If you ever needed evidence that creatives come in very different forms, my husband and I are the prime candidates. I am more your traditional artistic creative where he is an engineer. At home, I design our renovations and he figures out how to make my vision a reality. Over the years we have learned that we are a really good team.
Every once in a while, we collaborate on something artistic. It is never planned. Usually I am working on something and he might grab my pen/notebook and add something to what I am drawing. Nerdy Bird and Fuzzer were born from such a spontaneous partnership. Nerdy Bird was a Christmas card doodle a few years ago. I drew the eyes, the beak and the hair and Tom drew the body and I the legs and then he added the silly boots. A few months later Fuzzer came about in a similar fashion. Over time, they became a team. If I drew one, the other was always by his side.
Before COVID19 became our new normal, Tom and I would leave each other silly notes/drawings. Nerdy Bird and Fuzzer started going on crazy adventures together. If I was staying after school to see a student play basketball, I would scribble out the guys and add a ball and net. When I was waiting at the start line for a 5K Tom texted me a drawing of Nerdy Bird and Fuzzer crossing the finish line. My doodles were just that— quick scribbles to make my husband smile. Tom’s were always thoughtfully designed and carefully drawn. His were MUCH better!
We had a silly idea last year to use Nerdy Bird and Fuzzer for our Christmas card. We just were not sure that the idea would work if people had not already been introduced to our beak-ed friends. So we decided to spend all of 2020 sharing them so that by the time Christmas came everyone would know who they were. We planned a design for each holiday from Valentine’s Day to New Year’s. When we decided to start we never knew the world would be put on hold by a global pandemic, so we even added a Coronavirus doodle. The process is always the same. We brainstorm the idea together. Tom draws them and then I digitize them, color them using a combo of Photoshop and GIMP and then create the actual cards. Each time I put a set in the mailbox, we eagerly wait for the texts and messages to start. Throughout a year that many people truly want to forget, Nerdy Bird and Fuzzer have been a ray of sunshine. For us, it has been a wondeful opportunity to collaborate on a fun and creative project.