Why I Love Drawing Bears

Socially Awkward BearA few people have asked me why I have been drawing bears so much in the last two years, it all started out innocently enough. I drew a not-very-good picture of a doofy looking teddy-bear creature on a post-it-note, and put the caption “Socially Awkward Bear” on it.

ChinookThis led to me drawing a bunch of different post-it-bears, culminating with a marathon “Request-a-bear” session, where I drew the bears people asked for. It was also the point where my bears actually got more…bear like.

At some point I actually started to like bears. I don’t know when it was exactly, but bears are really cool creatures to draw. First, they’ve got tons of big rolly folds. They’ve got lots of textures, and there is a TON of reference. Last year I picked up a book called “Animal Character Design: Grizzly Bears“, and it taught me a lot about the anatomy etc of Grizzly’s.

What The Eff Bear

Let me be perfectly clear here…I think pictures of bears are cool. I have no interest in interacting with a bear. Not even the remotest inkling of an interest.

Okay, so I like bears. I especially like Grizzly and Polar bears, and my kind of style on them is that I like to draw them with Mike Kunkel – style huge noses.

So the other question is…why do I hate Panda Bears so much? Simple. Real bears are awesome. They are these massive beasts that lumber and look awkward 95% of the time, but watch a Polar bear grab a seal, or see a Grizzly snatch a massive salmon out of the water, their massive size belies there incredible speed and skill as hunters.

Pandas though? Pandas are the low-functioning pot-heads of the animal kingdom. They consume Bamboo, a food that is pretty much nutritionally bankrupt, and which requires them to consume 12-38kg of it PER DAY just to survive. Pandas are dumb, and they eat your tiki furniture. Ergo, I hate pandas.

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.