So even though the basic story premise was rather quirky (a fantastic retelling of why the donkey is vital to their business) at least I had something to work with apart from the unphotogenic clamping modules that had to be included.
It also gave me the opportunity to revel in candy colors and kitsch settings. When I started out, I looked at Norman Rockwell (which I like a lot more than I thought) and Edward Hopper for inspiration. But way into the process I found out that some of the pictures turned out to be (unconsciously) more influenced by John Hench and Claude Coats.
As there was relatively little time overall, some of the character designs evolved during production. The goats, for example, became more cartoony along the way.
[all "paintings" digital over pencil sketches]