Following the theme of Toy Story where toys have a life all their own when they are not being played with, what really does happen to them when they are set aside? Canadian photographer Jeff Friesen created an adorable photo series exploring this fantasy driven idea that depicts the made-up lives of common plastic toy animals.
At first, the series was intended for a much more private purpose. Jeff Friesen was originally shooting for his daughter. He had intended to decorate her room with some fun and unique animal prints. Pretty soon the project became serious, as his friends and family liked the shots so much that they urged him to start selling them online.
Friesen tells MyModernMet how the project grew,
“The series began when I was playing with my daughter and noticed how she easily mixes toys of different genres, such as Lego with Playmobil, or dollhouse furniture with plastic animals. One day, she was playing with a plastic dairy cow that looked particularly at home in a domestic dollhouse setting. I’m a big fan of Paolo Ventura’s diorama photography so this seemed like a good time to try my own at diorama construction while, at the same time, spending quality time with my daughter.”
Eventually, the quantity of cheerful and unusual photos became more and more impressive, and thanks to Friesen‘s relatives, the photographs found their way on-line. Friesen, for his part, carried things a step further. For every image, he conjured up a short story. Hence every print also comes with a silly but amusing caption that describes the life of each toy animal in the series.
“Because kids like stories so much we made up little narratives that evolved into the image captions.” For example, for the birthday cake-loving hippo, he wrote, “Hugo was a model of self-restraint in many aspects of life. In fact, he restrained himself from piano practice every day. Surely no one would notice if he took one small bite of his sister’s birthday cake. Just one tiny bite!” By doing this the bright and cheerful wallpapers truly take on a life all their own.
Purchase the Wild Life prints on his Etsy shop here.