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An upbeat greeting card…

I drew these birds a couple of years ago and they just resurfaced. I had been inspired by a “draw an alphabet” prompt from fellow illustrator Sharon Glick, and at the time, they just seemed too horribly, horribly sad to even show anyone! I was afraid people would think I was in a pretty dark place.

It actually happened kind of innocently. I was trying to think of words that start with A, and I guess abject was the first one that popped into my head. I mean, like, after aardvark. I just rolled with it from there, and produced a rapid, messy sketch, which I then hid away from the world as too weird and creepy to take credit for.

When I exhumed the S.A.D. birds from my drawing pile a few days ago, I was sort of charmed, in a wallowing way, by the sad, sad, sadness of them. I decided it was time to let them see the light of day.

After I made the greeting card, I made some hand-colored 8×10 SAD Birds prints, in case anybody might be weird enough to want them.

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8×10″ print half-heartedly hand-colored in dismal tones

That’s when I discovered how much fun (and creatively non-threatening) it is to color crappy drawings of sad birds, so I made my drawings into a teeny little coloring book. On one hand, I feel kind of bad unleashing such a sad coloring book on the world, but it is actually really fun to color, so maybe there’s something therapeutic about it? I left lots of space on the pages so people can draw in their own circumstances. Maybe a happy surprise is right around the corner for these birds, who knows? (I mean, that didn’t happen on any of the pages I colored…but things might go differently for you.)

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4.25×5.5″ mini SAD Birds coloring book

But the mini coloring book is really best for colored pencils, so next I got busy and created a crayon-ready 8.5×5.5″ version. The line-work blends with crayons so your crayon lines won’t look “foreign to the overall work.” (Try to read that while picturing me looking deeply serious.)

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Crayon-Ready 5.5×8.5″ version

And I decided to make a print-it-yourself instant download version in 8.5×11″ format, too. Whew!

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8.5×11 instant download (PDF) version

And poof! My whole day was shot! (Two days, really, who am I kidding.) As in many cases, I figured, well, if nobody buys them, they’ll make great gifts for my weird family.

In any case, I know from experience that the sun does eventually get higher in the sky, and things grow again, and the days won’t always be so bleak and short. So until then, I’m eating plenty of cookies and coloring sad birds.

(If you feel compelled to purchase any of these sad items, click on the picture or visit my Etsy shop, Kitschatorium.)

 

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