Feb 7 2012
Despite the lack of cartoons in quite a while, that doesn’t mean I’ve not been busy drawing. My latest project is a mascot design for a new restaurant called “The Brave Little Chicken” (or something along those lines. The restaurant name is in Spanish.) The design request was “A little chick. Brave. Defiant.”
I started off with some general ideas. Bravery, defiance … all wrapped up in a little baby chick. I toyed with the idea of using the egg or egg shells as armor of some sort (including a fleeting “Bobba Fett” look).
I discarded that idea pretty quickly. I opted more for a wooden sword, maybe a cloak or cape. Toys a child would use in adventure. I gave the baby chick a defiant stance: sword raised, chest out. I utilized a streamlined look for the chicks body that I really liked and that gave me a strong line of action.
I eventually decided that I would replace the armor and weapons for things more in line with a food services mascot. Keeping the active and defiant poses, I swapped in chefs hats, spoons and assorted chef accouterments. I also worked on the face, testing minimalist, cartoony and animated styles. I preferred the small eyes over large “cutesy” eyes as I felt the big cutesy eyes are just overdone in company logos and mascots where babies and tiny animals are used.
I nailed down a few more poses and tightened up the sketches. I settled on two poses: an action filled “charge” and a defiant/proud stance. I enhanced the youth of the little chicken by setting the eyes farther apart and giving him a large, rounded head. I also finally settled on a spatula as the weapon of choice.
I did final inks and them scanned them in at 300 DPI in pure black and white. I took the scanned in line art into Illustrator to convert it to vector art and make adjustments like smoothing out some line work and repositioning some of the anchors.
The final step was to add color. I “punched out” all the white space which left me with just the black line art. I chose very simple colors that would work with a three color print process (black, yellow and orange) with an option of four color on a non-white background. This should help keep printing costs down. After that it was just a matter of sending the file off to the customer.
So if you are ever in Mexico and come across “El Pollito Valiente” and drop by for a bit to eat, tell ‘em the “artista de pollito” says “hola”.