Tour De BBQ
Tour De BBQ consists of three simple, yet amazing things: local BBQ, biking around KC, and kicking cancer’s butt. This hits home for me. Like so many others, I have a loved one battling cancer. Nothing about it is fun, but fundraising events like Tour De BBQ make all the difference. When I was asked to design a poster for the event, I was ecstatic and ready to get back at cancer.
I wanted the poster to be something Tour De BBQ has never done before. It needed to be fresh. Lighthearted. Fun. Something that would make people smile, the opposite of what cancer can do to a person. As a creative person, I’m constantly thinking about my projects, but I love to trust the creative process and let inspiration come to me at its own weird times. Sometimes I get the ideas right away, and sometimes it takes a bit more time. With this project though, it came to me quick. I got a few headlines from the copywriter, and my mind went racing. Once I saw “This little piggy loves to pedal” on the list, I knew right then and there that I had to illustrate a pig riding a bike. No question about it.
From there, my sketchbook started filling up with pigs on bikes. The possibilities were endless. What about a pig on a tricycle? Or a unicycle? Or even a scooter? I ended up with a loose, yet detailed illustration of a pig on a regular bike. After getting some feedback on the poster, though, I was asked to do more. Why not make this a series of posters instead of just one? This thought was exciting to me because it meant I didn’t have to leave behind all of my original sketches of pigs on different bikes. With more posters, there was room for more illustrations!
Naturally, all these animals started to take on their own personalities as I drew them. I had moments with each illustration where I paused and thought, “What can I do to bring this to life?” For example, when I was drawing the cow on the unicycle, I knew that a nice, round tummy would give the cow more charm, and lifting up one of the cow’s back legs on the scooter would bring in a little sass. I wanted each character to bring something different to the series, so I let some personality shine through in the illustrations.
It’s been a cool opportunity for me, and I’ve had lots of fun with it. Now I’ve got myself a posse of animals on wheels to help me fight cancer. So thanks Tour De BBQ. Thanks for allowing me to kick cancer’s butt in my own unique way. It’s been a wild ride.
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