Digital Illustration & Decor Design

Macaroni the Red Panda, 2020

As you can easily see from skimming my portfolio, I love animals. In December of 2019, I heard that the Prospect Park Zoo not far from where I live had two red panda cubs who were just starting to be on exhibit. Over the course of the month, I spent at least three hours on three visits watching them play, pester their mom, race each other up trees, and learn to find their footing. I’ve been told that red pandas may be my spirit animal. I’ve got a plushie of a red panda from the Central Park Zoo when I just couldn’t hold back in the gift shop. I’ve made a red panda in clay, made a watercolor and ink illustration of cuddling red pandas for my husband for our first wedding anniversary, but I knew I needed a deeper dive. And so here is Macaroni, a rendering of a red panda I named for my plush. 

For this illustration, while continuing with the low-poly structure of earlier illustrations of a giraffe, tiger, and elephant, I decided to take some inspiration from textures in the world of New York winter and add these layers to the illustration: wool coats, concrete, popcorn ceilings, bare wood, and chipped paint. The photos for these textures are from Unsplash photographers Annie Spratt, Bernard Hermant, Denis Agati, Frank Luca, John Doyle, Nathan Anderson, Tim Mossholder, and Wesley Tingey. The red panda is based on a photo by Philippe Oursel from Unsplash.

This illustration is also available on Society6. When I showed my dear friend who spent a full hour watching the cubs at the zoo with me, she said “Um, I want everything. I want a Macaroni themed-life.”

Made with Adobe Illustrator CC 2020

Macaroni Themed-Life