My idea was to illustrate animals and children posing in a school photo shoot in a "BFF" kind of a way. I chose animals that are related to each other even when they are different species, whether they are domestic or wild animals. I wanted to make a point that despite the cultural differences, you can be friends with each other. But I also wanted to illustrate happy, joyful friends, sweet characters with a bit of humour too. I chose to go for a retro colour palette and simple, graphic shapes for the characters.
I started with some small thumbnails in a sketchbook, simplified my characters, just played around. Then I did the actual illustrations with black ink on A3 paper, one for each (really big!). Like these here below:
And when I had decided the colours, the final designs were fine-tuned and turned into vector illustrations. So this is how they looked like in the end!