Artist restores rejected stuffed animals to give them a new life

Artist restores rejected stuffed animals to give them a new life
Image credit: Nina Salerno / Saatchiart

Ever seen an old torn stuffed animal in the garbage? Sad, right? Artist Nina Sarleno takes them and gives them a new life embracing their imperfections.

The project is called Perfect Rejects. Sarleno takes the animals and gives them a new look which is certainly not the one you would expect. Every tear and missing part is given a new look, sometimes it is turned into a focus point. The idea is to send a message that it is OK to have imperfections and the stuffies should and will be loved despite that.

“One day I found a box of discarded plush toys thrown out from an estate sale. The toys looked so vulnerable, rejected and abandoned. Something motivated me to take them home to my studio and turn them into something else. It struck me that they still had value, even if someone else had failed to see it”, Salerno says to The Huffington Post.

“I created my first toy and loved the final result –- by being a little odd and different, it was distinct, not flawed. I called it a ‘Perfect Reject,’ and it was that particular creation that started my journey of compassion and empathy through play”, Sarleno adds.

She when showed her work to her friends which in turn loved the idea. Some even asked her to make such Perfect Reject toys for them as well and she did. The requests kept coming in though and soon there were dozens upon dozens of them. So Nina decided to turn the project into a business. Now the toys cost quite a lot, around 200 dollars a pop, but they are not your run of the mill stuffies, are they. Plus each of them is unique and made in one example only.

Still, Sarleno wants to make Perfect Rejects a real retail line of stuffed animals. She wants them to be sold in stores at regular prices and to be available to more people. Sarleno has set up a Kickstarter campaign to help offset the high prices and to show off some more pictures of her work.