One of our favorite illustrators and fellow Neatoramanaut Adam "Ape Lad" Koford has just scored a huge win: his cartoon creation of a squirrel named Pearl has just been picked as New York City Parks and Recreation as its first official mascot. W00t!
Though Pearl’s official biography claims that she was born in Van Cortlandt Park, she was actually conceived and executed by Adam Koford, an illustrator and cartoonist who lives in Utah and works for Disney Interactive there. She began life as Curtis the Squirrel, but switched genders at the suggestion of, depending on whom you ask, either parks staff members or Mr. Koford’s 8-year-old son, Damon.
Mr. Koford, noting Pearl’s open stance and perky tail, said she was “designed to be sort of a welcoming presence -– something that conveys the fact that the parks are a fun environment.” [...]
Mr. Koford credited his children with Pearl’s existence (he had three children at the time, and has added one more).
“It was the kids’ decision to do a squirrel,” he said. “We almost went with an owl, or one of the hawks that live alongside Central Park, but the squirrel was a bit funner to draw.”
Congrats! Link - Thanks Amy Koford!