Chris Judge sees figures when he stares at the clouds — and he wants to make sure others do too. Early in the pandemic, the 46-year-old illustrator began doodling faces on photos he snapped and posting the fun, fluffy creations to Instagram.
“My daughters and I were spending a lot of time in our garden getting back to nature and taking lots of photographs,” Judge tells PEOPLE of the early stay-home days in Dublin. “One very quiet and calm evening I spotted some beautiful pink clouds that looked like a monkey and a bear. I took photos of them and on a whim drew very simple pencil lines on them and posted them on Twitter and Instagram. There was a wonderful , positive reaction, so I decided to make one every day.”
Now, @adailycloud has 350,000 followers (including Jennifer Garner!) and a children’s book, Cloud Babies, with author Eoin Colfer, is out on Oct. 6 in the UK and in April 2023 in the US
“I am amazed by how many people have followed and engaged with the project,” says Judge. “I am constantly trying new projects to keep my creative juices flowing but A Daily Cloud just seemed to really resonate with people from all over the world. I think it’s the mix of humor, nature and the universality of clouds that appeals to people.”
The project also helped Judge get through a particularly tough time in his life.
“My daughter fell ill with leukemia during COVID-19,” he shares. “Thankfully she has finished her two years of treatment and is doing brilliantly. But the story of Cloud Babies is based on that experience.”
Judge says he receives images of clouds from people all over the world — “I love getting to see all the different skies,” he shares — but his favorites are those with a silver lining.
“There are certain times in the day when the sun hits the clouds and makes them look huge and three-dimensional which are my favorite,” he says. “And after a rain storm, clouds always seem to look incredible.”