by Ray Gatica
Being an artist and designer, I created a whimsical children’s character named The Official Baby Watcher, a few years ago for a friend's newborn baby because I could not find something that reflected what I felt inside. I did not want the usual cutesy, character without any significance or purpose, therefore I wound up creating my own gift, a gift from the heart. What followed turned out to be The Official Baby Watcher ( aka, as The Lil Baby Watcher).
The character is a fanciful little baby watchman, a guardian
that watches over small children and babies.
It was created for a friend’s child - because I wanted to give the
new baby a unique and significant gift with a purpose. I thought – “If I
could give any one thing to any child it would be their very own guardian that
would watch over them forever.” From
this thought the Li’l Baby Watcher ™ character was born.
The original, whimsical design was a two-dimensional airbrush rendering of my idea of what a baby watchman would look like if he were real: a wholesome, physically fit and strong character. Overall he is a little peculiar, funny looking character with a large head with big eyes, big ears and short-short legs and he stands on two huge feet and clumsy looking boots.
The idea is that his big ears and eyes allow him to see and hear everything in the baby’s tirelessly and dutifully while he perform his sentinel duties - as he watches over the baby’s room hence his name -The Li’l Baby Watcher. He is a misfit of sorts, a cross between a funny looking clown and a dashing, li’l soldier but is neither. However, these peculiarities are what make him special and allow him to be who he is. Overall, he is a healthy, wholesome looking character by design (at right).
few months later, after creating the character, I sat down to write to
describe him. This lead to writing The Official Baby Watcher story which
describes the character as a lonely and seemingly unimportant, insignificant
misfit of sorts, a peculiar, disheveled character named, Wob (rhymes with Bob).
And even though he was in the baby’s room, he was not a toy that the baby
could play with he sat up on a high shelf - seemingly without any purpose or
reason. This made him feel lonely
and all alone. But despite his peculiarities, he was a smart li’l guy and
had feelings and he loved the baby in the story. His biggest wish was to be a
part of the baby’s life someday.
of his peculiarities and lack of purpose he felt like he didn’t belong
anywhere and goes through a time of emotional conflict, loneliness, fear and
doubt. But, then a day comes when he has to overcome all that, and be strong,
to save the baby from imminent danger and harm. Ultimately, with the help of
his “Little Voice from Within” he goes through a magical transformation to
prove his “great love” for the baby. The story ends happily as the family
finally notice him and realize how special he is and designate him “The
Official Baby Watcher.” In the
end he gets placed close to the baby’s bed. He is now a dashing, debonair
hero and happy little someone - no matter how peculiar!
about the “life imitating art” part, back when the story was written, a
friend told me that the little character was me – implying that the
character and I were one-and-the same. At the time, I didn’t see what she
was trying to tell me.
after a few years, as I contemplate my age, position in life and find myself
at a standstill and boredom career-wise - her observation of the parallels in the story
between the character and me have become more obvious. Just like Wob’s funny
features make him special and allow him to be what he is, albeit a misfit.
I also feel like a misfit - because even though, I am a creative
individual and exercise my talents in assorted ways, I feel it is these
assorted talents that make me what I am and has allowed me to create the
character. But it also makes me feel l like I don’t belong in any-one
category - which in turn makes me feel like - like a jack-of-assorted-talents
and a master-of-none. And because I am not known in any particular circles, I
feel insignificant and with-out-a-purpose.
Wob, in the story, right before he saves the baby from harm, I find myself
apprehensive as I move toward the uncertainty of a new business venture and
direction career-wise, I realize I have to be strong and face my fears, self
doubts apprehensions to persevere and succeed, just like him.
just like him, I respect and care for small children and have gone a step
further to fulfill his ultimate wish and have made him a playable, plush toy
that can be shared with babies and small children.
Also, like, Wob, I long to be a part of my family and believe its success will
provide the wherewithal to be able spend more time with my father, who turned
ninety-two recently and eleven brothers and sisters and numerous nephews nieces and
great nephews and nieces of which, mostly live in Phoenix, Arizona; and to be
more a part of their lives.
and when you see the O.B.W. character on the market and being a success you
will know that just like him - I
have reached my life goal and will be a little happy li’l someone then,