Behind the scenes with Hannah Dale: Meet Camilla the giraffe

One of the most exciting projects I have worked on with Wrendale is developing our plush characters. It is something that we had wanted to do for many years but it was a huge challenge to try and capture the character of the illustrations and really make them have the ‘Wrendale’ factor.

The extra details are very important to me and I wanted each plush creation to feel special, right down to the whiskers, the tone of the fabrics and the soft, luxurious feel.

Wrendale Woodland Animal Plush Character Toys

With the success of our first launches (Autumn the fox, Rowan the hare, Webster the duck and Mabel the hedgehog) all inspired by best selling artwork, a giraffe was high on my priority list to develop next.

The starting point is to select the artwork that we want to use to base the plush on – we picked ‘Flowers’ for the giraffe, which is a personal favourite.

Wrendale 'Flowers' giraffe artwork

This design features on lots of our products such as stationery, accessories, and cards, and I love the detail in the face, particularly the eyelashes. She just looks so glamorous and I felt that there were lots of lovely details we could bring out in the plush.

I then start to work on sketching how I would imagine the plush to look, bringing out the key features and trying to interpret the flat artwork as a three dimensional character. At this point I also start to think about the colour pallets and fabric choices. We tend to use a large number of different fabrics in any one animal to try and represent the different textures and make it look as close as possible to the artwork as we can.

Artist Hannah Dale choosing fabric samples

The sampling stage can be a lengthy process and often requires lots of tweaks to get the character exactly right. Once we saw the first samples of Camilla, everyone here at Wrendale HQ absolutely fell in love with her and she just needed the smallest of changes.

Throughout the course of any painting, I love how the personality emerges on the paper and so one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole process for me is imagining the back story for each character and having a lot of fun with that. Camilla’s is one of my absolute favourites and I hope that you enjoy reading about her colourful life on the savannah!


get to know Camilla...

Glamorous Camilla is the envy of all her friends. With her long legs and elegant eyelashes, she graced the giraffe walks of Paris before she was talent spotted by a famous film producer who whisked her away to Hollywood, until a mysterious scandal involving an ostrich and a pair of spectacles saw her return to her home savannah.

Camilla has since embarked on a new career as an abstract artist and can often be found contemplating a blank canvas or experimenting with colour. Kind and thoughtful, she gives most of her paintings to friends and family who are running out of places to put them.


Meet the rest of the plush character collection and keep up to date with our latest additions to the family.

Explore the character collection


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