About me

I am Larisa Gavrikova, designer and author of original collection toy. Glad to welcome you on my personal site.
Since 2009 I took interest in creating Tilda toys, later I happened to meet the teddy bears – becoming my life’s work.

Beginning from 2011 I only work on teddy bears and his friends. I invent and sew the toys, conduct the online training, share my knowledge in form of ready master classes in PDF and gather groups of interested people for onsite training time to time.
In Moscow
Participated in Moscow and international exhibitions
Cartoon artist and lawyer
Where I live and work
My experience in exhibitions
Who am I by education
How it all began
I haven’t had any dedicated education, for such education doesn’t exist, as well as norms, or rules of creating teddy bear style toys.
I’ve been good in drawing, sewing, embroidering, templating, cutting and gluing since my childhood – my thoughts were circling around these activities all the time. I even wanted to become a fashion designer of women’s clothing, but I got into the animation school and became a phase painter at the Argus Film Studio, where I was a part of the Team and my credentials are in the credits of the cartoon «Leoto and Feofan» in 1994.
At the time when my Moscow based friends kept themselves busy with Brazilian soap inspired embroidery, I drove home to spend time a little more efficiently and became an avid reader. Then, all of the sudden, totally unexpected I started writing poetry! They were not brilliant – for sure, but I still peep into my notebook to read them over and smile…

The long drive to the work and back annoyed me just as much as my ridiculous pay. By a pure accident my dad asked me to trim his hair. I was humbled to launch an experiment on a respected man, so I took a hairdresser course. After gaining haircutting skills, I accepted all offers for giving a haircut at home and even started cutting my coworker women’s hair at the studio. Things started working out! The word spread like a virus! There was work for me all the time, so having enough money, I could at last quit the studio job.

Then I got married and kids entered my life
During the ubiquitous sagging of the Chinese cheapskate, I craved for quality and stylish things made with love. I have enjoyed sewing, knitting and embroidery for my boys.

At the same time I indulged myself in decorating my apartment, feeling very confident about myself and in this sense I was a perfectly happy housewife.
However, the idea cherished in my mind for a long time, that I should have a college degree and also a pension made me go to college. I wanted to be an interior designer, but learning was only face-to-face and far more expensive than being a lawyer...

So, six years blazed by and I found myself holding a diploma, I started looking for a job after a long maternity leave – a whole 10 years of it! As a result, In the end, as fate and effort would have it, I found the perfect job opening in a bank where I’ve worked with pain for five and a half years.

I learned my lesson though – I was more than eager to change the occupation and return to art and creation.

My first acquaintance with Teddy happened at the exhibition in April 2011. In October of the same year, I was representing my own works at the exhibition in Moscow. The exhibition was titled “The Art of a Doll”. Throughout history, it took place in Manezh just once! It was stunning and just astounding!

One could imagine, how many various dolls I have seen there! It blew my mind! They were big and small. There were plain and sophisticated ones, with many tiny details. I was happy to be part of this celebration! I was out of breath because of overwhelmingly pleasant impressions!
This celebration was preceded by serious preparation. I had to choose the nickname, develop the visit card design, make stand decoration, and package for the toys. The day before the exhibition, I had to assemble my display stand. I brought the furniture, fabrics for decoration, and the toys.

As I did not have an exhibition experience, I became engrossed in reading the feedback of the other girls from other exhibitions. I also asked Nelly numerous questions. She participated in such events before and willingly shared with me her experience. I did my best to think out it all.

I remember that I decided to use wallpapers as my stand decoration. I went to the shop, bought them, and then stuck. Sometimes they were surprisingly falling because my exhibition mates reeled the wall from the opposite side. By the ending of the exhibition, I just got exhausted to struggle against this situation.
My road to the toy
The wallpapers were hanging down and hid the display with the toys. At that moment, I realized that the exhibition is like a tornado: moves quickly and suddenly finishes. Something fades away but something remains with you. You feel differently. See your strengths and weaknesses from another angle. And eventually, you acquire new plans and motivation to fulfill them.
My very first bear Frosya
Made of short-haired cotton purchased at the first exhibition. Here you can see the influence of Tilda dolls.

