Earlier this year I spent two weeks in China running an illustration workshop for Chinese kids. During my stay there I was trying to absorb as much new information as possible, and I can tell you that there were a lot of very interesting things to be curious about.

I've done sketches of memorable places, objects and even facts that I liked about the culture of Beijing and later those sketches would be developed into a crazy pile of illustrations (classic) that I would build around a beautiful Chinese calligraphy symbol hand-drawn by my friend and colleague from Beijing ✊This is what this project is about.
My awesome class of illustrators - we were re-imagining Alice in Wonderland!
Here are a few photos of things that inspired the illustration: tasty treats like dumplings and candied apples, Beijing's people and buildings, traditional sculpture and modern technology. 
My favourite things probably were:

1) A little metal locker attached to the wall that turned out to be a milkman's drop-off spot.
2) Hand-knitted wool socks for chair legs (I know right???) to prevent floor scratches and unwanted noise when the chair is moved - we absolutely must introduce these to the rest of the world. 
Some development pics of an A3 calligraphy piece drawn by my friend as well a rough digital sketch with all my favourite items built into a composition around the symbol in mandarin.
Here's the final artwork that took a while to put together, mainly using watercolor and ink on aquarelle paper. 
You might have noticed the speech bubbles were left empty - my plan is to send it back to Beijing to my friend who will fill in the gaps and complete the collaboration (mainly because I can't keep pretending I know how to write in Chinese).
The print is available through Society6
Also you can check out my little shop for original drawings and paintings and my Instagram that has all the recent updates.

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