Part of the fun in painting and illustrating is finding ways to get the whole family involved. I truly believe that my family is behind me and my painting career... but when you work three and four jobs to make it happen... sometimes it can be more of an annoyance than a joy. One way I like to get everyone involved is to make them a part of the process, so each illustration has a good memory associated to it so when we look back at projects they don't remember that dad was in a bad mood - but how fun it was to be included. (At least that's my hope! I'm sure when the kids are all older they will all swap stories of how dad would force them to be in photo shoots against their will.) It's great to have built-in family models, but I also enjoy seeing their faces while I draw and paint at night. Even while they're sleeping, I get to relive sweet experiences with my wife and kids.
Here's a few photos for the soda-shop spread. I was able to include some friends from work, but most of the characters are me, my wife and my son. I've become the model for the Big Blue Frog - which is funny, considering I'm 5'9". The world of illustration is truly magical.