I suppose animal art was simply coded into my genetic being. When I was young, I was mad about animals. How my mother put up with the various collected menageries of my pets over the years, I’ll never know. Chalk it up to a mother’s love. Mom drew the line at dogs, though. Even as I would find the occasional stray to bring home, the pooch would be given a meal and then sent packing. My pet dog days would have to wait until later in life. The roster of my creature companions has included a wide array of animals: fish, chickens, turtles, newts, frogs, rabbits, a snake, cats, and more.
Professional Animal Art
Professionally, I’ve been called on to produce various and sundry images of our beastly friends. The image above was for the organization Defenders of Wildlife. These days, they are using a similar illustration, but more simplified, in color.
This ursine fellow was commissioned by my friend, the film-maker George Butler, for a gala fundraising event in New York. The Natural Resources Defense Council hosted a dinner party where this image was printed at a large size on all the table menus. When I walked into the venue, I beheld a sea of my illustration from one end of the room to the other! It was quite a sight.
Animal Art in Trademarks and Logos
George also commissioned me to create this majestic image. He used it as a trademark for his motion picture company, White Mountain Films.
This image of the famed primate scientist, Jane Goodall, was to be used in packaging materials for a product line that would benefit Jane’s work with the chimpanzees. To my knowledge, it was not used.
Animal Art in Advertising
On the more “strictly business” side, I was retained to produce a range of illustrations for Bell Canada several years back. My illustrations were featured in the print counterpart of an overall campaign called “Fables”. The images were derived from live action television commercials in which actors played their parts wearing elaborate (and expensive), mechanized animal heads. The campaign was in French, created by the team at Cossette, in Quebec. Here is a double page spread that ran in Canadian newspapers…
I strove to give these creatures an ample measure of sentient expression. Curiously, the hare character really took on a life of its own!
…And so, in the words of another long-eared denizen of the wild, “That’s all, Folks!”
While Bugs was fond of finishing up with “That’s all, Folks,” rest assured that he only ever meant, “That’s all for now, Folks!”
Watch for more great animal art coming your way as InkRhythm brings more animals to these pages with regular posts for the first post of each month.
Animal art is so important to our lives across the many cultures and times throughout human history, that it deserves its own place here.
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