Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock
What made you think to draw pop culture characters as cats?
Strangely, it wasn’t some big “aha!” moment. I actually just liked drawing cats since I was a kid and didn’t much care for drawing people. I don’t even know why I decided to start drawing characters as cats, but I know one of the first I ever drew were some “Phantom of the Opera” cats when I was 12. The Doctor Who cats first happened when I was in high school. Then a few years ago, I randomly decided to re-visit the Doctor cats for fun, making them more realistic, which is the version everyone knows now. It all kind of escalated from there.
How did you match the actors’ faces with the cat faces?
I looked at a lot of cat pictures. Sometimes I knew right away what color the cat should be, or if he should have long fur, but when it came to expression, a lot of that just came down to studying the actor’s face and trying to interpret that into a feline face. It wasn’t always easy!
Are the illustrations digital or hand drawn?
The Doctor Mew illustrations are all digital, though these days I tend to draw by hand first, ink it, scan it, then color digitally in Photoshop.
Do you work from photo reference?
I use a lot of photo reference. I would use live cats if they would sit still long enough!
Which cat illustration is your favorite?
I always have a tough time answering this question. It is a bit like trying to pick a favorite child. I do like how some came out particularly, though, like Iron Cat and Lokitty.
What interests you about cats?
I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about what it is. I grew up with cats, and definitely got my love of cats and animals in general from my mom. Maybe that has given me a stronger affinity for them more than other animals?
Do you own cats? If so, what character(s) do you think your cat(s) most resembles?
I have a cat named Mab. She’s a little black shorthair. But because she’s full of mischief, I tend to think of her as a bit of a Loki.
Would you consider doing an entire comic with cat versions of characters in the vein of Marvel Apes, Lil’ Gotham, or Marvel Zombies?
I have no current plans to do so, but if I was ever approached to work on a project like that, certainly!
How has the response been to your work?
The response to my work has been incredible. It has been overwhelmingly positive, and I can’t thank everyone enough for their support and kind comments.
Has anyone asked you to illustrate their cats as a certain character?
All the time! I actually do offer commissions to those interested in pet portraits, or any sort of animal or character. You can find out more about commissions on my website: jennyparks.com/commissions.
What other pop culture characters do you think you might turn into cats?
I actually have a long list. I will reveal what is coming next though… Star Trek cats!