Design a character for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop



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Among potential entries on a designer’s bucket list: album art for your favorite band, a craft beer label for a really good brew, a gravestone for a famous villain.

And for those of us who grew up with Jim Henson’s creations—Sesame Street, The Muppets, Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock—designing a new creature for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a prequel to the original for which Netflix and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop have paired up and which begins filming in the UK this fall.

The design contest, sponsored by the Jim Henson Company, will be judged by the Froud family, which includes including original Dark Crystal concept designer and Hugo-award-winning illustrator Brian Froud, and his wife, puppet-maker Wendy Froud, best known for constructing Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Their son, Toby Froud—the actual baby Toby who got tossed around by David Bowie in Labyrinth—is kind of a big deal too, working in puppetry on ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls at Laika.

Entries are due really soon—by November 22:

“This small, woodland creature must be a brand new concept—it cannot be a variation of an existing species, e.g., Skeksis, Mystic, Podling. All ideas are welcome, as long as they feel true to the world of The Dark Crystal, without being a variation of an existing Brian Froud drawing.”

The winner gets $500, a cameo appearance by their character in the new series, and bragging rights for contributing to one of the most disturbing, yet iconic, puppet movies ever. Find out more info and enter here.

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Rachel Starnes
Rachel Starnes is the author of The War at Home: A Wife's Search for Peace (and Other Missions Impossible) (Penguin Books, 2016). She received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from California State University, Fresno and her BA from the University of Texas. Her essays have appeared in The Colorado Review, Front Porch Journal, and O Magazine. Born in Austin, Texas, she has lived in Scotland, Texas, Saudi Arabia, Florida, California, and Nevada, and is currently at work on a novel. More at

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