Illustration Friday - Tea

>> Thursday, March 02, 2006

*click on the illustration to see it larger*

I was thinking about the Illustration Friday topic this week, of "Tea" and as I was snoozing this morning an image kind of popped into my mind of an elephant having tea. I pictured the elephant next to a delicate little tea table. This morning my agent, Bradley, called to remind me I hadn't posted any illustration in few days and since I like to draw things such as the squirrel's tea party (that's an old one!) he thought I should add a Tea illustration to my to-do list for the day.

I've been focused on finishing my self-promotion packages which still haven't actually gone out. I've been working on the cards for some time, and then there's finding the updated addresses, printing labels, printing the cards, and assembling a package for each publisher with a letter, business card etc. Some publishers ask for SASEs, which I usually don't send because if they don't want to hire me I don't really like getting a letter telling me so. But I do occasionally get an encouragement, a please-do-keep-sending-samples reply, so I include a SASE if they ask me to. In short, I thought this should be my main priority this week, but then again something is wrong if I can't take time out to draw an elephant drinking tea.

This one was good practise for me because before I even started down to sketch I had to think about it. Is the elephant going to pick up those teacups with those thick legs? Or possibly just dip the trunk in for a sip? Does it even matter? Creating whimsical animal characters can seem very simple but if something isn't quite right it just looks awkward. That being said, there's lots of room for the imagination, and I generally have to work on being less logical about it. After a quick blogging-world trip, I was inspired by Molly Chicken's lovely site, the cheerful colours, the delightful Frannie, her adorable bear, and the package she just received from the talented Marion whose site is called tea-time! If that's not a sign I don't know what is. (her site has some pictures of bird teacups that I am now coveting madly even though I just discovered they exist..)

Once I sat down to sketch, this is what emerged, and I realized it was actually a little girl elephant and she was sharing the tea with a very small friend... p.s. I think I'll call her Ella!thank you everyone for visiting!


Anonymous,  March 02, 2006  

So sweet !
What a lovely illustration. : )

Anonymous,  March 02, 2006  

This won't surprise you, but I loved hearing your thought processes about how an elephant would navigate tea-drinking.

You're a cutie, all right!

Susan Mitchell March 02, 2006  

Very cute, and it makes me think of tea parties in springtime - lovely!

Claire Louise Milne March 02, 2006  

lyn: thanks for visiting, and thanks for the inspiration!

jaimie: thanks duck!

sweet pea: thank you and I am going to add you to my links soon because I love your site too!

Anastasia March 02, 2006  

Really sweet Illo!!
I love tea parties!

Ives March 02, 2006  

This is lovely! Are those cherry blossoms?

Claire Louise Milne March 02, 2006  

thank you! yes, the're meant to be cherry blossoms, I'm thinking of Spring...

Amy March 02, 2006  

She is absolutely adorable. She looks so dainty pouring tea for herself and her company.

Anonymous,  March 02, 2006  

So sweet. I love it. I would toally buy a book with that on the cover! :)

Anonymous,  March 02, 2006  

PS: This is my new wallpaper!

Anette Heiberg March 02, 2006  

This is beautiful and very sweet.

Diandra Mae March 02, 2006  

This is automatically a favorite of mine because it has an elephant. :) I really like the sweet simplicity of your scene. I tend to add little birdies to scenes to keep my characters company. It's nice to see someone else who does it too!

Anonymous,  March 02, 2006  

Such a sweet illustration! Thanks for sharing your though process. Good luck with all of the self mailers.

Pickledog March 02, 2006  

Ella is very sweet. I liked seeing your original sketch along with the finished illo.

Anonymous,  March 02, 2006  

oh this illo is SO cute! I love it! :)

Anonymous,  March 03, 2006  

I wonder what adorable Ella's last name is ... Fitzgerald? Vator? Mentary? Borate? Let me know if I'm getting close.

Anonymous,  March 03, 2006  

good thing agent Bradley is keeping you on your toes. I love the mix of the elephant and bird, I'm sure they had a lovely time!

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