I am doing an Illustration activity I found in one of my books: The Bloomsbury Guide to Creating Illustrated Children’s Books.
The activity is called “Happy Families”. It is to create a set of cards showing a family group with at least one parent, a child and an older “person” in each set. They don’t have to be realistic but should have a shared “culture”, ethnic or metaphorical. On the back of the card I have to write a short profile on each character.
This project has gotten me thinking about depictions of different ages, genders and cultural groups as well as roles within the family. It also made me think about sexism in our society. It has also gotten me into reading my history and archaeology reference books looking at families throughout history.
I chose to base my family on squirrels. A little later after reading and researching I decided to do squirrels from an ancient civilization. So far I have sketched designs based on Ancient Egypt.
I have quite a bit more work to do yet on this before I get to a stage where I feel ready to start on “final” illustrations and it will probably change somewhat. I will also have to develop an older character.