There was this big green bird that hopped a lot in the pet store in the town my parents lived in. Turns out, that bird was a turaco. They’re pretty neat birds, so you should totally read about them. For this, I picked the red-crested turaco, because it wasn’t too extravagantly colored, but wasn’t just the basic green bird I had seen in the pet store.
Mice or rats seemed to be a fairly logical choice for a rider just because of their size. Somewhere between the two would be the right steed-to-rider ratio. Combining them with the turaco drawings I did, I was able to figure out just how much I did want to stylize them, and went forward from there.
There were a few fun influences in this one, I think. Take a little bit of Final Fantasy‘s chocobos, combine with Bill Peet’s Cowardly Clyde, and a splash of Brian Jacques’s Redwall. All things considered, I’m pretty happy with the result, considering it was a goofy, random idea.