Behind the Scenes with GIPHY Studios: Poppy the Peppy Cloud

This new GIPHY Studios Original introduces us to a new character, an anthropomorphic cloud named Poppy. Nicky Rojo and David Carillo worked together to bring Poppy to life. Here we ask Nicky, the creator, what went into making this little cloud what it is today.


What was your inspiration for the project?

I love clouds. Ever since I was little, I imagined clouds having a life of their own, watching the world below. A little bit like angels, except they care a little less what happens to everyone.

Was there anything surprising that happened during the process? Did you learn anything new?

The most surprising thing was how quickly Poppy jumped out as a character.

It’ll usually take some workshopping to figure out what a character is all about for me. Sometimes characters will just be super extroverted and let you know who they are right away in the process.

What do you hope people take away from your project? How do you hope people use your Clips?

I hope people can see themselves in Poppy. I hope they can express themselves with them, or at least find them funny to watch.

What was your favorite part of the project?

My favorite part was putting the stop motion and 2D animation together in the editing. I feel like that’s the moment I see Poppy being born, again and again and again. It’s a pretty cool feeling.

I love the mix of live action and illustrated animation! What is Poppy made of? Was this your first time doing a mixed-media approach? If so, how was that process different from your usual productions?

This isn’t my first time using mixed media in 2D animation, but it IS my first time incorporating stop motion! I had to create a whole green screen mini set to animate Poppy’s body.

Usually I’m at a desk drawing and painting everything, but this involved a bit more physical space and a lot more use from my body! Poppy is made of raw cotton and some glue and wire, with a little love and can-do attitude. :)

You approached this project with the goal of creating a character that transcended the gender binary. Can you talk about that? How do you see animation as a tool for more representation?

This topic is particularly important to me. I watch animation to escape, as I’m sure a lot of people do. When you have a character that doesn’t necessarily have “gender markers” or follow certain stereotypes , you’re left with pure personality. And that can be the coolest part about people! In day to day life we’re bogged down with how we’re all perceived, one way or another. Having a character to hang out with for five minutes to forget about all that noise gives some reprieve and a chance to think about the more important things in life. Maybe the next day you’ll say hi to the garbage collector, or the security guard, or even a fellow coworker you never talk to and have a short laugh or two with them. Or not! Such is the spice of life, I think.

Favorite clip from the project?

This one:

See more from the project on GIPHY.

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