Kid Stuff Marketing approached me with a line of characters called Country Critters. They had previously used the characters in a line of placemats, paper bags, and toys that were licensed to a variety of restaurants, and decided it was time for a refresh. I was told I could draw the characters in my own personal style as long as I didn’t deviate *too* much from the existing designs.
Also, the illustration had to be designed in such a way that it could be used as a placemat but also so that the top 15% or so could be chopped off and the rest printed as wrap-around art on paper bags. That meant the characters had to be strategically placed to avoid being printed on a fold line.
The creative director, Jay Thompson, sent me a rough sketch of an approximate layout, which helped a lot. It was a super fun project and I’m really happy with how it turned out.