Exhibitionists·Video

Nugs! These tiny clay creatures have the 'curse of cute' that will melt your heart

You won't be able to resist falling in love with these adorable little friends by Nick Sianchuk and Kevin Yip.

'It's an old Latin term. It means...Nugs'

(CBC Arts)

Around Christmastime back in 2005, Nick Sianchuk and Kevin Yip were broke, but they still wanted to give their family gifts. So with the money they scrounged together, they bought some clay and decided to put their creativity to work — and the first batch of Nugs was born.

These tiny creatures caught the eyes of friends of family and other acquaintances who wanted their own set of Nugs, and eventually the duo made several more in order to apply for an art show. The rest is history: the Nugs family has been growing for over a decade now.

Watch the video:

Nick Sianchuk and Kevin Yip have been building their family of adorable toys since 2005. 3:13

The key to their creative process? Complete freedom. They don't draw what they intend to create beforehand; instead, they move the clay around in their hands until they see a shape that appeals to them and then build from there.

Each Nug that results has the "curse of cute" that will make you unable to resist falling in love with them. As Kevin explains: "Sometimes we try to make them scary and less cute. But I think the size of our hands and lack of dexterity automatically makes them cute and happy."

You can catch Nick and Kevin at a various art shows around Toronto and the GTA. Their booth is usually packed with children and adults alike looking in awe at all the different Nugs — usually confused as they first approach, but once they get closer, their confusion turns into pure joy.

Learn more about Nugs and get your own via their website.

Stream CBC Arts: Exhibitionists or catch it on CBC Television Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT). Watch more videos here.

About the Author

As a young child, March Mercanti would play with his action figures for countless hours because he was obsessed with telling stories...to himself. Currently, March is a filmmaker living in Toronto, ON. He works at CBC Arts creating documentaries for artists across Canada.