Once Rod and I decided to do a children's book, pretty quickly Rod realized our own backgrounds contained the perfect material for a story. Inspired, he thought of the alliterative title "Buddy and Bird," and from there, I started working on character designs, starting with Buddy. Since this was Rod's character, I started with basically a drawing of Rod, as a dog.
After we finished laughing, we decided a second pass at it was necessary. I came up with something a little less Rod-like. This guy would look more at home in a 1930s cartoon:
Close, but not quite where we wanted him to be - this version of Buddy lost all the "Rod-ness" and didn't feel right. So I gave it another shot, combining this with some aspects of Rod...
We both liked this one, but there was still something missing. I drew about a million attempts at giving dreadlocks to a cartoon dog before inspiration struck Rod once more: give him a hat!
We liked this look. The first attempts at coloring the characters looked like this, before I decided the look we were going for was something like a classic Saturday morning cartoon - something where the characters would be so bold and bright, that they would jump off the page!
That was it! We had our Buddy! And after two years, we finished the book, Buddy and Bird! And that was that!
As we continually presented Buddy and BIrd to groups of kids, I realized Buddy's proportions were way off - he was big and cuddly. TOO big for a pup in elementary school! So using 1950s and 60s Hanna-Barbera cartoons as my inspiration, I drew up another sketch of Buddy...
Almost there! I tweaked this one a little, colored it, and VOILA! We have... BUDDY!
Designing and building the Buddy puppet was another matter altogether that involved using skills I didn't know I had, and having to learn a few new ones.... But well worth it!
...And there you have it - the development of Buddy, from Buddy and Bird! Hope you enjoyed this peek behind the curtain!
PLEASE remember to share the Indiegogo link with your friends! And this blog! And the Buddy and Bird Facebook page! We know this will be huge, but we can't get there without YOU!