they all have one thing in common: they are far from normal. And that is what makes them so cute.
Exactly one year ago I decided to go even further with this. I am full of ideas that go beyond art. I wanted the CHUCKFAMILY to be more accessible, but I did not know how exactly.
Unique moneyboxes with a touch of silly
Ingrid, a good friend of mine, gave me a brilliant idea. Ingrid is an importer of decorative articles. She told me that the moneybox is one of the most universally used objects in the world. Everyone has coins, from the Aleutian Islands to Bora-Bora. In other words, everyone can use a moneybox.
This idea immediately peaked my interest and fueled my inspiration. I could not contain my creative ideas. Not soon after this revelation, I had thought up my first concept for a moneybox in the shape of a Chuck. A fun, original moneybox with a mission.
From concept to 3D design
Having an idea does not mean you have a concrete design, of course. But without a design, you cannot show your ideas to others. That is why I immediately fired up my computer to create the 3D designs of the moneyboxes.
A computer is a fantastic tool, even for an artist. In May, the design for the first moneybox was done. I named it “Chew”. With help from Ingrid, I was able to send the design for Chew to a manufacturer of decorative items in China.
From 3D design to 3D print
This manufacturer created a colored prototype of Chew made from clay. In September, he sent Chew back to Belgium. A great moment, but there were still things to adjust.
To convey my ideas even better I used my 3D designs to make 3D prints (real full size sculptures). In December, Ingrid and I traveled to China with these figurines.
Designed in Belgium, made in China
After a long journey in comfortable bubble jackets, I finally let the figurines out of my bag. Because the 3D designs were now tangible, we were able to easily convey our wants and needs to the manufacturer.
I told him how I came up with my CHUCKFAMILY, and what I want my sculptures and designs to convey. Then, we discussed the desired dimensions, colors and shine of the figurines.
From 3D printing to finished product
The message my moneyboxes send is very important to me. I want my creations to make people smile and I want them to understand that they should not be too serious about my work, and ideally they should not be about the rest of life, either.
The manufacturer understood exactly what I meant and he knew how to translate my ideas into practice. Once again, we discussed the size, color, shine and other practical issues like the location and size of the slot for coins.
A few days later, the manufacturer had already made a mold and a first prototype of Numnum, the second moneybox I made after Chew.
Numnum was already colorfully painted. He was as shiny as I envisioned him. Size, color, shine, weight, … the whole look and feel was perfect. Numnum was born. I held him in my hands. A magical feeling!
Numnum’s travels in China
When we left the manufacturer we were overjoyed. In the coming months, 10 different moneyboxes will be made, each with their own name and personality. Stay tuned to find out more about the CHUCKFAMILY moneyboxes.
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Next time, I’ll tell you more about the first adventures of Numnum in China. It was love at first sight. What an adventure!