How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023

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Hanna Kampourogianni

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It is evident to everyone that many aspects of our lives have transitioned from offline to online. Consequently, what held relevance 20, 10, or even 5 years ago is gradually losing its significance. This shift has also affected the niche of teddy bear making. Much has changed, and much has emerged. Therefore, let’s explore how to become a successful artist for teddy bears in 2023.

As time passes, trends evolve, technologies advance, and production processes become more streamlined, making it increasingly challenging for artists to stay competitive.

In today’s landscape, mere talent is no longer sufficient to become a renowned and prosperous teddy bear artist. Four key components are essential: staying abreast of trends, employing modern techniques and materials, possessing a grasp of marketing fundamentals and self-promotion, and being adept at effectively selling your products online.

Follow Teddy Bear Trends

The fashion for teddy bears and plush toys is currently thriving. As you may be aware, fashion tends to follow cyclical patterns. While classic medium and large mohair bears filled with sawdust enjoyed tremendous popularity 10 to 20 years ago, their appeal has significantly diminished in recent times.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
Flexible albino baby sloth with a plastic doll armature inside of his body and limbs.

They were replaced by teddy bears, which the artists began to stuff with synthetic filler or sheep’s wool. The appearance of bears and their diversity has also changed markedly. Today you can meet not only plush kittens, and rabbits, but also plush anteaters, hippos, rhinos, insects, various birds, and exotic animals.

Now animal characters (with exaggerated proportions, dressed in clothes), and fictional creatures (dragons, monsters) are relevant.

In addition, a new category has appeared – this is a mini teddy. Especially for them, they began to produce special thin fabrics with a short pile. Miniature bears have firmly occupied their niche and remain popular today.

Separately, it must be said about realistic animals with an armature inside if their body is made in mixed technic. This is perhaps one of the most difficult areas where success depends on how much the toy will look like a real animal. Realistic toys are highly valued by collectors from all over the world. In recent years, they have been at the peak of their popularity.

In 2023, the trend has grown to make miniature bears and animals, as well as small fantasy creatures, cute monsters, and fictional characters.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
Miniature teddy dormouse from the “Alice in Wonderland”.

If you are a beginner teddy bear maker, it will be easier to decide which niche to occupy. Start making simple plush toys, then make them more complicated, try miniature bears, and sew at least one realistic animal.

In the process of work, you yourself will feel and understand which direction in the manufacture of teddy bears you like best, and whether there are resources for this. By resources, I mean not only the purchase of expensive materials but also a workplace and time.

So, for example, in 2020 I decided to start making realistic lion cubs, but I didn’t expect it to take too much time, which I don’t have. As a result, one head, which took a month of work, lay for more than a year until I found the time and completed the lion cub.

All this time, I was weighed down by thoughts of unfinished work, which naturally spoiled my mood. Therefore, now I do not start a project if I feel that it will be delayed. Also, I really enjoy creating animal characters. That is why I focus on them.

And what about experienced artists who have long chosen a niche and a pronounced style of their own?

The main rule here is not to quit what you are doing and not switch to something new that is not characteristic of you. For example, if you are known as a miniaturist, then you should not take on the manufacture of a fifty-centimeter brown bear.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
The plush toy Angry Bird is made in a mixed technique.

Firstly, your colleagues, who have been in this niche for a long time, will be 100% better at handling such a bear and immediately find their buyer. And, secondly, it will look strange as if Coca-Cola has begun to find natural juices.

You can’t blindly follow trends. You must do it casually and selectively. For example, by tracking special sites selling teddy bears (like or, you can pay attention to which animals are bought more, in what season, and what needs to be done. And after that, you will be able to make new animals in your technique, based on your patterns.

In addition, seasonality and holidays play an important role.

“Winter” animals are basically any white animals (polar bears, foxes, albinos, etc.), penguins, stylized dressed animals, fantasy characters, and dragons.

“Spring animals” are rabbits, kittens, chickens, ducklings, and various cubs. It is related to Easter.

“Summer Animals” – cute bees and bumblebees, bears, aquatic animals, wild African animals (elephants and baby elephants, lions and cubs, tigers and cubs, cute monsters, insects, exotic and rare animals (sloths, koalas, pandas).

“Autumn animals” – forest animals (squirrels, hedgehogs, wolves, bears), birds, bats, fabulous creatures, cute monsters.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
The plush Bee is made in a mixed technique.

Halloween-themed toys sell well in autumn – various teddy bears in witch hats, bats, black cats, crows, critters, and cute monsters.

In winter, plush toys related to the Christmas theme are well-bought. Use accessories in Christmas colors – red and green.

During this period, fairy-tale characters from Alice In Wonderland were very popular, especially the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat.

Use Modern Techniques And Tools

Previously, sawdust was the main, if not the only, filler for teddy bears. Times are changing, and now synthetic fillers are mainly used for filling, less often sheep wool (contraindicated for allergy sufferers). Filling with synthetic filler significantly speeds up the process of creating toys.

A wide range of materials is used for coloring and toning toys, ranging from oil paints, pastels, textile markers, textile paints, and ending with an airbrush.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
As part of my 2023 tools: doll armature assembly pliers “Jeton”, lock line doll armature, textile paints and a textile marker, eyes for taxidermy, black and white horse hair for a mustache, a mold for silicon paws and noses made by me, pink silicon paw, silicon nose, and molded claw.

In addition, the abundance and variety of materials allow artists to create ultra-realistic animals. For example, using eyes for taxidermy is a relatively new technique for creating animals. The plastic skeleton is also very commonly used by artists to give animals natural poses.

Some processes and techniques for creating bears, on the contrary, have become more complicated. This happened because the competition increased.

