In 2004 Kurt and Elaine founded a studio called Monkey Doodle Dandy, providing design and illustration services to the toy industry. As a side project in 2008 he drew the first Squaredy Cat in their studio space in Brooklyn, NY. It was an orange striped kitty that would eventually evolve into Tiger Lily, one of their first characters to be licensed and produced as plush by Gund.
Kurt has done project work as an illustrator for Fisher-Price/Mattel, SpinMaster, Basic Fun, and Hasbro, among others. He specializes in vector graphics, rendering, and character design. He smells like a monkey, and he looks like one too.
Elaine de la Mata
Elaine has been working professionally in the field of toys for almost 20 years, and playing with toys for even longer! She has a degree in Illustration from Syracuse University and a degree in Toy Design from FIT in New York City. Yes, that is a real accredited field of study. When Elaine is not designing toys or playing with toys she is talking about toys. Squaredy Cats is a labor of love for her. They were originally conceived with her husband, Kurt, in a tiny art studio in Brooklyn, NY. They were re-imagined in their basement design studio in Minneapolis, MN. Elaine hopes you adore them as much as she does!
Squaredy Cats so far...
The original concept was that Squaredy Cats were social expressions. They said what they were "not squared of." "It's about mood...it's about expression...it's about not being squared to be me." They were licensed to Gund, and later to Kids Preferred, by Monkey Doodle Dandy (the two creative monkeys you see above). At the time it made sense to market them as cute, sparkley, colorful characters, even though the original designs were more eclectic and weird. The strange gave way to adorable, and Squaredy Cats made a name for itself. Die hard followers who stuck around grew up, and the Squaredy Cats creators went back to the roots of the idea. The artists noticed which ones you liked, and those were the ones we had the most fun with. That's why Squaredy Cats is rebooting for a new generation. We're not going into super mass production. We're focusing on those who have understood all along...Squaredy Cats can be cute, and let's face it, they usually are; but most importantly they are made for you! They're not for everyone, but there's one for everyone.
Pictured from top to bottom, left to right: SKELLIE (comfy in my own skin), CATHULHU (strange), PATCHES (I LOVE U 4 ur brains), MIDNIGHT (not squared of the dark), HONEY (not squared to bee smart), DAZZLE (not squared of the spotlight), COOLETTE (not squared to be hip, STAR (not squared to shine), SANDY (not squared to make waves), GIGI (not squared to dance, CANDI (not squared to be sweet), PEARL (not squared to smile), GIGGLES (not squared to act silly), SHIMMER (not squared to sparkle), ZANIE (not squared to be unique), SCARLETT (not squared to bug you), TIGER LILY (not squared to go wild), and CHEERI (not squared to show spirit).