animals

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Design Illustration

New Geometric Creatures from TRÜF Creative

October 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Charming new illustrations by TRÜF Creative (previously) combine a conservative color palette with wildly imaginative interpretations of animals. An ongoing passion project by the Santa Monica-based design studio, the series’s latest chapter is titled “Animals Strike Curious Poses,” (which is a reference to Prince, for fans who are wondering). The TRÜF team describes the project as “our minimalistic and strange interpretation of the animal kingdom that only exists in our heads.” If you’d like to make one of their geometric birds, whales, or fish your own, find prints in their online store.

 

 



Art Craft

Hand-Built Paper Birds by Niharika Rajput Draw Attention to Endangered Avians

October 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A detailed structural plan, hundreds of hand-fringed feathers, a custom-built wire armature: these are just some of the components artist Niharika Rajput uses to create her life-like paper birds. Rajput directly ties her art practice to conservation efforts by running campaigns to spread awareness of endangered species around the world.

To create her intricate sculptures, Rajput studies the anatomy of each bird, from its wing and tail structures to different types of feathers and facial features. The artist tells Colossal that she initially experimented with fiber and wire mesh, but found that paper best replicated the structure and texture of feathers. After creating a sketch of all the component body parts, Rajput begins the labor-intensive assembly process, which is complete once she has added finishing touches with acrylic paint.

The artist explains that she has had a lifelong affinity for wildlife and birds in particular, cemented by her family moving around a lot; nature was a steady presence even as Rajput’s built surroundings changed. As an adult, a visit to the Himalayas reconnected the artist to her passion for birds.

“As an artist I find it almost impossible to compete with nature’s sophisticated mechanisms and designs,” Rajput shares with Colossal. “I have taken this project on, to reach that level of perfection which can be applauded with a great sense of wonder by my audience and also acts as a reminder of what’s out there and needs to be protected.”

See more of Rajput’s sculptures on Instagram and Twitter. Original works are also available for purchase on Etsy. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Amazing Science

A Dreaming Octopus’s Imagination is Revealed in Her Color-Changing Slumber

September 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A recent documentary from PBS includes a fascinating clip of an octopus changing colors while sleeping. The marine biologist involved in Octopus: Making Contact thinks that the sea creature was dreaming about hunting, which sparked the color shift to a camouflaged shade. Dr. David Scheel describes his theory in the documentary:

So here she’s asleep, she sees a crab and her color starts to change a little bit. Then she turns all dark. Octopuses will do that when they leave the bottom. This is a camouflage, like she’s just subdued a crab and now she’s going to sit there and eat it and she doesn’t want anyone to notice her. …This really is fascinating. But yeah, if she’s dreaming that’s the dream.

If you’re wondering how it was possible to document this occurrence, the octopus in question is being kept in captivity and closely studied by Dr. Scheel, an Alaska-based professor.  Stay tuned for the full documentary, which premieres October 2, 2019, on PBS. (via the sleeping octopus’s enthusiastic cousin, Laughing Squid)

 

 



Amazing Photography

Stop and Smell the Flowers: Dick van Duijn Captured a Squirrel’s Floral Delight

September 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Dick van Duijn, shared with permission of the artist

This summer, while traveling in Vienna, Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn captured an indelible moment of natural connection between a ground squirrel and a yellow flower. The photographer was in Vienna specifically to document ground squirrels. In an interview with PetaPixel van Duijn explained, “On the first day we observed them and their behavior. On the second day, we photographed them the whole day. In the evening just before sunset, when the light became soft and nice, one of the many ground squirrels walked towards the yellow flower and began to hold it and sniff it.” You can purchase prints of this and other flower-enamored squirrel’s in van Duijn’s online store, and see more of his work and travels on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Art

Hybrid Creatures with Oversized Eyes Reflect Imagined Landscapes in Surreal Paintings by Haoto Nattori

September 15, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Japanese artist Naoto Hattori imagines small fluffy animals with healthy doses of fantasy and some unnatural hybridization. The painted creatures often feature round heads and disproportionately large and reflective eyes. Cat-birds with mushrooms growing on their furry heads and other mashup beasts toe the line between whimsical and eerie thanks to large eyes that reveal unseen forests and landscapes.

These acrylic paintings are small, typically measuring less than 3 inches by 3 inches when unframed. The artist’s style has been labeled as pop surrealist, but Hattori says it’s just what he sees in his mind. Hattori tells Colossal that he has been drawing eyes since he was three years old. “When I closed my eyes, I could see a colorful eye like a mandala and it kept changing shape like a kaleidoscope. I drew hundreds of the eye images. Back then, I was thinking that it was something everyone could see.”

Hattori continued painting eyes as he got older and earned a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. The creatures in the paintings are avatars for the artist entering the world of his imagination.

I’m not particular about surrealism, but I like to draw an image which can’t be expressed in words, such as feelings, thoughts, and emotions in my mind. The eye feels like an entrance to the world of visionary memories. I often paint a piece which visualizes myself as a hybrid creature entering the visionary world. The images are twisted but it feels like meditation and calms me down.

Naoto was born in Japan, moved to New York to study art, and has shown in galleries around the world, including Beinart Gallery in Melbourne, Corey Helford in Los Angeles, and Modern Eden in San Francisco. Prints of many of his animals paintings are available to purchase directly from the artist’s online store. To look into the eyes of more of Naoto Hattori’s hybrid creatures, follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Murderous Hippos, Thirsty Birds, and Snoozing Seals are Highly Commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

September 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Touching Trust” by Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa

Photographers from around the world submitted their best snapshots of wildlife for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London and now in its fifty-fifth year, the showcase received over 48,000 submissions from 100 countries for the 2019 edition. All photographs shown here were designated as highly commended across a range of categories including plants and fungi, mammal behavior, wildlife photojournalism, and more. Winners will be announced on October 15 and photographs can be viewed in person at the Museum between October 18, 2019 and May 31, 2020. You can also follow the annual contest on Instagram and Facebook.

“Big Cat and Dog Spat” by Peter Haygarth, U.K.

“Cool Drink” by Diana Rebman, U.S.A.

“Last Gasp” by Adrian Hirschi, Switzerland

“The Freshwater Forest” by Michel Roggo, Switzerland

“The Climbing Dead” by Frank Deschandol, France

“Sleeping Like a Weddell” by Ralf Schneider, U.S.A.

“Beach Waste” by MatthewWare, U.S.A.

“Jelly Baby” by Fabien Michenet, France

“Lucky Break” by Jason Bantle, Canada

 

 



Art

Finely Wrought Metal Flowers and Leaves Form the Bodies of Mammals and Birds in Sculptures by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Taiichiro Yoshida’s metal sculptures (previously) are so meticulously crafted and impossibly delicate that one could be forgiven for thinking they are digital renderings. However, Yoshida is an accomplished metalsmith who uses silver, bronze, and copper to form the leaves, flowers, and butterflies that cover the bodies of each mammal or bird. Every petal, leaf, and wing is hand-formed, with the coloration created by heating and cooling the metals at specific temperatures. The 29 year-old Japanese artist earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in metal carving at Tokyo University the Arts. He has exhibited widely and most recently had a solo exhibition at Gallery Kogure in Tokyo. See more of Yoshida’s sculptures on the artist’s website.

 

 

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