No creation is possible without the proper supplies, whether they are stored in a toolbelt, a zippered bag, or just a messy pile teetering on the edge of the desk.

While crafting the drawings for Big Mo, I used a variety of supplies - "tools" - which were within arm's reach throughout the process:

01  PICTURE BOOKS | As a first time illustrator, I kept a pile of example children's books for reference.  These precedents provided a broad swath of illustration styles and layout techniques.

02  IGUANA PHOTOS | I don't keep a pet iguana (...yet...), so photos provided a necessary reference for iguana body language, movement and behavior.  Like how they eat trains.

03  SKETCHBOOK | I take this thing everywhere, in case an idea sparks on the go!  For me, "thumbnail sketches" and storyboarding are the first steps for the composed drawings. 

04  DRAWING PAPER | Because the drawings are inked in pen and textured in pencil, I use an all-purpose, 70 lb. Strathmore drawing paper.

05  2B PENCIL | The Derwent 2B pencil is ideal for Mo, because it is hard enough for fine detail and soft enough for widened lines (eg. Mo's scales) and smearing (eg. background objects).

06  STRAIGHT EDGE | Throwback to my architectural training, but I prefer to use an Architect's scale for any lines that need to be straighter than my eyeballing can achieve.

07  BLACK PEN | I use the Pilot Precise V5 (rolling ball), which has a name fit for Air Force One! 

08  IMAGINATION | Let's face it - this one is pretty important...

09  SHARPENER | Even the lightest touch can flatten a 2B pencil, and because Mo's body is dense with texture, my pencils need frequent filing.  Lots of inch long stubs on my desk!

10  TRACE PAPER | Because the illustrations are composited digitally, I use trace paper to position some elements more precisely on the drawings.  Great for mistakes and revisions, too!

11  ERASER | I use Staedtler Mars Plastic for those times when I've been overzealous.  Be careful to let the ink dry before erasing, or prepare for a smeared disaster!!

12  WATER | Best to stay hydrated for those long drawing days when minutes turn to hours!

13  SCANNING BED | This is indispensable for me, as each of my drawings is hand-drawn and must be imported at a high resolution into the computer.

14  PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE | I use the Adobe Suite out of habit, but there are tons of alternatives out there for image editing.

15  "SAVE AS" BUTTON | Because even when a drawing is "done", it is only the first in a series of many options!!