Inhae Lee has a sweet tooth. So she created a world so coated with sugary goodness that readers have developed a sweet addiction (just look at the comments). Her My Milk Toof pictorial blog about 2 adorable teeth that return to their owner’s home has garnered an international fan base of readers both old and young. These characters are impossibly cute and the storylines even cuter. Reading her blog is like returning to a favorite childhood storybook, to a simpler, more cheerful world — someplace where cherry pies cool in windowsills and lemonade is bought at the stand on the corner.

Born in South Korea with residencies since then in Philly, Paris and now Berkeley, Lee developed her artistic dexterity as a video game artist. “That job almost killed me,” she tells LIAS ruefully, “so I’m taking some time off to regroup and do something more enjoyable.” She has since pursued more creative projects, like Milk Toof which she started only in March of last year.

She developed the idea of the Milf Toof while watching the film The Orphanage. “In the movie, the boy keeps in a little box his milk teeth, which at the time I had no clue what that term was. After a little research, I thought it was a really cute term” Inhae explains. From there, she developed the story of a protagonist that wonders where all the teeth went after they were replaced by a quarter under her childhood pillow. One day, a familiar little tooth knocks on her door and introduces himself as Ickle. Soon after, another little tooth named Lardee returns home. From then on, day-to-day occurrences between Ickle and Lardee (like cooking, trick or treating, sunbathing, reading books, taking a phone message) all become delightful adventures thanks to Lee’s elegant illustrations. Exquisite photography, warm lighting, vibrant colors, detailed design and clever dialogue craft this charming world.

Each tooth is made out of Polymer clay, then painted with acrylics and finished with varnish. And Lee creates all her own props. So each blog entry (or story) takes about 3 weeks to write, create or order props, photograph, and edit. This artful direction and meticulous attention to detail is apparent in each story and much appreciated by her wide, loyal fanbase.

“The response right now is so unexpected that I honestly didn’t think that far ahead” she says when asked what’s next for the Milk Teef. “I’m so flattered that people are asking for toys and books, but I want to make sure that if it’s done, it’s done right. I’m very conscious that the most important thing is maintaining the quality of work on the blog and then extending that to anything else associated with it.”

Milk Toof postcards, push pins, and a book are available (although almost always sold out). But she admits that “it would be a dream to do children’s books,” so she hopes to publish more books in the future. So for now, My Milk Toof is available online for your next sweet escape.


No Responses to “My Milk Toof: the story of Inhae Lee”

  1. Becca says:

    thank you for this!

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