Little White Cat

Little White Cat

little white cat illustration

“The Little White Cat” children’s book illustration is the third assignment from my MATS A class (Make Art That Sells). This part of the course is targeting the “children’s book” market, something I’m very keen to do more of in the future, for which we’ve all been given a mini exercise to draw all kinds of cats.

It’s so important to show the character’s persona in children’s books so I started out drawing all kinds of different cats from different positions and angles.

Every time I need to draw a “cat” I always think about my cat “Mimi” in Taiwan. He is my first cat and just like one’s “first born” of the family, he is very special and irreplaceable. Before he came into my life, I wasn’t a cat person at all. In fact I was always a little bit scared of cats and felt they can be unfriendly and somewhat creepy. My husband and I had a cat for a few years but he was an absolute turd of a cat, really horrible personality, so after a few years of fighting with him (the cat, not husband!) he had to go. Mimi on the other hand is absolutely lovely. I resented Mimi a little at first when he came to my home for the first time as he couldn’t stay away from me. Every time I watched TV he would either lie on my and sleep or want to play.

I guess this was because my parents weren’t at home much and he was only 1 month old when he came to my home, so naturally just like a child, he needed lots of love and care and I was the only one there for him. Now he isn’t a little kitty anymore and instead he is a huge old fat cat. He is nearly 17 years old (his birth date is 20th May 2000) and he weighs around 8.5kg (he’s half Maine Coon). The last time I saw him he was healthy and active but fingers crossed he will stay that way for a very long time.

But back to my assignment, I decided to illustrate a book cover for this assignment. The main character is the white cat who was a princess but when she was cursed she became a white cat. When she first appears in the book, she is wearing a black veil which you can see in the illustration. Because she was a “pretty princess cat, I thought she should look very special. A few years ago I went to Bali with my husband and parents. My mother bought me a cat’s statue and the cat statue had beautiful flower patterns on it so I decided to draw some pretty patterns on my white cat character to make her look more special.

One of the biggest challenges is how to illustrate the white cat character to be very feminine but I think I nailed it. I’m really pleased with how it looks and especially as I’ve only had male cats in my life. During the process of creating the Little White Cat illustration, I searched a lot of female cat photos while sketching and kept saying to myself “you’re drawing a female cat!” in my head when I was drawing. I think that helped a lot.

Apart from making a book cover, I also created a few different patterns with the white cat character illustrations which you can see below. The red background white cat pattern (I called this collection of patterns “My little white cat in red”) was also featured on the Redbubble website homepage which I just put on. If you are interested in my products you can have a look at my Redbubble and Artrookie websites. Both websites have my works on different kinds of products.

My Redbubble profile:

My Artrookie profile:

hot pink little white cat illustration
red my little white cat illustration
purple white cat illustration
hot pink little white cat illustration
red my little white cat illustration
Taiwan Treat Packaging Design and Illustrations

Taiwan Treat Packaging Design and Illustrations

This summer I was commissioned by a San Francisco food company “Taiwan Treat” to illustrate their new food packaging. Taiwan Treat, just to give you a little information, is a subscription based food service. You pay a monthly fee and a box of food arrives, quite cool.

My client sells delicious Taiwanese snacks, tea and treats, so initial ideas were based upon and inspired by Taiwanese culture and attractions. So I illustrated the front of the box as well the inside of the box.

So for the front of the box, I illustrated Taiwan’s night markets, the 1010 building, The Red house theatre, Presidential office, tea culture, mountain, pearl milk tea / bubble tea, hot springs…etc. The whole image is colourful but not too over the top. It also stands out and is full of Taiwanese culture. You may not know what’s inside the box but you will at least know that it’s related to Taiwan.

For the inside-the-box illustration, my client wanted me to illustrate some fun and cute characters. I decided to depict Native Taiwanese (also know as the indigenous peoples of Taiwan) children wearing their traditional costumes while playing and feeding a Formosan black bear with some Taiwanese snacks. I’m sure I don’t need to mention don’t try feeding a bear but if you see one, don’t, run!

I decided to use native Taiwanese children as part of the main characters as I’ve always been fascinated by the native tribe culture. There’s a “Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park” in Pingtung which I have visited a couple times and it’s extremely fascinating. Also when I was around 8 or 9 years old I wen to a Native Taiwanese culture camp and just loved their culture and stories. So I decided to create my characters based on the biggest tribe called “Amis” and to illustrate those kids wearing Amis’s costumes and hair pieces.

I also decided to illustrate a Formosan black bear because bears are one of my favourite animals to illustrate and can look very cute. Formosan black bears were voted the most representative wildlife of Taiwan in 2001 and even now you can still see a lot of Taiwan souvenir’s and materials that use Formosan black bears as the main character.

Over the last six months I’ve been commissioned with a lot of food packaging illustrations and designs and I really love this kind of project. So if you need an illustrator to illustrate and design your food packaging or you need someone to draw something for you, I’d love to hear from you.

taiwan treat packaging design and illustration
bear and child illustration
The Man Who Lives in the Zoo Picture Book

The Man Who Lives in the Zoo Picture Book

At the end of 2014 I was working on a really exciting picture book project with Edinburgh Zoo. I was asked to create a picture book based on a real life character “Darren McGarry”. Darren is the head of the animals at Edinburgh Zoo and he has a very busy life amongst the animals and almost everything related to the animals at the zoo will involve him. The most amazing part of his life is he even lives in the zoo!

After a couple meetings with Darren I decided to write and illustrate a story about Darren’s daily life but with some funny twists. When I met Darren at Edinburgh Zoo he struck me as a person who really cares about and loves the animals. He is very respectful of the animals so he didn’t want to see the animals with any clothes or accessories on them and he doesn’t want to see the animals characterised either (for example he doesn’t want to see the animal talking and acting like a human. Instead, he hopes to see the animals acting normally in their normal environments).

So here is how the story goes. Darren woke up really tired and sleepy and no one knows why? He tried to find places in the zoo to have a nap but all the animals kept interrupting him. He isn’t angry or upset about this and so fulfils all the requests from the different animals and the reader will finally find out why he woke up still tired and sleepy in the morning.

It’s very tiring be a parent and sometimes even when you are so tired your child asks you for things and you still have to meet their demands. Darren made me feel like this with his animals. He loves and cares for them and needs to fulfil their needs and living in the zoo he will care for them no matter what the time or the outside conditions are. He will alway be there for the animals. Sometimes as parents we will feel a bit annoyed when we can’t just sit down quietly and have a cup of tea but no matter what we will still get up and look after our demanding child. I think this is the feeling I want to create for my story.

So below are some of the pages from my picture book. I hope you will like it.

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