Two recent influences are Steve Fable Tipple, from Great Brittain & Donald James Hooker II, who currently tesides in Los Angeles, but will be moving to the Pacific Northwest by the end of July, 2015.
Cinceptually, it is a theme of mascot art (though this one is not a mascot), in the form of ragdolls. Ultimately I want to teach my students to illustrate college mascots, engaged in battle, but in a cute way.
Because women buy more tee shirts than men, so the cute(r) characters might be more popular, hence more profitable, in the microstock (electronic clipart) industry.
At least that's my theory.