Its been a while since I wrote up how alvin & lila are created, its quiet unique so I thought I might re-tell the story as a kind of graphic "HOW TO"
1) I think the the hardest part of cartooning is getting the motivation and ideas. I don't sell any meet the people cartoon so this is a private whim and I can afford to only sketch them when I have time. I find illustration friday is a great way to motivate yourself and get a basic theme, this weeks was remembering . Next I like to listen to music while seeking inspiration, so I type the theme into search box in tunes (or whatever your media manager is) then listen to those tunes. I also like using last.fm.
The idea about men never remembering to put the toilet seat down is not mentioned in anything I listen too by the way!
2) Next I get out my meet the people folder, which is one of those commercial spiral bound folders with lots of clear plastic sleeves, into which I have, over time, inserted lots of cut outs of alvin & lila's body shapes and other common things I might use in a cartoon illustration. Often I have to draw a new item specific to the cartoon, like the toilet, in this case
3) Next I assemble the cartoon. Using cut outs means I can play around with position and adjust gestures and postures of the main characters. This can make all the of difference between boring (the way you first assemble or draw things) and something interesting and dynamic, which may be only the slightest elongation of stretching of change of angle, that gets the composition to gel. I them place this on my scanner bed [The photo shows things face up when of course they will be face down, but that would be boring to photograph].
4. I use corel trace and import the image directly from my scanner using the acquire settings. I convert the bitmap to Black & White and then do Perform Trace By Outline, which generated the shapes as line work for corel draw
5) In corel draw I add colour and text. I also now have a small library of template for such things as standard layout and speech bubbles and also text annotation already in the colours and fonts I want to use. These helps me maintain a stylistic commonality without having to worry about it and save time.
6) Finally when I am happy with the layout I export the image to a jpeg file, and upload it to this blog and that's it!