Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hello Kitty turned 50!

I can't believe it's been around that long!  Sanrio is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year.  I've been seeing tribute paintings and drawings popping up all over the web...culminating with a big gallery show Sanrio put on in Santa Monica that ended a few days ago.

It got me wondering what the Sanrio characters would look like in my Squaremania style - so I quickly drew this:
Badtz-maru and Hello Kitty

I've been a big fan of Badtz-maru.  When I was in college I had three back to back (to back) assignments that led me to draw penguins for almost 3 months.  After that I was obsessed and in my free time I would only draw pengins...which is what actually led to this blog originally (it was just penguin drawings and watercolors). 

Sadly, because of this obsession coupled with the lack of imagination by family and friends I started receiving stuffed animal penguins as gifts (which is such a great present for a guy <-----sarcasm).  But out of such travesty came a little Badtz-maru beanie baby, which, along with an armless penguin ball became two that I wasn't terribly ashamed of.

Wait - that doesn't make me sound like a fan.  In all seriousness I love how simple the design is for the Sanrio characters.  And Badtz-maru is one of the best, with his scowl and bumpy head (is it hair...or, because he's a penguin, feathers?).

And there's the weird simplicity of Hello Kitty -  little black holes for eyes and no mouth - she just sits there...but is very cute.

I wanted to do an illustration with these two characters (when i think Sanrio, these are the two I think of...) and came up with this:
 Sneaky Badtz-maru and Hello Kitty's last breath...

Is her name Hello Kitty?  All the other characters are called by name, but is that her name?  Meh...

And this is the clean up (done in Adobe Illustrator):
And yes - it's going to be in color...this is just a taste of some color blocking:
I think I went a little over the top with his hair/bumpy head, so I'm going to tone that back for the final illustration.

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