The making of Tata
In early 2008 we started to develop the story of Tata&Squack – The Big Journey and the characters in word and in design. Questions had to be answered: what would we like her to wear, which colors, what kind of body-lanquage do we want her to display in the illustrations. This development process I loved tremendously; the creation of something new. It took more than a few brainstorms to develop Tata the way Tanja and I both liked her.
The parents of Tata are explorers and study the migration of the wildebeest in the Serengeti in Africa. Tata comes along. Like her parents she loves nature and wants to become an explorer too. When the assignment of her parents in Africa is over, she does not really want to go home. In the airplane she meets the adventurous Squack who becomes her little friend. From Tata’s magic bag, Squack pulls a parachute, catapulting them back into the Serengeti-life, to join the Big Migration. They ride along a wildebeest, called Moyo together with him, Tata and Captain Squack start hunting for the water treasure.
During the development process Tanja used a sketchbook to illustrate her ideas on the character Tata. We wanted Tata to be a boyish girl with red hair. Strong, nosy and sweet. A challenging aspect was to create a child which attracts girls and boys. So her outfit could not be too “girly”. Furthermore she needed a magic bag and a key ring to take along on her adventures with Squack.