In art history, many people talk about an artist's signature image: an object or subject that the artist keeps turning back to or repeating, in different ways, in her work. Georgia O'Keefe had clouds. Wayne Thiebaud had cakes. Cindy Sheman has...herself. I too have a signature image. It's a beach toy.
I started drawing this inflable guy in college. From the looks of notes in the sketchbooks I can date them to about 1989. From 1989 to about 1997 I had a sketchbook in tow almost constantly. It just popped up, and then kept repeating it in different themes and ways over the years.
I put together a little gallery of the drawings taken from a few of my books. There's also a drawing of my favorite design teacher, George Klauber, who had an unbelievably filthy mouth, and taught me everything that I eventually learned about teaching design many many years later.
Also, I don't have an explanation of the Inuit. I was into some weird stuff back then.