When we told illustrator Liz Cox that we were launching AdventureCats.org, she volunteered to draw custom illustrations of some our featured kitties — and boy are we glad she did.
Liz has drawn several of the fearless felines you’ll find profiled in Cat Tales, and we’ll be featuring a new one of her illustrations each month. Soon, one could even be your kitty!
In addition to being an artist, Liz is also a hiker and squirrel whisperer, and she lives in Colorado with her husband and two cats. Read on to learn more about her.
Adventure Cats: How did you begin illustrating cats?
What’s your process like in creating one of these illustrations?
I always start with a few sketches and an outline of the cat I’m going to illustrate, and then I draw the main features. After that, I start creating the detail, which is my favorite part. Once I have completed the hand drawing, I start from the beginning and illustrate everything again on the computer.
How do nature and your own kitties inspire you?
The first thing I do before starting a new illustration is go on a long hike and take pictures of patterns and cool shapes I find in nature. I always feel inspired after breathing in fresh air. And, of course, my kitties are a constant inspiration for cuteness.
How would you describe your artistic style?
People have often described my art as detailed and whimsical.
The first cat I drew was inspired by one of your featured cats, Quandary Q Lotus Lady. Because Q was a proposal kitty, I included the shape of the stone in Erin Verplaetse’s engagement ring in the piece. You can see it nestled in the center of the kitten’s forehead.
I feel that my illustrations are an empowering take on cats. I want the cats to look both fearless and completely comfortable in nature. Our pet cats are still so similar to their wild ancestors, so I want the cats I draw to look at home in the wilderness.
How do your kitties assist in the illustration process?
Indie is my right-hand cat and works with me every day. She likes to be involved in my entire design process and manages all my work from my lap.
Some shapes in my illustrations are completely unique because one of my cats will suddenly nudge my arm at the wrong time and make my hand slip. I mostly illustrate in ink, so I’ll just use the accidental shape and turn it into a different pattern. It usually comes out great!
Can you tell us a bit about your cats? How did they take to harnesses?
I adopted Indie and Pirate nearly 10 years ago from the Atlanta Humane Society. Pirate is super smart. He loves to play fetch and play in the garden. We didn’t start training him to be an adventure cat until later in his life, so when he is on the harness, he is the leader. Indie is not fond of the harness, but she enjoys the outdoors and quickly forgets about it once we start exploring.
Where are your favorite places to hike and adventure?
My husband, the kitties and I have traveled across the United States together. We love exploring and our favorite places are Portland and Seattle, but we all fell in love with Manitou Springs, Colorado. Living on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, the cats have gotten to explore a lot of Pikes Peak National Forest.
Liz is available to do a stylized drawing of your kitty — regardless of whether your cat climbs mountains or simply climbs into your lap. Check out her website for contact information and follow her on Instagram.