It's pretty much Christmas year-round here at the studio. There's been many a summer day where the AC was cranking along with the sounds of Bing Crosby as a new Santa or Snowman image was being created. I say "new" lightly because let's be honest... these illustrations are about as nostalgic and traditional as they come. Nothing "new" about them. I like it that way though. Just sentimental I guess.
The theme of this puzzle series is young animals playing games together. (Awwwwwww!!) Puzzle illustrations in this cute and somewhat realistic style have a been an ongoing thing around here for the past couple years. At first it seemed kind of an odd direction for me as my artistic tastes are mostly in the wild in wacky realm, but after a while I found myself really enjoying making these sweet innocent images. I'm actually really starting to love it.. Its hard to have a bad day when you're painting kittens and puppies.
Well, I’ve always said it- Nothing encourages little kids to read more… than hamsters in sweatpants! I used to own a hamster or two and one thing I knew for sure is that you never store books you care about in an active hamster cage… nor do you try to dress them in work-out clothes. But hey- we’re living in the 21st century now and hamsters can do whatever the heck they want to. Anyway, these friendly little fur-balls were illustrated for an educational company who has kept me very busy for over 15 years now. Thanks to them, I find myself drawing lots of books and lots of animals in weird clothes.
I know, I know... An illustrator should not have too many styles. It confuses people. Although this advice has always made sense, it has also always alluded me. Eating the same food or watching the same movies over and over has never been my thing... nor sticking with one form of art. It's a bit of a sickness really. I try... really try to keep my portfolio down to just a couple of looks, but before I know it, I'm veering off into something totally new and different. I love learning new things- especially illustration styles that are challenging. This year, of all things, it's been digital paintings of sweet happy scenes for cards and puzzles, prompted at the request of a rep I work with. I have to admit, I feel a little weird doing them sometimes- the subject matter is really sappy! But for some reason I find them incredibly relaxing. Maybe because, in the light of sad news out there, it's just nice to imagine a world where dogs, cats and horses can share their pumpkins...