Creative Expo Taiwan is an annual celebration of design and creativity, and this year's event brought in was the biggest ever, welcoming an estimated 350,000 people over the course of the 12-day festival. A highlight for Creative Bloq was the character exhibition in the main hall, which provided a platform for up-and-coming designers from Taiwan and beyond, as well as giving visitors an opportunity to meet the artists behind their favourite classic cartoons. Read on to find out more about three original characters that caught our eye, and the designers that created them.
For more from the event, head to the Creative Expo Taiwan website, or take a look at our pick of the illustrators to watch from the show. Or if you're feeling inspired, check out our top tips for character design.
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Aboo Yang is the founder of Lasunpo, a studio specialising in illustration, animation and character design. The character that caught our eye at Creative Expo Taiwan is Bluenose. "She is half-rabbit and half-koala, and feels insecure about her big nose," explains Yang.
Inspiration for the Bluenose struck while Yang was listening to music and doodling. She adopted her as a personal avatar for a while, before adding a pair of glasses and deciding to create some more stories for her.
A recent collaboration with a toy company saw Bluenose being brought to life in 3D. "We just launched her character figures," enthuses Yang. "She has a magnetically attached head that you can rotate fully or exchange with another character's head."
Mangoking comes from the imagination of Ivor Wang, a Taiwanese creative who works as a UI designer in the day and character illustrator by night. He was created as a mascot for Wang's green mango business, but soon took on a life of his own. "I had some problems with the business, so I changed my direction to build up the character," says Wang.
A mango farmer whose favourite thing to do is cook, Mangoking travels the world collecting ingredients and is constantly faced with challenges that test his courage. "I love to draw, so I say what I think about through illustration," continues Wang. "Mangoking has a cute and delicate style. I enjoyed developing a fantastic world of fruits, vegetables and delicious food."
Zunbo started life as a pebble, which also happened to be the childhood imaginary friend of Korean artist Sakubo. "I imagined the pebble in my childhood. When I was 30, I had a chance to make a character in clay. Suddenly I remembered my childhood friend, Zunbo," he smiles.
The designs imagine Zunbo growing into a slightly bigger stone and capture his adventures in the modern world. Some even document his meeting with Mangoking, another memorable character from the Expo (above). Sakubo is currently working with a Korean convenience store to bring Zunbo into its shops.