With the recent addition of a handful of adorable plushes by Steff Bomb, I decided to sit down and have a little chat with the creative force behind this empire of cuteness.
Where does the name “Steff Bomb” come from?
My real name is Stephanie Baum. I know, I know, Steff Bomb, Steph Baum, it sounds like my real name and isn’t very clever. I hated it growing up (“Steff Bomb is gonna blow up!”), but once the phrase “you da bomb” became popular, it wasn’t so bad anymore.
Designer Steff Baum (aka “Steff Bomb” in her workspace.
How did you start making plushes?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, but aside from notebooks full of doodles, I never really had a medium to call my own. Around the time I turned 21, I was on a montage-worthy, coming-of-age quest to figure out “what I was meant for.” I tried everything from painting to paper crafts. Nothing stuck. While this was going on, I read an article in Pencil Fight #2 about an all-plush art show called Plushtastrophe. It was one of those ‘YES!’ moments where everything seemed to make sense. The next day, I bought my first sewing machine, and have been making plushes ever since.
Over the course of the last seven years, something that started out as making cute things for myself and my friends has become my full-time job. That’s unbelievable. I still can’t believe I am actually doing this and making it work.
You’re working for yourself and creating things you love. A lot of people would call this a dream job. Do you?
Oh yeah, dude, life rules! I wake up every day with a smile on my face. It’s big time hard work, though. As it turns out, supporting yourself financially [with] plush veggies isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Where do you draw inspiration from? How do you get ideas for a plush?
Sometimes it’s random, sometimes it’s directly influenced by my daily life. Lately, it’s dumb, shmoopy love stuff that reminds me of my boyfriend. Barf, right? His name is Evan; he plays music under the name Into It. Over It. He tours full time, so making things like [the plush burger] helps with when I miss him.
How long does one plush take to make?
I think the shortest amount of time I spent on [a plush] would be around two hours for one corn. Everything else takes a lot longer. [The plush burger] takes for-ev-er. Cutting out all of those sesame seeds can make a girl go cross-eyed.
I made a flounder for an interview/giveaway on a website where I gave away “my sole” (Get it? Wokka wokka). It had this funny fish mouth, oh man, I loved it. One of my best friends, Meghan, helped me come up with the idea. A few weeks later she was freaking out because apparently she had received an e-mail saying she won my sole. It was too perfect. Knowing it went to someone who deserves it made me feel like I had won some kind of ultimate prize.
Are there any types of plushes you will never make?
Oh man, I want to sew everything. All foods are fair game in my eyes, so I can’t say never. I would love to be super cool and anti-conformist and say something like, “There’s no way I’d ever make a teddy bear, ’cause that’s what The Man wants you to do,” but I’m totally not that way. I get stoked about everything. Even making a teddy bear sounds like fun.