Some of you asked for some behind-the-scenes tales of how things work here at Guts HQ, so here’s a peek at my drawing process (minus the forehead slapping and self-flagellation that goes with it). It is a messy process!

These are sketches for new art for our testicle plush hangtag. I usually begin with my nose in an anatomy text book and sketch out the bare bones of what makes an organ — or in this case, gland — tick. I draw it as completely as I possibly can before moving to the computer.

Next, I’ll write the text to go with it, pretending I’m explaining things to an 8-year-old to get it as basic as possible, as I only have a 3”x 3” square to work with. Then I either scan the ink drawing or redraw it on the computer in Illustrator.

Next up, I inevitably hate the drawing and have to go back to my sketchbook — either the visuals don’t explain the organ’s process well, or the text doesn’t fit, or it’s too complicated (spermatogensis is crazy!), or I end up liking the first drawing I did after wasting tons of time moving things around on the computer. Then I tear my hair out, want to punch a wall and wish it was 5pm so I can have a glass of wine. 🍷 Then I’ll procrastinate by thinking about other things I’m avoiding — usually inventory or taxes or cleaning the toilet. Next I have to give myself a hard deadline: “This is due in 24 hours now FINISH IT no matter what. Go with with what you got.”

Then I hate myself a little bit more, then I think I’m being too hard on myself. After I get though this emotional roller coaster, I’ll wrap it up and I send it to an editor to make sure nothing is misspelled and then to a doctor to make sure it’s all accurate. That reminds me — anybody know a nice urologist willing to look over the final testicle drawing (if I ever get it done)?