For the latest Stella Kids underwear range, Stella McCartney approached illustrator and character maker Stevie Gee to transform its packaging into something fun and interactive. Given a set of 11 stackable boxes, Stevie has created a collection of brilliantly bizarre characters, then sliced them up into segments to be mixed and matched, like a game of Consequences.
“They wanted each side to have a different part of a face or body that stack up to create hybrid weirdos,” explains Stevie. “The team gave me free reign to create characters – for boys, girls and babies – but wanted some complete ones in there. I did a mix of monsters, animals and goofball faces. For me the maths of working out what was needed where was the hardest part!”
There are 11 characters across the boxes, each with three elements, and an extra 22 “wild elements” thrown in, like monster teeth and goofy eyes. Each box then has an additional full character inside, resulting in 66 individual drawings overall. “No idea how many combos are possible because ultimately I’m shit at maths,” Stevie says.
Across the packaging Stevie introduces us to the boys gang: Sparky, Dusty Wolf, Melty Melterson and Bonesy; the girls crew: Cloudy Cloudsville, Sunny Daze, Vegey and Lady Totem; and the baby dudes: Birdy, Puss Puss and Wabbit Face. Each was drawn in black ink on paper working on a light box over pencil sketches, with colour applied in Photoshop using Stevie’s own palette combined with some Stella brand Pantones.
“Style-wise, I drew them in my usual way, lots of hair, bright colours and silly stuff I thought kids would enjoy. I was keen they weren’t all just happy and sunny vibes, so there’s a melting head, a sad-faced, skateboarding skeleton, dopey eyes and angry mouths in there too. I used to be a kid and I know I always liked that style more.”