Sometimes I’ll have an idea and not know what to do with it right away. So I write it down and come back to it later.
For instance, a few weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote down the words “Ship in a bottle. Sheep in a bottle.”
I have no idea what that meant at the time. I was half asleep. But the next morning I added more to it. “Shemp in a bottle. Shippin’ a bottle. Bottle in a ship. Shop in a bottle. Ship on a bottle. Ship in a bubble.”
Then it sat there in my inspiration notebook for awhile.
Later, I was flipping through my notes looking for a project to work on, and I thought “Maybe there’s something here.” So I sketched this out really quick:
I liked the initial sketch well enough, so I decided to bring it into Illustrator and make a poster out of it. I ended up simplifying down to just four items, because I thought the “Ship on a bottle” and “Bottle on a ship” were sort of a different kind of joke, so I took them out.
Here’s what the initial rough-out looked like in Illustrator:
After adding in color and shadow and background, I wound up with this:
So ridiculous. But it makes me laugh, so I like it.
Also, because I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about it: this is who Shemp is.
If you like this kind of stuff, you should sign up for my newsletter! Once a week I send out some inspiration, cool links, and stuff that’ll help you become a better maker of things. It’s totally free, and it’s totally awesome. Sign up below!