Illustration for PNW Fattitude

January 21, 2014


Rachelle Abellar is a kick-ass individual. A few months ago, she organized, compiled, and produced the Self Care Zine I contributed to–currently available for purchase as a PDF download here. Besides being a talented graphic designer and illustrator, she’s a bad-ass blogger who is passionate about intersectional feminism and making a difference in her communities.

She recently founded PNW Fattitude, a fat-positive group/community in the Seattle area. When she contacted me about making some artwork for the poster for their inaugural event–A Plus Size Clothing Swap–I absolutely jumped at the chance!


Rachelle didn’t have many guidelines or restrictions, other than conveying “a fun get-together with a bunch of fat girlfriends”. Um, I’m pretty sure drawing a bunch of diverse, stylish, fat babes is my dream job!

I tried to keep my sketches energetic and bright. I worked in black and white on the first one because I wanted to make sure I was working with a good value scale in mind. I do this because color is often a weakness of mine. I end up fiddling with the colors a lot after I make a drawing! The first sketch is pretty literal, with a big group of all kinds of ladies just hanging out and being happy.  For the second, I was thinking of a slightly retro, midcentury illustration feel with the final styling.


We decided on the first sketch since it was so fun to see all the different kinds of people. Above is my final illustration. The poster design was done by Rachelle and I think it turned out super cute! :)

I had so much fun developing the characters and working on all the details. Here’s a few cropped shots of some of my favorite bits.





If any of you guys are plus size and live around the Seattle area, you should definitely check out the event! It sounds like so much fun and I know Rachelle has been working really hard to host an A+ afternoon.

Facebook | Tumblr | Plus Size Clothing Swap & Meet Up

  • I saw this on tumblr. How cute! The girl in the wheelchair, that is how I want my hair… maybe this summer.

    • Michelle |

      You would look awesome with an undercut!!! Haha, I’ve always been such a fan of that style, but never got around to trying it myself. I always advocate for other people to try it, though. :)

  • LOVE it!!!

  • I swear I say this every time you post one of your illustrations but this is phenomenal! I am seriously in awe of your talent and just absolutely love your style! And I love when you share your process as well as the final product!

  • rae

    oh my gosh, i LOVE how your illustration turned out. it is so perfect. if i wasn’t on the other side of the country i would be at that swap with bells on!
    i think my favorite part is the girl looking in the mirror. how freaking cute is she??

  • kalie

    this makes me so happy. your work is just visually interesting! I can’t stop looking all over the page to notice every neat detail. i’m all the way in indiana and would love to go to this based off the the flyer like wow. i’m super inspired by your work (i can’t illustrate for my LIFE but i am a graphic designer about to graduate :)) because you use such amazing colors and it always looks different compared to other artists. sorry for the word vomit, but this post has everything pertaining to me – fun colors, fat babes, and clothes! <333

    • Michelle |

      Aww, thanks, Kalie! Those comments mean a lot! I wish I could join the event, too! I just want an excuse to visit the PNW tbh.

  • That illustration is PHENOMENAL!!! I love the diversity and inclusivity of it! And colors are a weakness of mine too, but I think you’ve pulled it off really well! Everyone looks fab and the colors pop and look friendly and fun! Really love this piece! Wonderful job! :)

    • Michelle |

      Thank you, Jessie! That’s such great feedback to hear. :)

  • Awh! These chubby girls are so cute! :D I especially love the teal haired girl. Your illustrations are fantastic.

  • Rachel Sullivan

    This is amazing! Seriously, perfect. <3


  • You did such a kick ass job on this illustration, Michelle! I love it! I also wish I could go but I am nowhere near Seattle, hah! I enjoy seeing your process and what you do in order to gauge color. I am also not that great with color… I feel like it’s not intuitive so I have to work a bit more at it.

    • Michelle |

      Thank you, Danielle! <3 I really had to get in the habit of forcing myself to think of color ahead of time. When I don't establish a color palette I like early on in the process, I end up picking colors as I go that look too muddy, literal, and boring. Forcing myself into a limited palette really helps!

  • This looks so great! It makes me really happy to see a flyer including all sorts of babes. I wish there were more stuff like this down here in Colorado Springs.

    • Michelle |

      Thanks, Jackie! Seattle is lucky to have Rachelle! I wish I knew more folks doing that kind of thing around here, too.

  • Nessbow

    Oh my gawsh! This is so awesome! Well done for creating such a masterpiece.

  • this really is beautiful! i love seeing your work and noticing little changes since i first started following you. the color palette is perfect and i like all the tiny details. i can’t wait to see what you make next!

  • Lisa Black

    So beautiful! I want every outfit drawn here please! ~___^ I adore the little tattoo details as well btw!

  • This is super cute! Too bad I’m all the way in Chicago…!!!