Tortoiseshell cats are, hands down, one of the most beautiful color patterns in cats. As a special type of calico, the vast majority of tortoiseshell cats are females. The occurrence of male torties is about 1 in 3000, and they are often sterile because, genetically, they are XXY. To celebrate all things Tortie cat, we made this four-piece Tortoiseshell Cat Sticker Set for you, your loved ones, and all tortie cat lovers everywhere.
Torties are hard to draw, but beautiful through and through. This Tortie sticker pack is guaranteed to make your friends and family as happy as clams! Find out more from artist Sam in the interview below!
A tortoiseshell cat is often abbreviated to "tortie" and even "tort" on the internet, which just lends itself to some great puns. I spent a few hours brainstorming all of the possible food related puns for torties that I could think of, before settling on this one. I settled on four designs that incorporated tortellini, tortillas, a tart, and a torte (a cake but for fancy people). Puns that didn't make the cut included pop-tarts, tartine, and a lot of tortoise puns that were just a little too far removed from cats. The four designs that I ended up putting in the Tortie sticker pack really make me laugh. Tortitude is real.
Also, definitely Miss Kitty, the spiciest tortie on the internet. She also inspired me to make this set.
Tortie owners are a special breed. We all know that our cats can be a little spicy. I'm excited for this art to make it into the hands of tortie owners, cat lovers, veterinarians and registered vet techs everywhere. I think it'll also make a great gift for cat moms and dads.
I think it's pretty easy to find art for black cats, and even tuxedo cats. That's because they're easy to draw. Similarly, designer breed cats like sphynx and Maine Coons are relatively easy to find artwork for. But the average domestic shorthair? They have a surprising amount of patterns in their fur that just isn't represented. I hope this Tortie sticker pack can help people feel seen, because tortie ownership is just a whole other ball game.
I made this piece, along with the three other tortie-food pun pieces, on one very long Sunday in October 2021. Drawing cats in four different poses, and drawing my foods separately as well -- it took a while. I took a break between the line work and the coloring, and coloring was definitely the hardest part. I always struggle with color because what looks good on my screen is sometimes just too dark to print. I'd say overall it probably took me 5-7 hours to make all four designs.
My favorite illustration tool is Rebelle 4, which I used to create the primary illustration for this sticker. I love Rebelle 4 on my Surface Pro *and* on my laptop with a Huion tablet because it's got some great blending and texture. It really makes my art feel less digital. Whenever I finish an illustration, I turn the canvas background off, export to PNG, then open it in Affinity Designer. I use Affinity Designer to add the text and do final, small adjustments. I also use Affinity to create the white outline which is on most of my stickers. The white border allows for cut irregularities because I'm a craft shop. I always use Affinity Designer to prep my sale pictures, too.
I love how peaceful the tortie looks as she's napping away on her bed of pasta. I love how playful the other torties look, too. Capturing cat emotions in cartoon form is a struggle of mine - that's part of the reason I have characteristic eyes on all of my designs. They're easy to draw and they help me focus on other details. I had to mix and match cat poses with food to get it all to look right.
My only regret is the coloring - they're all a bit dark. I can (and do) lighten stickers as I print them, if needed. It's so hard to keep a cartoon looking semi-realistic when the subject has dark tones. I find that I will have to use a tinted gray to represent black so that I can add shadows and highlights after the initial colors are laid down.
The stickers come in a set of four, but you can order multiple packs for a steeper discount. Sticker packs are the only time I produce 2" planner sized stickers. They're too hard to keep on hand otherwise.
I have two other tortoiseshell cat designs! They are both based on my beautiful tailless tortoiseshell cat, Miss Kitty, who is both a giant sweetheart and a huge, evil meanie sometimes. They aren't available as a set, but you can order multiples so that you can gift some to friends and keep one for yourself!