Scribble away to keep imagination in play! Celebrate International Scribble Day. Here at Funko, we love to doodle. But have you ever wondered how a “scribble” or idea becomes a Pop!? Come meet our director of creative development to find out how Funko’s creative process works—and to take a look at a few sketches that became Pops! 

Then, get ready to draw on your creativity with ways to celebrate International Scribble Day. So grab a scrap of paper and your favorite sketching tools, and let’s dive into oodles of Funko doodles.

From a Scribble to a Pop!

So many fun, exciting ideas are popped to life here at Funko. Group brainstorming sessions take place all the time and new ideas are celebrated. To gain further insight into how creative ideas become Funko Pops!, we’ve asked Gary Ham, the director of creative development, to jot down a few thoughts.

How does the creative process work here at Funko? 

Suggestions for what properties, characters, and moments we do may come from anyone on the team, but it’s our wonderful merchandising and licensing teams that work closely with licensors to help determine what we are able to develop. Once we get the green light, the merchandising team puts together an outline or line list. Believe me when I say it sounds easier than it is. Merchandising has many factors to consider when planning, and once all the dominoes have been stacked in a row, it’s the creative team’s turn to have some fun in knocking them down. 

We do our best to assign items to team members based on their pop-culture passions. It begins with the design team to create a concept of the character or scene. Once the concept is approved by the licensor, it moves on to the sculpting team to work their magic in bringing the concepts to life in 3D. Then, it’s on to the color callout and rendering teams to add the color and polish. Let’s not forget about the packaging team that always creates a wonderfully designed home for the Pop! to reside in and remain safe during its journey. Throughout the entire process, we work closely with the licensors as we receive revisions and approvals every step of the way.

Has the creative process changed much over the years? How?

The creative process has pretty much remained the same, with a few minor changes thanks to technology, though. For instance, in the early days of Pop! everything was hand sculpted. Now, everything is 100% digitally sculpted.

After an idea is conceived and pitched, what happens to that idea?

Ideas will be reviewed by the merchandise, licensing, and sales teams to determine what’s viable. Do we have the license? If not, can we get it? If it turns out it’s something we can do, then there is extensive and thoughtful planning that takes place to determine release dates, retail partners, etc. It may take years for an idea to become a reality, so patience is most definitely a virtue.

Where do the ideas come from?

An idea can be sparked at any time and by anyone. Sometimes a family member, friend, or a server in a restaurant may suggest an idea. You could be on a walk or playing with your kids, and wham, an idea strikes. It really is like that lightbulb moment. 

We also have regular brainstorming and ideation sessions. It’s during these collaborative sessions that we bounce around ideas—everyone springboarding off one another. It’s magical to experience. There is so much I wish I could share.

Do ideas sometimes come from fans? 

Certainly! We love hearing from the fans and want to make their wishes come true. Many fans approach us at the stores or a convention suggesting a series or a character they’d love to see Pop!ped. Additionally, we do peruse feedback seen via comments posted on the internet and social media. 

Scrapbook of Fun

Who’s sketching those fetching ideas? Our concept artists and renderers are drawn to new ideas that become some of the first images popped into being. Check out the following sketches of Pops! from our anime, movies, DC Comics, and sports fandoms. There’s also concept art for Camp Fundays, which features some adventurous marshmallows.

Pop Sketch of Ochaco Uraraka in action, breaking through a wall.
Pop! Sketch of Mahito from Jujutsu Kaisen in action, ready to battle.
Black-and-white sketch of Pop! Jack Skellington with notes in the margin about a custom base and an arm alternate.
Pop! Sketch of Oliver Quick from Saltburn, and he's wearing antlers on his head.
Pop! Sketch of the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz
Pop! Sketch of Harley Quinn with Mallet
Pop! Sketch of Jason Kelce with his shirt off, celebrating.
Camp Fundays Pop! Marshmallows concept. Five marshmallow figures or campers. One is lantern shaped with a ghost story book. One has a net for proto catching. Two are Sm'ores with lots of character.

Scribble Day Fun Facts

International Scribble Day began in 2015 with an award-winning illustrator, Diane Alber, who wrote I’m Not Just a Scribble, a children’s book aimed at inspiring kindness and inclusion.

• On this day, imperfection is celebrated! Scribble with confidence and marvel at the spontaneity.

• Scribbling relieves stress and ignites the imagination.

For more noteworthy Scribble Day facts like the ones above, check out the article “Scribble Day” on the Holiday Calendar website. 

Quick Draw: Celebrate International Scribble Day

On your mark, get set, draw! Here are a few ideas to get you started on a Scribble Day celebration:

• Scribble, scribble, scribble—on the sidewalk with chalk, on a whiteboard with a dry-erase marker, or on sheets of paper. Have fun exploring uses of color, contrast, texture, and shapes in your resulting design.

• Host a scribble party. Consider providing DIY Pops! so that guests can create their own designs! Or, make a slide deck and give a fun presentation of all your guests’ works of art. If you host a scribble party for family at home, hang the resulting pieces of artwork in a room or hallway you designate as the “gallery.”

DIY Pop! Human-shaped Pop! figure that's white/blank and prepped for painting or drawing.

• Support an art organization, such as a museum, gallery, or foundation.

• Visit an art museum, art gallery, or store.

• Play sketching/doodling games, such as Pictionary or Funko’s Cranium 25th Edition Game.

Funko's Board Game of Cranium, 25th Edition

• Explore the history of doodling online. 

Your Turn!

Scribble something fun and show it off online. Tag @originalfunko. We look forward to seeing what you draw from your inspiration.