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: https://www.redbubble.com/people/livillustration/
My Artrookie profile: http://www.artrookie.co.uk/livwanillustration