In addition to being an illustrator, I often work in Ceramics, Concrete, Wood, Stone and Metal. The gift category gives me an opportunity to use everything I've learned while working in 3-D!
I love to research a topic, make notes, sketch my ideas, sculpt and hand-paint the figurines myself, as I did in both animal storybook sets. Frequently, I'll also propose packaging concepts -- the Native American Animal Storybook and animals were appropriately packaged inside a wooden drum. "How the Animals Got Their Colours" was presented within in book box , complete with a window for viewing the animals.
My garden gnome 360-degree drawings were sent to a vendor, and Voila! he soon arrived at my drawing table just as charming in 3D as I had imagined him -- but taller, of course!