Water Bottles

I bought new water bottles for my family. Now every morning when I fill them I think about us and how we go off to different places to live the best part of our day, but tomorrow I will again be filling these water bottles up and wondering how it could be different.

Beware the Cernunnos

The trillium flowers used to be everywhere on hikes in the Seattle area and I still feel lucky when I find them. I was always told that when you pick them the trillium died – finito – all done! That’s really only true for the young trilliums but the forests are so well trod that you really only ever see the junior upstarts nowadays. That delicate nature made me fascinated with them and I’ve been sticking them into whatever illustrations I can for some time now. The fact that they are called Wakerobins because they come back each year along with the robins was a poetic bonus for my story in Wiltworthy and the rise of Robin Redbreast.

Peeping Yeti

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I like drawing the Yeti’s eye.  I spent a lot of time drawing Orangutangs and Gorillas to be able to better draw the Yeti’s gestures.  I fell in love with drawing their eyes and am constantly trying to get that to translate to my drawings of the Yeti in Wiltworthy.

Temple Guardian

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Looking for inspiration for some character design, I spent some time working from photos of guardian statues from Indonesia and Sri Lanka. I think this one is smiling a little more than some of the statues he is based upon. The more I have sketched them, the more they are endeared to me. Their expressions often seem caught halfway between a daunting glare and a big smile. I can see them breaking face and saying, “I’m just messing with you, don’t be so uptight!”

Early Woodsman

28 woodsmanOne of the earlier drawings of the woodsman.  He’s quite a bit more strapping here than he would eventually end up.  As he started to actually fit into the story it became clear that there was no real place for so much swagger.


Handstand with Yeti

The kids were still very little at this stage and I realized there was so much for them to do and, because the story is about Makerism, there was so much they would be required to make. I realized the characters had to grow up and be older before their adventure could begin.  I recall listening to Kazu Kibuishi talk about the pressures by agents and publishers to nail down the age of his characters to exactly ten years old in order to hit the fourth grade reading demographic, but he always thought of his characters as 12 to 14.  I think there will be something along those lines in my mind as I keep moving forward with this.  Here, Walt and Val look like my own kids from a few years back but as I draw Walt and Val nowadays they do not look like my kids at all;  they have become themselves.

Otterboy Appears

Jude & I would go for walks and tell stories about Otterboy. We used to see him all sorts of places as we were out. His head would pop up out of the Bothell Slough while we were walking along the banks. I don’t think I get to tell stories on Wiltworthy about Otterboy for a little while, but he has been following my son and me around in our thoughts and deeds for sometime and I’m sure he will surface sooner rather than later.