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2015 New Year's Card — Year of the Goat

Every year, I send out a New Year's card to my friends and family. It's a nice way for me to connect with people, but also a great excuse to experiment with new tools and techniques. I decided this was the perfect opportunity for me to play around with Illustrator a little bit. 

Anyway, as some of you might know, 2015 is the year of the goat (although the goat really seems to play second fiddle to the cat in this image). I liked the idea of the family cat getting into mischief at night and running off with the local farmer's goat to wreak havoc on the town.

Finished Illustration

There's a lot of Louis Wain influence here; I always liked his strange and occasionally psychotic-looking images of cats doing mundane human things. For those of you who've never seen his work, here's an example:

Louis Wain

It all started with this sketch, which I did while on a short vacation in Northern California:

Sketch

I started by laying out some of the basic shapes and shadows in Illustrator:

Progress Shot 2

Then I proceeded to add more details and textures in the fur, as well as in the background:

 Progress Shot 3

I then changed the color palette up a bit:

Progress Shot 4

Finally, I added the remaining details. I agonized for days over how I would texture the grass and how I would add dimensionality to the image, but eventually figured out the solution seen in the final image—a foreground flower with a bemused luna moth perched on it:

Final Image

Any feedback would be much appreciated! I plan to get this printed in early December, and I want it to be as awesome as possible. Thanks in advance! And thank you, Chris, for teaching such a fun and informative class.

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