What will your tree look like?
Who will be in it?
Sounds obvious, but the first thing to do is to think about who is in your family tree. Sometimes this is straightforward but there can be trickier decisions eg do you include ex-husbands? Or girlfriends of estranged half brothers? The rule of thumb is, get in the mind of the recipient. Who would they want to be on there.
How will each person be characterised?
You need to think about this for each person, but the most important person is the recipient. What makes them them? What do they do for a living or for fun and how could we represent that in the cartoon? eg sports (tennis racquets, golf clubs, shuttlecock), jobs (stethoscope, clipboard, loo-brush), hobbies (binoculars, easel, selfie stick), eccentricities (eg a pair of stilettoes for your cross-dressing Grandpa or a picture of a gutter and a mouth on the t-shirt of your foul-mouthed Aunt Amy).
Throw in as many additional accessories as you think the tree can handle. Cars, boats, houses, funny little details like those red noses you all wear at Christmas. Anything that you would associate with the family you are representing. We can balance things on branches, dot them around the base or under the roots. The more the merrier!
Riff on the tree theme
There are many tree structures to choose between. Either let me arrange everyone as I see fit, or give me instructions. How about a hammock for your lazy brother? Or monkey bars for that athletic Aunt Amy? Or a zipwire for your soon-to-be-divorced uncle...
Don't miss anyone out
This isn't a normal family tree. Dogs are welcome. Also, if it is too sad to miss off any dearly departeds just because they've popped their clogs we can always stick them in a hot air balloon/microlight/rocket and have them waving gaily down.
Anyone particularly modest may hide their light beneath one.
Hilarious Latinesque Tree Label
Almost the best bit of all. I am happy to draft some ideas or you can have a go at creating your own. Feel free to use my Hilarious Latinesque Label Creator to help you.