Going Down a Rat Hole…

Art, Illustration

“Going down a rat hole” is a phrase my boss uses all the time. Sometimes he means it in a bad way, referring to an unproductive dive into details that should be avoided. Other times he’ll use it in a positive way, explaining how he went down a rat hole discovering something or figuring something out.  Either way, it refers to getting deeply involved with something to the point that you risk losing sight of the main objective. According to some sources it should be “going down a rabbit hole”…which is probably true, and all the more reason this rat hole business makes me laugh.

Anyway, the other day my boss said “going down a rat hole” so many times I started picturing him as a rat scurrying down a twisty tunnel of ideas. One thing led to another and I ended up drawing it. It actually turned into more of a metaphor of the creative process than I intended. 

Going Down a Rat Hole by Sheri Roloff

Cheetah illustration start to finish


Here’s a glimpse into my illustration process. I used a variety of markers, including Prismacolor, Stabilo and Pigma Micron, to create this cheetah illustration on smooth surface Bristol paper.

I took a few photos and scans while it was in progress, so I thought it would be interesting to see them in order next to the final illustration.


Cheetah illustration progression