Now that winter is (very probably) over, it's a lot easier to get up in the morning and just go and do things. When winter was at its worst, I tended to reflect on (rose-tinted) memories of pleasant times. Memories are very interesting to me, and I think a lot of my work is heavily influenced by memory. My self-started illustrations—even the pieces that include personified animals—are created because of a positive reaction to a place and time.
It's also interesting to me that it has to be both: Place and Time. Being in the right place at the wrong time affects how you feel about that place. If your strongest impression of San Francisco was the one time you spent a day there and had your bag stolen, your impression may be that San Francisco sucks. I really enjoy Los Angeles and I think that is in part because my first experience there was one of the best trips I've ever taken. Which brings in my third element of memory (and most definitely my illustration work): the individual that is experiencing the place and time.
Objectively, LA is a city. It has a high population for a city in the United States, and it is sunny for the majority of the year. I have friends who can't stand it and friends that love it for the same observations I have just stated. They could be there at the same time, in the same location, and still have opposing reactions.
The piece I've shared above isn't any particular memory of mine, but it is based on my own idyllic recollections of rain and resting. I love that illustration in general draws from the illustrator and their references, but results in new content. Despite the planning and process that goes into a piece, I still am either pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised by the result. Even when every element (color, composition, value, texture, etc.) has been accounted for!
If you'd like to see my show in person, and visit one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities, stop by Spyhouse Coffee