A love story of some sorts

I had the honor of illustrating some take away gifts for my cousin’s upcoming wedding. According to her, their love story was one of very ordinary nature, but after spending an afternoon with them in their new house, I knew there was more to discover. My cousin and her husband have a very quiet and humorous way of interacting with each other and I wanted to illustrate that. Using photos I took around their home, I transformed them into cute characters in their own world.

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Bears – a collab (progress)

Met up with Julie today to discuss our long-term collab project; a children’s storybook centered around a little bear. I needed to do some color sketches to visualize the stylistic direction and these are a couple of progress sketches so far. We decided that we like the hand-carved, intimate feel that the pencil and watercolor combination gives the illustrations, but I need to add more color so my palette isn’t too flat. The faint neutral palette so far is good, but no enough “umph” just yet.

Bears~ some more character sketches

Julie have started putting together some preliminary writing on the first story, but while she is working on that she also gave me some more character direction for two other characters. This one focuses on the relationship between a grandparent and the grandchild, and how the kid can sometimes take that love for granted and not realize it until its gone. I didn’t get around to coloring them with watercolor this time, but I think you can still get a sense of what I’m trying to portray.

Doing these sketches really remind me of my own grandma. I was born in Taiwan and during my first couple of years my grandparents took great care of me while my parents worked. My grandma (on my dad’s side) is a teacher and would be the most patient person with me, even when I was a misbehaving toddler. I remember this one time I accidentally locked myself in the bathroom (the lock was one of those old-school sliding post ones that was kinda rusty, so it got stuck) and I cried and cried and cried… all the while my grandma spoke calming words to me from the other side of the door. Eventually I stopped crying and pried open the lock myself, but the best part was laughing and crying at the same time and seeing how my grandma thought this whole ordeal was funny, too. Now I’m literally on the other side of the world and I rarely see her. I can tell this story is gonna do me some good for sure :)