When I started to design the emu, my main concern was that people wouldn’t confuse it for an ostrich. Most of the “e” animals I was considering could easily be confused with another, more well-known animal. Eels could be snakes, Eagles or Egrets could be hawks, Echidnas could be aarvarks. There will stiil probably be a lot of people who wonder why there is an Ostrich strapped to their street’s lampost but to me I don’t know if i could make this more emu-y.
Since I knew i was primarily working in profile, it was important for me to get that right first. I drew the outline on an ipad, erasing and adding and erasing and adding until I had the shape I wanted.
I looked at photos of emus and asked myself “What do I like about this picture” and “what features make this an emu to me?”. For me, it came down to two things. There is a heaviness to the shape of an emus tail and its chest. I was still thinking in terms of art nouveau shapes so I tried to incorporate that into the general outline of the emu as well.