My name is Leonard Gotoking. I am from Singapore. The beginning of my arctophile passion began upon receiving a teddy bear as a gift from a close friend. It was out of sheer curiosity and a desire to know how a teddy bear is created spurred me to find out more about them. This led to my attending several bear-making workshops. Filled with a newfound passion, I was quick to realize that there were lots more involved in the creation process of a teddy bear. Making a teddy is simple but to create one that is identifiable as your ‘trademark look’ takes more hard work, patience, time and perseverance.
It has been almost 25 years now since I started putting my bears up for ‘adoption’, under the trading name of J.A.BRUINSdzigns. Even till this day I am always learning and experimenting to improve my work. It is very challenging and rewarding incorporating new design ideas into my creations. As I am always trying out new ideas, this resulted in a variety of looks and characteristics. Ranging from the sad, melancholic look to the one of elegance and style. Every one of my creations would have their own unique features and details to give them that little extra overall appeal.
My bear studio is very small where I will do all my bear making and all the administrative work. During my free time, I like to read, watch movies, surfing the internet for inspirations for my bear making. My mother has been very supportive in my bear making career, she gives me her feedback on my bears. Her critique helps me improve on my design and spur me on. She now lives in UK.