On my first birthday my father gave me a toy frog. Using my, at that time, somewhat limited imagination I named it “Grodis” (Froggy) and all through my childhood I would carry it with me wherever I went. (In fact, I still carry it with me, although somewhat more discreetly these days. The current home of Grodis is inside my closet.) It it’s original design it had a patch of hair above the eyes, like fuzzy bangs, or very bushy eyebrows, but I at some point I cut it off with a scissor. I don’t remember why I did it, maybe to make it more true to nature, because who has ever heard of a frog with hair? (This was long before I learned of the existence of the Hairy Frog).
Maybe my love for animals started this toy frog. As I child, most of my toys were animals. I had a collection of stuffed animals so big that I couldn’t fit all of them in my bed at night. I used to let them sleep in shifts, apologising to the ones who would have to stay on the cold floor. During stormy nights I used to lie awake and make evacuation plans in my head, so that I would be able to save all my animals in case the lightning would strike and set the house on fire. Way before the internet became a common commodity, I would search for animal facts in the family dictionary. Even before I learned to read I used to spend hours flipping through random volumes in search of pictures of interesting animals. In the school library I borrowed every animal book I could find. I would marvel at the existence of Fanged Deer, and the strange look of the Gerenuk and the Maned Wolf. I was fascinated when I read about the Tuatara and it’s three eyes.As a teenager, the walls of my room was never covered with posters of the early 90’s pop stars, instead they were covered in pictures of animals.
Another thing that’s always been with me is the love to draw and paint, and most of all I loved to draw animals. I would draw pictures of the strange animals I found ik my books, and sometimes try to make up animals of my own. In senior high school I started painting animal portraits. It took me another couple of years to learn to draw humans, which, sadly for me, seemed to become a more popular for people to ask me paint. At one point I tried to make the portrait painting into a business, putting up notes on bulletin boards and even showcasing my work at a cat exhibition, but It never really took off. Still I have been making about three or four portraits each year. Before that I would for a brief time pursuit the possibility of becoming an illustrator, the dream being having the opportunity to illustrate a animal dictionary. I quickly realised however that my chances of succeeding in this area would be rather limited, as the need for realistic paintings is somewhat limited with the availability of cameras, and interviews with senior illustrators let me know that making a living in this field is almost impossible without having to complement the work with teaching or other extra activities.
Eventually I would more or less stop drawing and painting animals, replacing soft fur and feathers with hard plastic and metal, as I would turn my focus on becoming an industrial designer. My very earliest career dream however, had nothing to do with either drawing or designing. In the beginning, I wanted to become a writer.
In this blog I plan to congregate all my passions into one outlet. Here my interest in writing will be combined with artwork inspired by all the facts about fascinating animals that I have collected over the years. Even my interest in design will have it’s place, as many of the most creative problem solvers can be found within the animal kingdom. I hope that anyone who reads my posts will be as fascinated as I am of the incredible richness of nature, and the ingenuity of solutions that can be found within the animal kingdom!