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)?

Peep the super adorable organ cuties over on Chopstickcrafts Etsy shop, where things like this hand-painted anatomy ukelele get snapped up quick.
intestine-how-it-works I am in love with these gutsy skateboard designs by Emil Kozak, who makes those innards look so very good. Thanks to the eagle eyes over at Street Anatomy for pointing this stuff out.