Arts and Culture

This Kelowna man is crafting a whole new world

How this hobby turned into a fantasy realm

What started out as a bit of fun would lead to a created art doll, that eventually became the world of Eezoes.

This is now Ian Hookham’s full-time job.

He told Kelowna10 art and crafting have always been at his forefront, but when he made his creations public to the world, that’s when things changed.

“I started making more and then suddenly the ‘Eezoe’ creature became their own species with their own traits, personalities and that led to me making more characters,” he said. “And then suddenly I had this whole fantasy themed world that I built.”

So, what is an Eezoe?

First impressions of the doll, which stands about seven inches tall, give off a sort of Ewok look from Star Wars, or Mogwai from Gremlins, because they are small, furry, and cute looking.

Hookham describes them as a protector of the forest, that guard that balance between animals, plants, and trees.

Each doll is made of different faux fur that’s hand sewn. Their legs, hands and antlers are 3-D printed locally, and the masks are hand sculpted and painted. The finished Eezoe retails for $230.

“I had never intended to build a fantasy world, it’s just happened,” Hookham said.
“I grew up with Pokémon, Digimon, The Legend of Zelda, which influenced me when I was younger, and I brought that forward and into my work. I think this is my spin on the nerdy stuff that I like.”

The online demand has been insane he explained, selling out within minutes. That brought him to bring his creation to comic and anime conventions and the more traditional markets.

He said there has been a surprising range of ages and demographics that have been curious about the world he’s created.

“I wasn’t sure if people would be interested in an art piece like this at a live show, and I was very happily shocked when I found out that they were,” Hookham said. “I was even more shocked when I started noticing the types of people, it was younger people, older people, all different sorts.”

The dolls are made to be collectible items Hookham said, but with the rapid growth in popularity, he is inspired to start creating more content for every age.

He now produces a colouring book, and a field guide which dives deeper into the different species and their origins. He’s also made key rings and stickers.

“It has 10 original characters that I’ve created, and I’ve written all the lore for it. I tried to make it like a folk tale or urban legend so when you’re reading these creatures, it’s almost as if they really do exist in our world and maybe you could find them.”

Published 2022-11-21 by Connor Chan

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