Above is a file showing screenshots of my implementation process, of how I drew my first image in illustrator using custom brushes. I then transferred it in to Photoshop to colour in, add gradients and a bitmap texture for the skin.
I did try simplifying the mouth and nose in a Julian Opie inspiration as below. However, I did not like this as it made the character look like a monkey, which definitely is not the effect I’m going for. So I have gone back to the original look.