The year 2021 actually marks 10 years (yes, 10 YEARS! A whole decade!) of the creation of my first major character, Cherry, and her story "Cherry Christmas." The creation of Cherry marked the onset many projects that proceeded, such as "The Friendly Man, the Bitter Woman and their Wicked Children" and "Hairy Halloween" and the start of "The Gratta Town Collection." As of the year 2020, Cherry's story has been continued with new project "Milo and the Green Light," which focuses on the character "Baby Milo" from Cherry Christmas.
It was October of 2011 when I had the first vision of Cherry and her story, Cherry Christmas. It was the first time God spoke to me directly and told me to design a specific character and write a specific story! I was in my last year of high school, so I spent most of my breaks in the library writing down her story roughly on paper. By December of 2011, her story was roughly written on numerous sheets of paper that I travelled around with. I was struggling a lot with my mental health at the same time but God was with me the whole time. I can tell you for a FACT: No matter what you go through, God never leaves you. He's always there, guiding you and protecting you at ALL TIMES. Things might seem so dark and confusing, and it's easier said than done: But NEVER lose faith and keep trusting God! Things WILL fall into place and make sense eventually. You just gotta keep moving, because God can't work if WE don't work... there would be nothing to "bless" if there's no actual work done. (Sorry for the God rant LOL). Anyway... Everything else I can remember is a blur. To this day, I STILL rough out all my stories on many sheets of paper (I just find it easier... don't judge me!).
Evolution of Cherry's character design (around the year 2013)
When I roughed out drawings of her, I had trouble drawing her hair coming down from her hat consistently (I have trouble with drawing a lot of "normal" things! Lol). I found it a lot easier to draw her hair as a ponytail coming out of her hat instead, so I just continued with that design. I can't remember how I came up with that ponytail design though! (It may have been inspired by some other cartoons...or something... I've thought about how hard it is to wear a ponytail in the winter weather when you wanna stay warm with a hat at the same time...). But today, I'm thankful for my flaws and my lack of drawing skills that have lead to a design that stands out, even as a silhouette. (Sometimes your biggest flaws and mistakes lead to your biggest successes! They definitely weren't lying when they said that.)
Today, I've made the decision to make "Cherry" the mascot of my animated productions, because without her and her story, so many other projects wouldn't exist (Also because "mascots" are apparently a thing for animated productions/studios??? If you do the research... Sorry, I just wanna fit in lol...). She was the first powerful character I've ever designed and I'll forever be grateful to God for giving her to me, especially in such a dark time in my life when everything felt so hard. Today, my life is so different because of Cherry and everything God has given me after. There's hardly one project of mine that could've existed without Cherry--even my most recent project, "Dance Cube," which seems like it's nothing related to Cherry, has its origins in "The Gratta Town Collection"! So if you've ever felt touched by Cherry, it's because of all of this. The character is a literal gift and powerhouse, and I couldn't be more grateful for the massive onset of projects that started because of her.
Also! Don't forget to check out beafruit.org! It's the beginning of bringing Cherry's goals to life. (Link at bottom of page)
Most recent Cherry Christmas drawing (October 2021)
Little did I know, that this "2021 New Year" drawing made a lot more sense than I thought! (drawn sometime in late 2020...)