Reference/Cute Overload

Every illustration requires inspiration, a bit of day-dreaming and a little reference. Sometimes I just start sketching to work out the overall shape, capture the energy of the image and try to tell whatever story I need to tell. And along the way, I need visual reference to add detail and to communicate my concept more accurately.

Recently, I’ve been working on images for my friend, Dawn McCarthy. Dawn’s a great art director I worked with at Cliff Freeman & Partners in New York. On her blog, Obsessed Moms, she reviews well-designed, responsibly manufactured baby gear and she asked me to design and illustrate images to use on the site and on stationery. She had a great idea to make a flashcard-sized business card with a larger-than-usual illustrated logo and I had the idea to draw animal moms choosing cool baby gear despite their biological uniqueness. So the mother owl makes a nest out of a super safe bike helmet, a kangaroo mom uses a chic baby sling instead of her pouch, baby opossums ride in a fabulous car seat instead of on the opossum mom’s back..You get the picture.

So I had to look at some baby owls, aka owlets…






And a baby opossum, known as a joey…


And a roo, also known as a joey…



I know..it’s a lot of cute to take in one post.
But here’s the way the owl mom is coming along: