My Favorite Towel-Studio iLya

Taiwan animation began in the 1950s and grew fast in the 1970s. In 1980s, it’s its golden time and it became the United States and Japan’s largest OEM market. In the meantime, a batch of original companies appeared, creating a few popular works, such as “Old Master Q”by Far East Cartoon Company set up by CAI zhizhong and Xie Jintu. In the 1990s, with the reform and opening up of the mainland, Taiwan companies open the studios in the mainland one after another. The most famous ones are Hongguang Animation and Hong Ying Animation. And Taiwan original projects also grows quickly with a lot of works that presents the native Taiwan custom and style. Such as the Grandma and Her Ghosts, Taipei! Taipei! And so on. Entering the digital age of the 21st century, 3d animation and game industry are all popular in Taiwan. Looking for cross-straits cooperation and transnational cooperation has become a way for Taiwan animation industry which helps share risks and expand the market. Today, we’re talking to Studio Ilya, a new Taiwanese animation company.

CGGE: Hello, Mr. Zhang! You are also an old friend of our CGGE. Today I want to interview you and talk about your company and projects. Can you briefly introduce our company at first?

XBD: Our company is Studio Ilya., which mainly develops creative projects with a clear view of market positioning. We have our own directors, screenwriters, artists and animators etc.. We produce 2D and 3D animation as well as stop-motion animation. The world of animation is actually colorful, and we can discover many themes and then find the appropriate form to present them.

CGGE: Your work “My Favorite Towel” is very interesting. An ordinary towel can fold out so many doll shapes which adds a lot of fun to life. And it can also be produced with animation. This is probably the best sample how a project that combines the original ideas with the derivatives at the very beginning. Can you talk about how you find this project? Where is the idea from?

XBD: “My Favorite Towel” was created by me and my wife. After we have children, we pay attention to the details and preferences of children’s life. My children like origami, but the origami products are not three-dimensional, and they are not full as an animated character. After we take reference from the towels in the restaurant and cruise, where the towels were often folded into animals, we used this method to develop the role of “My Favorite Towel.” Therefore, “My Favorite Towel” is not the same as the general animation character that we first use the folded towel to create the character; then produce the animation. But, with such process, the biggest link between “My Favorite Towel” and children can be established. The children can come out characters with their own ideas, which are different from other animation products.

CGGE: At present, how many seasons has “My Favorite Towel” been produced? Is it broadcast on domestic TV stations or online platforms? What age group is its target audience? In the future, are there any follow-up developments?

XBD: The target audience of “My Favorite Towel” is 4 to 6 years old kids. It has been produced for one season. In the future, it will match the layout of the whole brand marketing and be shown on the domestic platform. Also, we are looking for the funds to carry out the next season. I hope to continue to operate the brand “My Favorite Towel” for a long time. As for the promotion, we also planned the course and teaching materials of character DIY and theme exhibition, etc.

CGGE: Mr. Zhang, you are also a frequent attendee in the international licensing show.s For the brand authorization, you have also been very successful. How many countries and regions have you authorized your images? Do you have a far-reaching plan in this part of the authorization?

XBD: Regarding image authorization, we are still working hard on it. The authorization market is very realistic. It is not easy to authorize if the brand or images unless they were popular. Although there are some sporadic orders, we refused them after we evaluated that it does not help the brand image. So it doesn’t work well in China. However, because the creative theme of “My Favorite Towel” is very unique, it has received a lot of attention and attracted many buyers. Authorization should still be part of the entire brand management. How to authorize and good plan needs to be well considered. We are very careful.

CGGE: In addition to the towel project, do you have other projects under development? At what stage is it currently? Will it be the same as the “My Favorite Towel” project, the authorization is before the production?

XBD: We have another project called Roy`s Art World, which helps childrento learn art. we hope it can help children discover the fountain of art from their life, such as the patterns of animals and plants, landscapes, and then children use these materials for painting and clothing、construction and other fields. We have produced teasers and start to do the first season after the investment comes in. Of course, the authorization will be earlier than the production. Though there will be no income at the very beginning, it would be more like a market test and partner seeking.

I am very happy to talk about their “My Favorite Towel” with Studio ilya. Is it also your favorite?

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