Hello, Cheeky Monsters! It’s our six-month anniversary since launching online and we would like to start introducing you to the team behind Cheeky Monsters and sharing our story…
Meet Anna and Flori. Anna is the creator of the five Cheeky Monster characters (Violet, Rocky, Drago, Glitter and Spike) and her daughter Flori who is the inspiration for the characters featured in the storybooks.
Please introduce yourselves-
Hello, my name is Anna, and I am Mum to seven-year-old Flori. I am also the creator of the Cheeky Monsters characters so you could call me Mama Monster! I would also like to introduce Flori, my inspiration and muse, who appears as the little girl in the Cheeky Monster storybooks.
Anna, is there one moment in particular that inspired you to start up Cheeky Monsters?
As a Mum, I have always have said to Flori, “everyone is different” and that really helps when we talk about different interests, personalities or how people look.
We already had an existing logo (Cheeky Monster) which was used as a product branding device, and from there I started brainstorming characters who would make up that character family, five very different monsters however with one thing in common – they are cheeky!
The idea is that everyone knows a Cheeky Monster. Just observing Flori play was inspiration enough. We would be driving home from school and she would be pretending to race the car which made me think of Rocky, our super speedy Cheeky Monster. Or seeing her at ballet with a love of the colour purple, made me think of Violet our singing and dancing superstar.
If you have ever seen a child hold up a pair of binoculars made from toilet roll and pretend they can see into space… you can’t resist having fun with that and using your imagination!
Anna, what was your favourite storybook as a child?
I love reading and have always been a bookworm. I think The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis have left an indelible print on my imagination. My mum used to read endless stories for me every bedtime and that love of stories and escaping into another world where anything is possible and wonderful creatures can become your friend, really resonated with me.
The Never-ending Story made a huge impression as did Labyrinth and of course Mary Poppins. Some of my favourite stories were those in film as well as books.
Anna and Flori, what do you think makes a good story?
Anna: Oooh great question! A good story starts with a compelling character or family of characters. Of course, it is about their adventure, the challenges they come across and how they conquer them, as well as showcasing their strengths and weaknesses and their true selves. For me, it will always be where unexpected creatures come to life and extraordinary things happen so imagination is key!
Flori: The Cheeky Monsters of course! They are fun, helpful and kind.
What would be your dream Cheeky Monster Product to develop?
Anna: There are so many exciting products we are planning to develop; my favourite would be a Cheeky Monster tail to wear!
Flori: Cheeky Monster Robots would be so cool!
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Anna: I would love to fly, I have always dreamt of that, ideally on a dragon!
Flori: (long pause) I would like to fly and talk to animals; I would talk to a snow leopard or meerkat! (very accurate meerkat impression)
If you could go on any kind of Monster adventure, what would it be?
Anna: Hmm. I think I would love to join the Cheeky Monster band!
Flori: A science project with Drago, or nature walk with Spike!
Anna what did you want to be when you were younger? Flori, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Anna: Who says I have grown up yet?! Ha. I wanted to be so many different things, a vet, an actress, a tap dancer, a teacher, mostly I wanted to find where the real fairies lived and ride a unicorn.
Flori: Animal-saver! I love the zoo; I can’t wait to go to London zoo for my birthday.
Who is your favourite Cheeky Monster character and why?
Anna: I don’t think I can really choose a favourite. They all have aspects that I love, the curiosity of Drago and the fact that she wears glasses probably sneaks her to the top of the list, however they all make me smile with their mischievous antics.
Drago!…. or Violet because she’s purple!
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Anna: A proper holiday! The kind where it really feels like we are off duty and home school is clearly off the agenda. A change of scenery would be wonderful too, I don’t mind where it is.
Flori: Going to the zoo and doing an art video with Kaya and the Cheeky Monsters at Mummy’s office!
Our next interview will be with another member of the team who helps bring the characters to life on screen, so watch this space!
And remember, everyone has a Cheeky Monster, which one are you?