It all started with this cookbook I illustrated and somehow snowballed into the biggest (literally) design project I’ve done to date.
Last fall the Estacada Public Library contacted me wondering if I’d be interested in designing the vinyl wrap around their new bookmobile. They said they wanted ‘whimsical animals doing library-ish things’. They’d seen my cookbook and thought I’d be perfect for the job.
It took me less than 2 seconds to think about it before I said YES! YES! Whimsical animals are my favorite thing! The designs would need to be rendered digitally. And the whimsical mural would cover the entire van.
The project took months to complete. Sometimes it was so hard…but sometimes it was a blast. There were days I thought I’d never finish it in my lifetime. Other days, things just fell into place.
Thankfully I had a couple of friends who knew the program I was using to create the designs really, really well. They rushed to my aid when I was stuck and helped me problem-solve many things.
From sketches to multiple revisions of sketches…and finally, I was able to take it into Adobe Illustrator and create the vector files the van wrap company needed.
Over 500 hours later…my part was done. I handed the designs off and then waited very impatiently for the van to be completed.
final computer files:
Some fun trivia about the van designs:
- At one time the library had a group of beavers move into the pond behind the building. The beavers started chewing trees down and had to be relocated. The back of the van is a tribute to the hard-working beavers who tried to make the library their permanent home.
- There’s a little Daschhound flying a plane on one side. His name was Dexter and his humans used to take him on daily walks around the library.
- The dog playing the drums is Charlie. Another dog that logged in many miles around the library.
- There are 2 special needs animals on the van (although you can’t tell one of them is special!). One is Button, a little goat holding the Twister spinner for the goats playing Twister. Button was born with a cleft palate and a bad heart. He wasn’t expected to live longer than a few months, but he recently celebrated his first birthday and he’s doing great! The other animal is the chocolate lab, Meeka. While in real life Meeka was blind and deaf, on the van, she’s in a doggie wheelchair to represent those with special challenges in their lives.
- Of course, I had to add some of my chickens (I ended up getting 4 of them on there!) and my beloved cat, Truman, who is holding a sign with my contact information on it.
Another fun note: On the day of the ‘van reveal’ the honeybees were flying around the flowers I created in the ‘pollinator garden’ section of the van. They thought the flowers were real!
some photos of the finished van:
If you live in Clackamas County in Oregon, maybe you’ll see the van around. It’s a mini-library on wheels, complete with TWO workstations, where you can use the computer in addition to checking out books! I hope both the inside contents and the outside design bring lots of joy to many, many people for a long time to come.
I’m super honored that I was able to be part of this incredible project!