As this New Year rolls around, I find myself getting a bit nostalgic; thinking back on past experiences and times in my life. My family's holiday cards truly speak to that nostalgia and so it felt like the right year to explain how these puppet cards came into being....
When I was working as a character fabricator on the stop-motion show, Robot Chicken, we were often tasked with making "puppet-versions" of our coworkers that could be used as "extras" in the sketches. To this day, I’ll still spot familiar faces in the background of the scenes! Sometimes, they’re even in the spotlight. In fact, my first “cameo” was in Season 6, as a lady ranting about the deer population!
So back in 2012, when it came time for my family to decide what to do for our annual holiday card, I got an idea. Since all of us hated taking that obligatory photo, I decided I would make us into puppets! On my lunch break I toiled away at sculpting and painting our faces, constructing bodies from wire armatures and covering them in foam, and then sewing costumes.
While I ended up having a fever the day I needed to take the photo, I dragged my mom along with me as my “camera assistant,” knelt down in the dirt at La Jolla Cove, placed our puppets on a small rock formation, and took a picture. The result of that first year is a photo of us on the beach wearing jeans and white t-shirts (because, let’s face it, all family photoshoots that happen on the beach happen in jeans and white t-shirts…) When we sent the card out, one family member even thought the puppets were actually us!
Since then, I only have to change the puppets’ costumes each year. So far we’ve posed at the beach in the jeans and white t-shirts, at the boat docks in Point Loma wearing polo shirts and topsiders, on a “bed” in pajamas, in the snowy mountains of Montana decked out in full snow gear, and, this year, dolled up in Vegas.
There’s no telling what next year’s theme will be, but in the meantime, here are all the holiday cards I’ve made to date:
2015 (Skipped, sadly!)
(pictured above, but this year's was a postcard so here is the back side!)
Now that you've seen them all, which one is your favorite?