Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monkey seen, monkey done: New work

Another fun assignment goes by way too fast: Namely, the remanufacture of a monkey.

A marketing firm specializing in credit union public relations asked me to make a monkey dance about the pages of a publication for kids.

Maxwell Monkey is the mascot for a Michigan credit union to encourage kids to save and learn about money management.

The marketing firm, Matrix Manager, sent me a copy of Maxwell: Kinda cute, though to be frank, not rendered particularly well.

Maxwell as he showed up
on my doorstep.
I saw some wiggle room
with the character.
The tone of the conversation with the Matrix Manager people was that the firm could use some help bringing Maxwell to life. At least, that's what I heard and, deciding to ask forgiveness rather than permission, I went for a Maxwell makeover.

I didn't want to ask if Maxwell absolutely had to be drawn as he was sent to me — like maybe he was created by the credit union CEO's daughter, or the CEO him/herself — because I didn't want to know the answer.

But if Maxwell was going to do what the Matrix Manager folks wanted, he at least had to have limber limbs.

First things first, a quick render of some ways Maxwell could look:
Whew! The client chose the middle sample, which affords versatility and reproduces well. I would have liked to explore the sculptural figures on the right, though.

I didn't receive specific instructions on how to pose Maxwell, so I just imagined what a monkey child would do, and drew up a barrel full:

Maxwell benefits from a long illustrated monkey legacy, including Curious George (whom my son called CURE-uh-see George when he was quite little), Disney's version of The Jungle Book, and Paul Frank's Julius the Monkey. I'm sure monkey images have been stewing in my monkey brain for quite some time. Plus, monkeys are absolutely the most fun to sketch at the zoo. Try it sometime.

The sketches helped spur the credit union to choose five specific poses, the finished remainder I bring you herewith. 'Twas fun while it lasted (sigh):


  1. Nice facelift. Maybe Joan Rivers should come see you next time she's due!

  2. hee! might not have to change much, though i'd have awful trouble picking an outfit she'd like …