How Illustrations Are Born

John Manders' revised illustration for "Pete"
John Manders' revised illustration for "Pete"

Have you ever wondered how illustrators come up with the images they’ve rendered? I grew up studying cartoons and illustrations trying to figure out how they got from “here” to “there” and learned an immense amount just in studying published works.

John Manders, a friend of mine and fellow member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, is a long-time illustrator of children’s books and has captured the personalities and features of many species of animals in his illustration library.

A recent blog post shows how he created the characters for a children’s book by author Jenny Tripp entitled Pete and Fremont (linked in his blog post). He includes reference photos and a few versions of each character, and it’s fascinating to see how the image grew.

Enjoy “Character Designs” on “John Mander’s Blog”.


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: