Sleepy snake

Saturday 7 December 2019

My son Ben has created a mascot for It adorns the new Twitter feed. I give you Sleepy Snake:

Sleepy Snake snugly tucked into a C-shaped bed

I love this drawing! I’ve always been charmed by cartoonists’ ability to capture an essence in a seemingly simple drawing. Objects are reduced to stereotypes, but with some whimsy thrown in. Ben has always had this gift: to create just the right stroke to perfectly express an attitude or feeling.

Here Sleepy is snug in his bed, covered by a blanket. Even in his custom bed, he’s too long to fit, but he’s comfortable. The pillow isn’t shaped like a real pillow, but it’s exactly our cartoon Platonic ideal of a pillow.

When I first thought of getting a mascot, I wanted it to be a snake in bed, because of the literal meaning of “coverage.” But I threw the question out to Twitter to see what came up:

I got a lot of good ideas, including blanket/quilt/duvet, and a nice quick sketch of a snake holding an umbrella.

Ben liked the idea of the umbrella, so when he started sketching ideas, he started with snakes with umbrellas:

Two different ideas for snakes holding umbrellas

But I really wanted to see bed ideas, so he drew a snake in bed. He said snakes are usually curved, so the bed should be curved. His cartoonist’s instinct was at work:

Quick sketch of a snake in bed

I said, “Hmm, flip it around, and it will look like a C for coverage.” Now he was starting to warm to the idea:

Four more quick sketches of snake in a bed

Then he switched to digital media to produce a “real” drawing of the idea:

More detailed drawing of Sleepy Snake in bed

Now all the elements were there, and it was clear that this was a winner. I suggested making the sleeping cap a little more separate from the body, Ben added detail and colors, and Sleepy was done:

Sleepy Snake snugly tucked into a C-shaped bed

I can see using this picture with a slogan underneath: “ rest easy.”

I’ve long used Ben’s work where I can, in my presentations. The illustrations are always a fun aspect of what otherwise might be a visually monotonous slide deck:

Ben will be graduating soon, and setting out as a freelancer. I couldn’t be more proud of his talent. He has an Instagram and a portfolio site.


Brilliant! Just brilliant. I am in awe.
Love it! Thanks for sharing the story.

Love the art & the process sketches :)

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