I took George Bokhua's Skillshare class, Logo Design Fundamentals: Simple and Solid Brand Marks. It was about finding the minimal essense of an animal figure. For my project, I chose an ostrich. An uncool bird I want to challenge myself to feel differently about.
 
( Check out the full story on Skillshare here: http://skl.sh/WGWUU5 )
Getting aquainted
I started out with a sort of acquaint board—something that helped me get familiar with this animal I hardly knew. Understand where joints where and such. Spot their universally distinguishing features—you know, what about them makes you and I see an ostrich and not mistake it for a turkey or flamingo.
And of those pics, here's the one I thought would be the makings of a winning silhouette for my lanky bird. 
Tracing and sketching and tracing
Tracing and sketching as much as I did was a great experience. I got really intimate with my bird, its curves, joints, posture. Every trace brought me closer to understanding the figure's essence allowing me to shed more and more details. 
Here's how my chosen sketch went from paper trace to Illustrator trace (thanks in LARGE part to my 11-year-old daughter and illustrator-in-training, Cady!).
Finishing up
Being quite satisfied with the shape and flow that was established in the hand sketch/trace phase, I only needed to finish up with several pushes and pulls to get the lines and shapes to my liking. Here's what Ola (yes, she needed a name) looked like in the end.

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