Infest the Waters: A Blog About Design, Life and Making Stuff

Illustrate 2012: November

Illustrate 2012: November

Earlier this month, I thought I was going to do something election-related.  But much like last month, since I didn’t get to doing the illustration until much later, it didn’t seem timely anymore to reference the election.  Over the last week, chickens seem to have been a bit of a recurring theme, as we had the opportunity to visit some friends last week who are raising chickens.  We visited these friends en route to the wedding of two other friends, and at the wedding, we learned that these friends are also raising chickens.  Their wedding cake toppers even featured the chickens.

Sam and Ben with Chickens

There was a photo booth at this wedding, and much to our delight, it had a veritable bevy of chicken puppet props (actually, they may have been hats, but who cares?).  Of course, in light of the chicken-raising information, it only seemed appropriate that Ben and I should take some photos with the chicken puppets.  (See picture at left.)

I was having a bout of creative block earlier this week and started getting a little panicked about the illustration this month.  Thankfully, while I was in the shower yesterday (where I do all my best thinking), I hit upon the idea of doing the chickens.

I grew up down the street from a farm, and when I was a child, I spent a lot of time there.  I believe this was largely because I would get up early in the morning on the weekends, and my parents–not being morning people–would tell me to entertain myself.  For a while my entertainment consisted of Saturday morning cartoons, but when I got old enough to be allowed to walk down the street on my own (we lived on a busy street), I would go to the farm.  The farmers, two brothers and a sister, all in their eighties, were always up early (as farmers are), and they let me help out with all sorts of tasks.  In retrospect, I’m sure they were glad for the help from someone who wasn’t an octogenarian.

I helped with all sorts of tasks–working in the garden, feeding the rabbits, mowing the lawn, milking the cow (they only had one by then) and–you guessed it–feeding the chickens.  The chickens were ubiquitous.  They roamed all over the farm, and sometimes they weren’t exactly friendly.  (In fact, my sister has attributed her fear of larger birds to those feathered friends at the farm.)  But regardless, they were a staple of my time at the farm, a place I loved visiting, and I think that’s why I have a certain affection for the birds, even though they weren’t always terribly kind to me.

In addition to my particular relationship with chickens, I thought their feathers might present an interesting challenge to draw.  And they did, for sure.  This month’s illustration required a lot of patience and attention to detail.

So without further ado, I present to you Les Poulets.  (I’d tell you their names, but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten them.)  Ba-gock!

Illustrate 2012: November


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