Too Many Turtles

After finishing up my project proposal, I was happy to have a clear image in my mind of the characters, setting and plot for Mia the Marsh Mogul and so I began drawing the three main characters (Mia the turtle, Tommy the Beaver and Heather the Heron) to practice for the final product.

As I sketched Mia over and over again, I wasn’t overwhelmed with the difficulty of creating each drawing. But, when I stepped back, I noticed the enormous number of turtles on the page and thought about how the audience will see about 20 sketches of this turtle throughout the book.

Staring at the page, I realized how important it is that Mia is complex, slightly different in each of the drawings based upon her quirks, thoughts and emotions. And making Tommy and Heather dynamic is just as important since they will be seen several times throughout the plot.

But on the other side of the coin, the investors must have flat but intense personalities – they will only be seen once or twice, so creating a quick impression is vital to kids remembering them. I have a few of the characters listed below with some of the ideas for animals / personalities. Please let me know if you have any thoughts / ideas!

Private Equity Investor – a group of investors who gather money from institutions and wealthy individuals to buy whole businesses with loads of debt and then sell them at a profit years later.

Potential character profiles: 

1. A very fluffy sheep with a monocle that says “BaahahaBahaha” when he laughs (which is quite often because he is arrogant and makes fun of others). He tries to fool Mia into taking an extraordinarily low offer for her company while Heather is out of the room.

2. A friendly, fat bunny who drinks tea with her pinky up and has whiskers far too long for her face. She kindly explains the private equity business to Mia, but she declines upon realizing she would no longer have control of the business.

Venture Capitalist – an investor or group of investors who invest directly in a business, usually taking less than 50% of control of the business. They tend to work alongside existing management to grow the business.

Potential character profiles: 

1. A chubby cat with short, sharp whiskers who wears a golf cap almost covering his eyes and uses a walking stick. He speaks in short, blunt sentences in a scratchy voice. Overall, he has good intentions for helping Mia’s business, but he does believe he would eventually drive it to an IPO.

2. Two llamas – one is shorter than the other, and continuously smiles. She has one eye covered with her slightly unkempt mane, and wears a flower behind her ear. The other is taller and colder, with thin, square glasses and her mane slicked back.






One thought to “Too Many Turtles”

  1. I love how complex these character descriptions are, I can actually picture them in my head! I’m not sure what programs you have access to, but I’m sure some programs exist that can copy, paste, and invert the turtles. You could change the size of the turtles without sacrificing the proportions. After that, you could slightly blur the background turtles, so that way you get a lot of turtles but with a lot less of the work! No idea how this work actually work logistically, but just a thought! Maybe Photoshop or Illustrator?

    I really love all your characters. The sheep with the monocle is by far my favorite (mainly because of the monocle). I actually laughed out loud thinking about this lil sheep with a monocle. On second thought, give everyone monocles! Just kidding.

    The chubby cat is another good idea, the stereotype of greedy cats already exists so you don’t have to work too hard to get that connection across. I’m curious what the llamas’ motives are… how do their characteristics play into their motives and what’s the reasoning behind two llamas? Do the different personalities convey something that an individual character would otherwise miss? I’m excited to see where this goes Natalie!! 🙂

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