Oh crap, it’s your birthday.

We’ve all had that moment. The one where you realize that you completely forgot someone’s birthday and have no good excuse for the oversight. It happens.

For this card, I knew what I wanted to say but had no idea what it should look like. Because the whole purpose if this greeting card project is to force myself to use Illustrator features outside my comfort zone, I wanted a design that would require drawing, shading, and various effects – not just creating shapes of different colors (even I can do that).

The idea for the bird design goes way back. Let’s just say that birds have a way of spreading their joy all over my apartment window, car windows (yes, plural), softball equipment, etc. At some point I must have pissed off a bird and clearly I am not yet forgiven.

It also happens that a bird is one of the few cartoon characters I can draw with anything resembling consistency. So I set off to draw both the happy bird and the peeved bird. With the birds in place, I used watercolor brushes and a gaggle of clipping masks to color in the birds, tree, sign, and background. The overall look I wanted was that of a children’s book. Note that I probably should not write children’s books.

card front

card inside

As an added bonus, I had extra practice courtesy of an Illustrator crash that forced me to redraw the birds. A certain bird may have been flipped in the process. Note to self: always save. Always.

In case it isn’t obvious, this isn’t a card I’d send to just anyone. First, I’d need to improve my folding skills. Second, bird poop on a card takes a certain kind of person.