One of the great privileges of Gup Gups is getting to meet amazing artists and very cool people from all over the world. We are always delighted when our little design finds his way into a new home and comes back to us infinitely richer.

This time, Gup Gup has wandered into the home of Lei Melendres. Lei is the winner of our Voter’s Choice in the Designing Gup Gups Competition. So without further delay, here’s a little more about Lei in his own words:

GG: How did you get started in art?

LM: I actually started drawing during my days before schooling. My parents had some skills in drawing but my inspiration would be my brother. He loves to draw and I enjoy watching him do what he does best. I also love staring at his finished works but there were times when I got the feeling that I could do that same drawing better. I wanted to fulfill that urge somehow and that’s when I started the hobby—I was practically drawing all the time. My brother and I would have a competition on who draws better and that really pushed me to practice and improve my skills. I told myself that drawing is my real calling. I’m still holding on to that thought up to this very day.

GG: Where did you receive your art training?

LM: I honestly can’t say I learned from lessons given by the schools I went to but I can say that schooling had the biggest contribution for me to improve my drawing skills. I met lots of great artists in school and beating them had always been my goal. Sadly, there were people who won’t let me score that goal. Some of my classmates were just born with great talent and money to improve that talent. But then, I got over that. I had to make use with what I have. So far, I’m enjoying the challenge.

GG: What did you like about Gup Gups?

LM: Well, Gup gups looks fun to design. The toy has a wide structure and I thought it was a perfect canvas to put my doodles on it. I really want to know how the texture of a Gup gup toy feels like though. It would really be great if I get a blank large one. LOL

GG: Where do you go for inspiration?

LM: My inspirations are usually people I know personally and my online art friends. Their artworks inspire me more than the artworks of famous legends and living legends. The reason for that is because I view their works as the “possible to achieve” type. I’m not telling you that I feel like I could do what they can do but maybe it’s because I somehow know these people and I sometimes know how they do it. Don’t get me wrong—I hate imitating other people’s artworks. I always aim to be the first in something, I want to be original and if I fail, I aim to be unique at least.

For more of Lei’s work, go to: