Early illustrations from my first illustration course

I've been putting my portfolio together for the upcoming SCBWI Conference in NYC in February, so I've been looking through a lot of old files and thinking about what kind of work I want to make in the future.

When I began my first illustration class in 2012, I hadn't painted since college (see this post for a little background), and I almost never drew anything by hand anymore. Carrying a sketchbook around was in the past for me, and almost everything I'd created in the previous decade was done on the computer. Although I really wanted to make art with my hands again, it felt uncomfortable and scared me. So I chose to work in Adobe Illustrator and got started.

Per Mark Mitchell's instruction, since I didn't have a story in mind, I went with a simple song to illustrate, Mary Had a Little Lamb. I started with a rough storyboard that I sketched using the pencil tool in Illustrator. Instead of Mary living in the country, I felt she should live in a Brooklyn-style city. I wanted the lamb's attempt to follow her to seem somewhat vast and overwhelming, and I wanted them to be happily reunited on a city street shortly thereafter. Below are some of my beginning illustrations:

Finding Mary

Looking for Mary