Making of…geometric shrimp

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This ‘making of’ post is shorter than the last one but hopefully you’ll still find it interesting :) This one is all about my little geometric critters. I can’t quite remember what inspired me to try something so different to my usual work, I just felt particularly strongly about this idea. I was almost feverish with it and sat down at Illustrator, forcing shapes to work for me xD

It’s worth mentioning now that I did not pre-sketch any of these. Unlike my Dapper Dogs or any other illustration, these guys were made from pushing shapes around, carving them up, stitching them together until they made sense. I wanted them to be slightly inorganic in production and appearance. The master of this will always be Charley Harper. I bought his first compendium some years ago and it really influenced the direction of my work.

Anyway, I should also mention that I didn’t take any screenshots as I was making these critters, so this post isn’t as comprehensive as the ‘making of a comic’ post. Instead, it’s a quick rundown of what I did.

First, research.

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The humble clearner shrimp. What an odd looking critter xD Hump-back and everything.

So here we have a quick sketch. At the top is how I’d approach any illustration. Rough-and-ready under sketch. On the bottom is how I made the final illustration. I tried to pick out the shapes that made that little critter. In a different pose, his tail could be flipped horizontally to give him a bent back.


It was a great little challenge, testing when I could say ‘stop’ to adding more details and trying to think of ways to make a circle in to a fin or a square in to a tail.

Here is the final cleaner shrimp.