This project holds such a special place in my heart. It is the result of a LOT of team work, and a lot of hours. The Queen Bee is a project that was inquired about in the fall and took a few months to come together. When the client, Sheri of Spencer Pest Services contacted me about a new mascot for her business, I was very excited. Sheri had envisioned a queen bee character with lots of presence, sass, and pizzaz. We had a phone call about it, and after hearing how passionate she was about the project, I knew I wanted to be the one to help her bring it to life.
As Sheri went on about how she envisioned the character, she kept referring to Miss Piggy of the Muppets as a kind of loose character reference to how she saw this new mascot. She didn’t have a design on paper, only a collection of references and ideas. Because of her overwhelming passion, I told her we should reach out to the best in designers. Someone who not only new great puppet designs, but who designed and defined the real Miss Piggy’s look throughout the 90’s!
Enter Ed Eyth. Ed and I have collaborated on a few projects in the past, including characters for Baby Einstein and the very popular Lil Trent of Trent Bedding! (See Trent HERE!) I knew that his sense of style and characterization would really bring this project to life. Ed was enlisted, and the design process began. Queen Bee went through many stages and revisions to find her elegant, yet sassy style. She is such an interesting shape to begin with. Her thin midsection really compliments how wide her hips are, and the striping and costume choices really accentuate that.
Turning her from beautiful design to three-dimensional shape was challenging. She couldn’t be too big or she would look awkward on camera in real-world shots. She couldn’t be too small because her thin midsection still had to fit the arm of the puppeteer. So, once a suitable mock up had been made, final construction began. As we progressed, I hired Robbie Keplar out of Cincinnati to create her costuming. It was gorgeous! Her dress fit her perfectly, and really helped create the look of the character. I made her evening gloves myself. Her hair was a challenge. A structure had to be created, and fake fur cut and styled to look like a real hair style. I couldn’t have done it myself. Stylist extraordinaire Alexa Kuper out of Chattanooga was hired to advise on the hair design and to cut and style the look.
When she was all put together, she was absolutely gorgeous. A true work of art brought to life by a talented team. I look forward to seeing the advertising content that is created for Spencer Pest Services. There was even talk of slapping her face on the trucks! You can see a lot of progress photos from this build below. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and ask! And as always, please contact me for quotes on your own custom puppet project! Beautiful final pictures of Queen Bee by Aaron Damme of XP Images