Ok, so I haven't had time yet to add a new ordering page with all these animals to my jewelry site (it takes LONG) but I really wanted to post some photos of the series, because I'm so excited about it!
The first design, the green sea turtle, was actually completed in December as a gift. The person I designed it for originally is familiar with the species from Florida, but they also live and breed in Hawai'i, and are a really important and symbolic species here. This guy became the launching point for the series of Hawaiian animals, in which I tried to feature creatures endemic to the Hawaiian island chain (or at least indigenous species.) As usual, I have learned SO much in illustrating and researching these animals, and have become EVEN MORE passionate and enthusiastic about local wildlife. I am also really happy with the series!
For now I have 8 pieces almost finished, and two more in the works. I already have a big wholesale order from a wonderful little store in this town called Elements (they are not on the interwebs yet) -- I will be dropping them off tomorrow! Here's a preview of one of my favorite new designs:
This is the Pueo, or Hawai'ian Short-eared Owl. It is a Hawai'ian endemic (it can ONLY be found in the Hawai'ian islands) and is a subspecies of the regular short-eared owl. They're endangered, mostly because of habitat loss and the typical plight of island birds -- they nest on the ground, so when people showed up with pigs and mongooses and rats, their eggs became easy prey.
So I DID give a digital version of my 2004 six-page comic story, Mortality, to Inktart a number of months ago, but after checking back on the site periodically for some time and still seeing the 'coming soon' page, I completely forgot about it. Until I came across it again:
Anyway, so that's a surprise, and exciting! I have no idea what kind of traffic this site has been getting, but hey, there it is! Check out my story, in its entirety on the web for the first time. It is a true tale of an intense experience I had!
Also, Inktart is a really cool idea: a webzine full of comics written and drawn by women. There are lots of other great short comics in this premier issue -- even one about an Alcatraz swim (I'm going to have to talk to this woman!) I recommend you take a look!
Here's the first one of these zodiac illustrations I did, for Oakbook's premier issue. The issue came out in December, so the horoscope page featured the two signs that share December, Saggitarius and Capricorn.
I had SO much fun with this one, and even though it took forever I really enjoyed drawing ALL the different zodiac signs in the background.
1. All of the gravel I've encountered so far is lava rock. It's pretty cool, but hell on your shoes!
2. Did you think that the leeward side, being the opposite of the windward side, had no WIND? Well, think again! They may only get 3 inches of rain a YEAR in the driest, desert-y area of the leeward side of the big island, but MAN it is windy out there almost every day! I don't know if its just the time of year, but 10-20 mph winds with 35mph gusts seem almost constant out there. Ok, that's not what I was expecting from the LEEWARD side.
3. Hawaii is the most isolated population center in the world -- the closest land is California, a mere 2400 miles away! Japan is about 3850 miles from here. Thanks to the internet, and fucking Kmart, it doesn't actually feel that isolated.
4. Pineapples, coffee, plumeria, geckos, mosquitos, and macadamia nuts(!) are not native to Hawaii. Something cool that IS native to Hawaii: NENE!
5. Two of the only words from the native Hawai'ian language that are used in English (and by geologists and vulcanologists who speak any language) are a'a and pahoehoe, the Hawai'ian words for the two main types of hardened lava.
6. Living here is AWESOME. Really the only thing missing is YOU! Okay and the Great American Music Hall.
The year of the rat has been going just wonderfully so far, and here's one of the reasons: I was asked to do an illustration on Thursday night for a new year's lunar/Chinese horoscope page. This is the second illustration I've done for the horoscope page of an awesome new Oakland magazine. I never had a chance to post the first one (a "traditional" zodiac, featuring Sag and Capricorn) but I will soon!
This illustration was a really quick turnaround, due basically Saturday night/Sunday morning. I worked really hard and pulled it off without too much trouble -- I was so delighted by the opportunity to draw so many animals that it made it much easier :)
I am so lucky to be getting so much animal illustration work lately! Ok, maybe it's not luck, maybe its more like people are starting to think of me when they want animals? Hey, that's cool!
According to the article, ravens, especially young ones, are curious about and play with all kinds of objects. I thought I should show them playing some kind of game that involved manipulation of objects, and since I like to think of ravens as sort of intellectual birds, chess seemed the way to go (rather than, like Connect Four?)