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Throwback Thursday: Chickens of the Sea

Chickens of the Sea ©2000 Sonya Andrews

Chickens of the Sea ©2000 Sonya Andrews

So I went through a bunch of my old artwork last weekend in an attempt to sort out what things were unfinished pieces and what things were orphan artworks that had yet to be placed in a loving home. I came across this cover I painted while I was in college for a pretend zine that never happened and that I had never really had any intention of creating. I just wanted to make the cover for it as I was inspired to paint some chickenfish.

The marketing concept of “chicken of the sea” as advertised by, well, the Chicken of the Sea seafood company, had always sounded ridiculous and hilarious to me. I envisioned all these chickenfish cavorting in the ocean — some of them fat and googly eyed like a Oranda goldfish, others flapping out of the water and soaring through the air like a cross between Camilla the Muppet chicken and a flying fish.

Maybe one day I will create an illustrated book of all the different varieties of chickenfish that I’ve imagined. I don’t suppose I can really call it Chicken of the Sea, though. I suppose that’s probably a trademark infringement. At any rate, if you’d like your own chickenfish branded item, I’ve got them up on Zazzle and Redbubble – just the chickenfish, no text.

And today you can get 15% off at Redbubble by using the code GET15

 

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Rodan Ranch

Rodan Ranch product label

Artwork for Rodan Ranch product labels.

The next couple of weeks has me doing a lot of illustrations as well as my usual graphic design and web work. Since the illustration projects are not just for my own amusement, I thought I would get a little practice in by finishing up the label artwork for my mom’s farm, Rodan Ranch. It’s one of those projects that I agreed to do “when I have time” about a year ago. Since then, my mom’s beloved great dane, Rammstein, passed away at the well-earned age of 13. I wanted to do something to honor his life and my mom and step-dad’s love for their very first (and so far, only) dog together.

The original label drawing had a nice little arched space at the bottom that was left blank so that my mom could hand-write things like “elderberry wine” and “mystery pickles” on the various types of farm produce that she cans, dries and ferments.

Now let’s just get your first question out of the way: “Why didn’t you use the monster Rodan in any of your artwork!? Are you BLIND to the obvious!?”

Yes, yes, I know. Rodan is totally awesome and would make a great farm mascot considering the name of their farm is Rodan Ranch. I asked my mom about this and she was firmly of the opinion that, despite her great love for old cheesy sci-fi movies, there should be no Rodan monsters in the label artwork. Mom gets what Mom wants.

So, after I finished the original illustration for the label and scanned and cleaned the artwork, I decided to backfill the white space with her dog and one of their farm cats (could be Custard or Mustard – I don’t keep track of the cats and they usually hide when I’m visiting). The plan is to get the final piece matted and framed for them and then I used the digital scans to create some fabric at Spoonflower.com and will be making some cute decorative throw pillows or tote bags for family.

So there you have it. Rodan Ranch!

I’ve got some exciting concept art for a children’s book coming up soon, a commission painting, an EP release poster for David George and a Crooked Mile, and a benefit event poster and invitation for Camp Encourage. Stay tuned!

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