Frosya lives in the house of my friend, who gladly took it to herself at the first meeting.
Belief in yourself and practical wisdom
That exhibition was the test case. I got an understanding of my real desires. My wish defines my will. I got new acquaintances and connections, and the old ones became closer.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude and recognition to my elder son, who was near me all these days. He provided precious support, praised me, let me have a rest, and walk at the exhibition. At the same time, he did his best to sell my artworks. I would never believe in myself if I would not have him.

That was how I believed in myself and started earning practical experience to participate in future exhibitions comfortably. It is ought to be noted that the experience needs to be inspired with new ideas, broadening the mind, communicating with people, and not making final conclusions. These conclusions may hamper on your way and not let you move further easily, try new things, and develop yourself.

My conclusions at that time, immediately after the first exhibition
You need to take part in the exhibition!
Find one or two neighbors per stand (to make it cheaper)
The stand should be easy to mount / dismantle
Sew more toys
Take upon yourself the stand decoration
Take your time to explore the exhibition in the first day
You can earn a lot at the exhibition
Having discovered the blogspot.com platform and then the LiveJournal, I got an idea to create the "lunarvalley" account. I have chosen this account name because I used to read the namesake book by J. London and this name means “Moon Valley”. But suddenly, I realized that the chosen name did not suit me. My husband used to call me Larchik gently, and this name could become a nice option for me. I was so glad to resolve this issue easily and entered the desired account name in Latin letters. I just stopped breathing before moving to the next step of registration. But unfortunately, on the monitor appeared the word “occupied” in red. I have added just one more letter “g” in the beginning. Like a temporary thing with the hope to rename me later. That is how I got the nickname "glarchik". The login was free! Hurray!

After that I never had enough time to invent a new name, so I keep reading the LiveJournal under this occasional nick. Suddenly I realized that I love it! Really! And it sounds good! Gently and brightly!
As time went on, many people called me Larisa Glarchik, as if it was my real full name. Almost from the first click, I have found my nickname, which became the brand.
How my nickname appeared and became the brand
Social media promotion and gaining success
Discovering my personal nickname inspired me to move forward. The promotion of my toys in social networks became the next step. My main focus was still blogspot.com. Because this website seemed to be simple, clear, and convenient. I also posted my artworks at Odnoklassniki.ru, later in VK and in LiveJournal a little bit. There were no significant sales, but I found many fellows.

At the same time, I have registered at the Masters’ Fair. It pushed me forward! By the way, I still have my shop at this fair (also check out my account at bearpile.com). I placed ready-made artworks there, and they found their owners. I was receiving enough orders. There were also foreigners among the customers, and above all, it also brought me inspiration at a certain period when I felt frustrated and disappointed. I got the understanding that my work was not bad, I just needed to promote and advertise it more! The world is big and everyone can find his own place!
Having your own, easy-to-remember name, improving quality of works, performance individualism, a customer-oriented approach, which include politeness, punctuality, and ability to feel the customer greatly contribute to the business. Devotion and persistence help to develop the business and increase the number of subscribers in all these platforms, and eventually the number of customers.

At once I have realized that having just a name is not enough if I don’t have my own logo and signature style. But who knows how to find the right person, who would feel your idea, make exactly what you need, and depict your brand philosophy in design.

I was following one girl on the Internet, a graphic designer. I was in love with her style and sophisticated taste. I have specified the task, but we have failed. Better to say that we did not get what we expected. So I have developed a logo by myself. At that moment it was enough for me. I have nicely painted it and intuitively found the relevant font. I loved that “g” looked like digit 9…

I used to have this logo for a long time until I got acquainted with Asya!
Then subscribe to my instagram and follow the new posts!
Curious to know the sequel?
Old and new versions of the logo
On the left are business cards of that time, which meant the seriousness of my intentions
Web-site development: COCODO BRANDO
© glarchik 2020-2022 | Gavrikova Larisa