2014 has been a big year for the birds, or rather, the birdhouses that I drew for La Presse+ last December. The illustrations were recognized in three different competitions in 2014 – Applied Arts in Toronto, Canada, 3×3 Professional Show #11, New York and the 3×3 Picture Book Show #11, New York. Three different juries gave awards of excellence to the series that I drew for an interactive advent calendar for the La Presse+ app. The reader simply had to slide the birdhouse up to reveal the surprise – a tip on how to get to Christmas on time and in one piece, accompanied by another spot illustration. I had 24 to do in 24 days.
The first ideas discussed by the team were centered on imagining a street with different buildings, all decorated for Christmas. The idea of using birdhouses came while I was thinking of all the miniature buildings that my licensee, Department 56, is famous for. I realized that drawing detailed buildings would take more time than I had. Birdhouses were a great alternative – simpler and, for me, they left me more room for my imagination. I could make the buildings reflect the theme that was featured for the day as well.