So, if earlier the noses of bears were embroidered, and the paws for bears were first made of leather, then a few years later they thought of making them felted from sheep’s wool, then they began to sculpt them from clay.

Now progress has reached the point that the feet and noses are already made of silicone, this is the most realistic material, both in appearance and to the touch.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
Taxidermy eyes were bought on Etsy.

This does not mean that you need to buy everything at once, just choose what suits you from the modern offers on the market.

10 years ago it was difficult to find free information, and I collected it bit by bit. Use free modern information about teddy bear-making tips, which I share.

Create your own teddy bear patterns and personalize your teddies to be unique.

Self-promotion as An Integral Part Of Success

Create accounts on social networks and actively develop them. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Telegram. For your videos use TikTok and YouTube. Show them the teddy bear-making processes.

The main social network is Facebook. Create an account, and become a member of thematic groups. Monitor all kinds of groups, in some of them you can find a lot of free information about techniques and methods for creating teddy bears, tips, as well as free patterns and lessons. Such a group is a Teddy Bear Making Promotion Group on Facebook.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
My Facebook account.

Make regular posts and stories. Share them in groups. Add other teddy artists as friends and comment on their posts.

Separately, I would like to say about the comments. In order to be noticed, it will not be enough to leave a comment “Beautiful bear!” Write sincerely and interestingly. For example: “When I saw your bear, he reminded me of my childhood. Thank you for such a beauty!” or “I was looking at pictures of your tiger. The husband comes up and asks if he’s real or not. I say no, it’s a toy. He says WOW!”

Do you feel the difference? Believe me that among dozens of other comments like “Pretty”, “Lovely”, and “Beautiful” your detailed and interesting comment will stand out very much. The main thing is to be sincere and speak only when you really have something to say.

A tip: learn and improve your English if it’s not your first language. Now all business is conducted in this language.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
An article about my creative journey in a teddy bear magazine.

On Instagram, always use themed hashtags like #teddybear, #jointedbear, #plushbear, #collectiblebears and more.

On Pinterest and also on Instagram, use your best high-quality photos.

If you are filming a video of the manufacturing process, which is also important, then use Tik Tok and create a Youtube channel.

Use specialized platforms to sell ready-made toys. Today there are two main ones, where collectors all over the world are. These are and Both platforms are paid. You can pay monthly for your online shop, or you can pay for a yearly subscription and get a discount.

In addition, some artists have shops on Etsy. The payment for the store there is much lower, but sales are much worse. I would only recommend Etsy as an add-on and not as a main store. Or better yet, don’t waste your time there.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
My 2nd place (Silver) in the Independent Bear Artist Show on Facebook.

Participate in offline and online exhibitions and shows. There are quite a few of them. There are offline exhibitions in Europe, the USA, Australia, Japan, etc. Perhaps the most famous teddy bear fair in Europe is the Hugglets Teddy Bear Fairs in London.

These days, online shows for artists and teddy bear collectors have become very popular. Some of them are paid and some are free. You can try free ones first, like The Independent Bear Artist Show on Facebook.

Are You An Excellent Seller?

There used to be fewer artists and less competition. There are more artists now, more information, plus those who started 20 years ago have already improved their skills and technique and are moving forward.

The fight for the attention of collectors has greatly intensified. That’s why it’s so important in addition to being an excellent artist, you must also be an excellent salesperson.

What does it mean to be a great teddy bear seller? This does not mean just shipping the package and forgetting about it.

Firstly, the buyer is attracted by high-quality photos and a good description. Then the path of negotiations begins. Usually, they buy from a person with good qualities, such as openness and honesty, loyalty, and responsibility.

How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023
Creating positive emotions is part of the job of the modern teddy bear artist.

Use honest photos and descriptions that correspond to reality, reliable product packaging, and be sure to put a tag with information on the bear (what it is made of, dimensions, care methods, and contact details).

Be loyal – offer payment in installments, do not be greedy for trifles. Help, answer all questions ideally instantly, in extreme cases within 1-2 hours. If you can’t reply right away, set up an autoresponder.

Keep the customer up to date with the terms of creating a bear if it is a custom order, shipping conditions, and shipping prices. Please provide a tracking number for your package.

Track the parcel and provide all possible assistance in this. Ask if the package has arrived. If suddenly she is lost, then take an active part in the search. All this in general leaves a good impression and the collector wants to come back to you again.

Final Words

So, in 2023, it’s no longer enough to just make beautiful and high-quality teddy bears. You can remain unknown, albeit a talented artist, if you do not take into account the four main components of success.

This is the ability to keep up with trends/fashion, the use of modern technologies and the use of new materials, competent self-promotion on the Internet, and the possession of excellent skills as a seller/sales manager on the Internet.

I hope this article was helpful and I wish you all the best in your teddy bear-making career!
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

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4 thoughts on “How To Become A Successful Artist For Teddy Bears in 2023”

  1. It’s amazing how much work goes into making these small toys. Although to many it may sound easy to make teddy toys the reality is much much different. And as you said it is one thing to be a good teddy bear artist and another to be a successful one. These two are two completely different things and one needs to work equally hard to be successful in both. Keep up the good work and keep entertaining us with your little monsters!!!!

    • Thank you very much! You’re absolutely right, it’s hard work, but that’s what an artist likes. And if you persevere, then a hobby can be turned into a full-time job.

  2. Hey a great post you have created here!
    Like you have mentioned here over the years teddy bears have changed quite a lot, from simple ones being enough to now the more creative ones with various features, colours as well as stuffing!
    It can be quite challenging keeping up with the new trends however it is required to meet the demands of customers

    Thanks again and have a great day!

    • Thank you for your comment! Yes, you are right. Satisfying the needs of clients (collectors) is the prerogative of every artist who wants to stay afloat in our time.


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