Written by Peach
At the heart of Creature Feature Toys, our main focus is on creative fantasy concepts that are unique and vibrant. We gather our inspiration from media we enjoy, weaving traditional and original ideas together to begin the creation of a new model. Each character has a different journey and part of the process to share, which led to the start of Creating Creatures. As we often receive questions on this process, this series was made to give folks who are interested in CFT character development and conceptualization an inside look. For this iteration of Creating Creatures, the focus is on one of our newest characters, Muna the Divine.
Who is Muna?
In the beginning, Muna was a vague idea for a character that fit a product type the CFT team wanted to add to the catalog. We wanted to craft a chest-based model designed for grinding and squishing, as one of our goals is to expand our catalog to more model options and different body types. With the release of each model, we aim to have a full illustration and a brief story to introduce the character. While it isn’t required to know the details behind a model—we encourage folks to project or imagine whatever they desire—we have a lot of ideas for CFT lore and characters that we love to share! The additional content can enhance the fantasy for some, or emphasize the theme surrounding specific design choices.
On our never-ending list of ideas, we had the concept of a celestial themed character that acted as a foil to our demonic themed character, Eros the Demon. This was meant to be closely-related pair in terms of design and personality. They have opposing concepts, celestial vs. demonic, but have parallel design elements that reflect the similarities between them. In the depths of CFT lore, Eros is not a “demon” in the traditional sense, and the line between what Eros and Muna are is thinner than one might think.
As for their opposing personalities, we would only be able to convey those through details in their stories. Eros’s story establishes him as a demonic prince with a knack for seduction through magical visits in your dreams. Muna, on the other hand, is a divine being who provides truth and comfort in people’s time of need. We wanted to convey a celestial being with a powerful air of elegance, overwhelming to the point where their comfort is perhaps a little disconcerting and intimidating. Eros, despite being a demonic figure, tends to bring out the heart’s truth in his targets; perhaps Muna’s intentions hint at something more sinister?
After nailing down a more specific inspiration for Muna, her character seemed like the perfect candidate for this type of grindable toy. One day, we hope to have another design based on Muna’s character, but that’s for later!
Creating the Character
Muna was mainly conceptualized by me, Peach! I began sketching how I pictured Muna’s character as a whole, attempting to capture the intense grace I imagined her to exude. I intentionally kept details vague for later revisions, until I shifted my focus more on the concept of the chest model. At this point, I discussed features, textures, and ideas with Fuzz. Not only are two minds better than one, but they would be the one to sculpt the design in clay. Getting their insight on what choices would elevate the use of the design aesthetically and practically helped us come to a conclusion on how we wanted Muna’s chest toy to look.
The concept phase for Muna began far before her planned release, sometime last Fall. As time passed, Fuzz and I had the opportunity to seek out some external inspiration by taking a trip to an Alphonse Mucha exhibit. Mucha is considered one of the most famous Art Nouveau illustrators, which is an art and architectural style associated with utilizing nature’s natural curves. Mucha was famous for his sequential poster series and illustrated advertisements, usually centering glamorous women surrounded by decorative florals. I was already taking some inspiration from Mucha during the concept phase, although there were several pieces that solidified some ideas and sparked further inspiration!
The works that inspired me the most happened to be more of the obscure illustrations Mucha did for magazines or books. My interpretation of these pieces struck a chord—to me, the figures in these works were divine, ethereal, beautiful, and terrifying. I interpreted the angelic comfort these characters emitted as cold and calculated, the same feeling I wanted Muna to evoke. The strange way Mucha depicted feathers and the blue-green-grey color palettes directly influenced my next concept work; needless to say, Fuzz and I were extremely excited to continue working on this model with our reignited inspirations.
Sculpting and Designing
The artistry and elegance of Art Nouveau really spoke to us and reinvigorated our enthusiasm to lean harder into this art style for Muna. We felt this would compliment a celestial character, and invoked Muna’s namesake, which has roots in Arabic meaning wishes and desires. Fuzz got to work on the details of the sculpt, and I got to work composing a draft of her character art.
Fuzz had to balance the stylistic interpretations of details like feathers and wings. It needed to relate to the character art which would lean heavier into an Art Nouveau style, but still make sense on the model on its own. The wings were resculpted at least three times until they worked together perfectly with the final design.
(Pictured: Muna’s final character concept sketch, and an in-progress picture of the sculpt.)
Muna the Divine’s sculpt is completed and is currently in Araphre’s hands to get the final polishing touches before it is ready to release. As this is a delicate process done by hand, we want to give it all the time it needs. In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed our first entry to our Creating Creatures series – we look forward to sharing more about the process of our character creation soon!