Bicycle Girl talks bringing to life a favorite TWD ship with Wendy, the creator of Little Leedus, in this week’s 10 Questions From a Dead Girl
Who do you ship? If you follow me on Twitter, you likely know my favorites are Richonne, Aaric and Gleggie, but I have to admit, Rickyl has some definite appeal. The bromance of Daryl and Rick extends off the screen with Andrew and Norman, and that bond is taken to a whole new level in the amazing work of Wendy, the creator of Little Leedus, a Twitter account that follows the adventures of mini Andrew and Norman. Amazingly lifelike, these little guys live in an amazing world of their own, and I’ve been fascinated by it all since the first time I saw an @LittleLeedus tweet.
This week I had the pleasure of asking Wendy about her work and that conversation is this week’s 10 Question From a Dead Girl.
How did you get started with Little Leedus?
I had my dolls and their house for awhile – actually created them to be two characters my sister and I have been writing about for 20+ years so I could take pictures of our stories – when I discovered The Adventures of Tiny Daryl on Pinterest. I was enamored and soon realized she was on Twitter (@Tiny_Daryl). I started following her and sharing Tiny Daryl’s Adventures with my friends. A co-worker said, “Why don’t you do that with your guys?” I actually started @LittleLeedus as a joke, thinking no one would be interested but me and my sister. They are really my other characters, so you might notice “Norman’s” tattoos are different, and he has a bit of a cute little beer belly, which I think is sexy as hell on him. They just pretend to be “Little Leedus.”
Can you recap what Andrew and Norman have been through so far?
I have over 7,000 pictures of my little guys so far and I keep taking more, so they’ve been through a lot. I had some really cute Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday shoots recently – as well as them practicing for babies (surrogate of course – in my book it is a sister of one of the guys, as LL on Twitter I think I said it was a teen mom).
How did you make your custom dolls?
I made the guys by piecing together different bodies (“Norm” has broad shoulders and a stocky build and “Andy” has narrow shoulders and a slim build). I painted their faces myself (they were solid grey to begin with), made the beer belly from a product called ApoxieSculpt. Even had custom tats made (again, they are for my character, so they are different than Norman’s). I even made their wedding rings. I love how even their hands are different sizes, so I had to be careful sizing the rings.
How long does it take you to set up the average scene?
It doesn’t take long for a photo set up at all. I spent a year – and LOTS of money – working on their house (many early photo shoots were simply on my dining room table with a few props). It is a custom design of my own with pull out floors and removable walls so I can get easy access to 3 of 4 sides for photos – or just to play. A friend of mine built it as well as a Murphy Bed so I could have more room to play with the guest bed folded up against the wall. Their house is the only permanent structure and has only been seen in few of the holiday shoots so far, but I am working on lots of collapsible sets like a diner, bowling alley, coffee shop, etc. – places my characters hang out at a lot. I’ve been collecting the furniture and props for the collapsible sets for awhile, but I get so sidetracked playing with my guys that I’ve been a bit slow making them – but I had a great idea to make the bowling alley floor out of Popsicle sticks!
Do you make all of the props, furniture and clothing?
While I do make a lot of the props myself, I also get a lot of things custom made by http://etsy.com and Ebay artists. Everything must look and function like the real thing. All books must have real pages, all lighting must actually produce light. Their retro 60s record player even plays real records! And their toilet holds water and flushes.
A lot of their food is custom made by a talented lady on Etsy (shop is Nommy Miniatures). She has been able to make everything I asked for with amazing detail. I always get the pieces loose, some with bites, some whole, so I can realistically show them cooking and eating. She has been fantastic!
I have had a lot of their clothes custom made as well – and a lot of their furniture. A friend of mine helps with sewing curtains and such. Even had WildflowerDolls (also Etsy) custom make one of their mothers (always saw Dad as Patrick Stewart so I was fortunate enough to find a 1:6 Picard doll).
But there are so many artists that have helped create my little guys’ world, so please ask if you see something in particular. I’d love to give credit where it is due – everyone deserves a proper shout out. A lot of pieces I simply enhance or change. Their retro kitchen is an old Deluxe Reading play set but all the pieces were different colors. For my story, I always saw the appliances a teal blue and cupboards white, so I mixed paints until they matched the fridge and painted everything.
When you’re posing the dolls–is one of them naughtier than the other, more likely to fall down or move?
This is by far my favorite question! Because, to me, they really are like little people. They are the embodiment of the characters my sister and I have been writing about for 20 some years. In fact, no one is allowed to touch them but me and my sister. I trust her with my life – and theirs. My husband says I even talk to them, too! Lol. They are both pretty naughty – I swear “Norm” shakes his head at me a lot! And “Andy” tends to move suddenly and surprise me. The funny thing is they never fall over. Even if they appear to leap right out of my hand they always land solidly on their feet (got a hilarious shoot out of one such episode which will eventually post). And they only bend in lifelike positions. My other dolls bend every which way and it really creeps me out to see feet backwards or arms in unnatural positions.
Any hints to what’s ahead for Little Leedus?
There is so much ahead I don’t know where to begin. I have barely made a dent in posting the 7K pictures I already have and take new ones every week. I do have a real Coleman tent and real working lanterns for them, so they will definitely go camping this summer. Mostly just a lot of them being the adorkable best friends and soul mates they are.
Do you think any other cast members might stop by and say hello in the future? Would you have any interest in making custom dolls of anyone else?
I also have dolls of Merle, Shane, and Maggie to stand in as friends and family members, so you’ll see them on occasion, too. Plus Ma and Dad (Picard). Never thought about making custom dolls for others, but if someone had a head sculpt that needed painting I’d sure give it a try.
NOTE: I did find the Merle and Shane dolls here’s pics!
Have big Norman or big Andrew ever gotten to see Little Leedus? I know you tag Norman on Facebook. Has he ever responded?
Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln haven’t seen my little guys yet, but I would love it if they did! They’re pretty big Rickyl shippers, so I think they’d appreciate the pics. It would be a dream come true if they ever saw and commented – or followed.
Would you mind sharing a few of your favorite photos?
I have a few favorite photos, but feel free to use whatever you like from my Twitter.
And that’s exactly what I did–I put a few in the article and here are some of my other favorites–
Want more Little Leedus? Follow the boys and Wendy on Twitter, and make sure to stop back next week for the next edition of 10 Questions From a Dead Girl when we’ll have a very special guest coming to dinner.