Kids Being Kids

A lot of my work over the last several years has featured animals. I love animals! I love drawing them, visiting them in zoos and aquariums, and watching nature videos of them on TV and Instagram. I think they are not only interesting to draw in their own right, but they also are great as stand-ins for people in children’s books and on products. If you don’t want to pin down a character as being a certain age, gender or ethnicity, make it an animal!

However, I’ve recently decided to turn my attention to drawing one of the world’s most hilarious and interesting animals — humans! Beginning with kids. As an illustrator who works on a lot of children’s books, I’d like to expand my possibilities to include books about kids. And as a parent, I truly love and appreciate all of the ways kids are so expressive, the way they do whatever they feel and do it with such enthusiasm. So I’ve been having a grand time adding some new work into my portfolio that feature adorable, entertaining, inquisitive, exuberant kids!

This illustration was inspired by the bug hunts my kids and I have enjoyed over the last couple of years, as well as memories of my own bug hunts in high school for Senior Bio (cheers, Mr Stone!). It is exciting to look at nature on a micro level and seek out creepy crawlies. The thrill when you find a big centipede! The fun of chasing after a butterfly you probably won’t catch! And even when we don’t find much, we’ve had a nice walk in nature, which is one of my absolute favorite things in life. The kids in this picture are feeling that fun, and I loved including lots of little details, like different types of bugs and bug-catchers, mushrooms and plants and colorful clothes.

This second illustration was inspired by the dance fever that has taken over our household of late. We are all dancing fools in our family, whether it’s a little flossing in the lunch line or a full-scale dance party at home. We all love to turn on the disco ball and set the wifi bulbs to change color with the music’s beat, and just go for it. There is nothing better than the way kids will always dance like nobody’s watching, and feel really proud of their moves. I tried to capture that enthusiasm in this picture, full of lots of kids doing lots of different dance moves all over the place! I also enjoyed making the background abstract, full of 80s-inspired patterns. It takes me back to my youth, when my favorite color combination was turquoise, pink and purple — classic!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you like these new pictures. If you have an idea for a fun kids illustration subject, drop me a comment!

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