I’ve had a lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration from. That is a hard question to answer for many artists and, many times, one illustration can be inspired by many different sources. I know some people who make work about their own experiences, others who are inspired by the programs and movies they watch, the foods they eat, and the list goes on and on. Many of my pieces are inspired by my love of animals and nature, history, food, and, well, my list goes on and on too! Today I thought I’d share my inspiration for my Retro Rocket Dog and Cat Prints.
When I was in college, my senior thesis project was inspired by vintage postage stamps and match boxes. I did a lot of research and made a series of prints featuring extremeophiles (animals and insects that can live in extremely hostile environments). My favorite extremeophile, the Waterbear, is able to survive in space! They are able to go in to a state of extreme hibernation and are able to be revived back to life by a drop of water. No kidding!
The famous Waterbear!
In researching other space-traveling animals, I found inspiration in Laika the Soviet Space Dog. She was the first animal to orbit the earth on November 3, 1957. She sadly died due to overheating of the spacecraft, but her story lives on in stamps, sculptures, books and more!
I love the idea of making a print inspired by a real animal who helped advance our knowledge of space travel and its effects on living things. I also love the design of old space crafts, so that was a no-brainer for me to design a print inspired by those. I’ve been hand-drawing retro-rockets on bags at my other job for over 3 years, making a screen print is the logical next-step!
Candy Bags make everyone smile, young and old! Every purchase comes in a hand-drawn rocket bag!
Retro-future rocket stamps!
Sputnik 2 was eye-catching, but I wanted something more flashy, so I gave my “Puppy Stardust” a different rocket inspired by retro-future illustrations of the late 50’s and 60’s. There were many designs I liked that were memorialized in stamps and postage, but my favorite rockets are the old Tin Toys that I’ve always coveted. Hoping that kids would like my design, I drew inspiration from those toys: their simple shapes and bright colors.
An assortment of retro Tin Toys.
And now you know where I got the hair-brained idea to make a Rocket Dog and Rocket Cat. I don’t know of any cats who orbited space, but as a Cat Mom of two silly cats, I thought it would be unfair to leave them out. The “Rocket Cat” design is inspired by my cat Ferdinand who, I think would make a fine AstroCat.