Animals, real and imagined, continue to inspire me. When I was in high school, I took as many art classes as I could. There were two art teachers, one for 2D Art (as it was called) and one for 3D Art. I took one semester of 3D art, but the rest of the time I spent drawing and painting.
In the art room there was a photographic encyclopedia of animals. When I was out of ideas and just wanted to sketch, I’d grab a volume of that encyclopedia and flip through it. I would soon find a strange looking animal and start to sketch. It was never long before I had my next idea for a drawing.
I recently saw a nature documentary on the Galapagos Islands. They were many shots of the marine iguanas that inhabit only those islands. In all the world, there is only one type of lizard that looks and behaves exactly as those do. That’s amazing. It’s the kind of thing that makes the earth a surprising and wonderful place to live.
Details make a story more interesting, and animals are nothing if not details. The way they look, the way they act. The not knowing what it is they’re thinking. Everything about them is at once knowable and mysterious.
So here’s to our roommates. From the ghostly tiger to the fuzzy baby hawk, here’s hoping we can share many more days with them.