Why Animals Instead of People?
More Than Just a Passing Phase
Why animals instead of people? Primarily, my drawings are of animals, from domestic to wild. Some artists I know almost exclusively draw people. In fact, that’s most artists that I know. For me, drawing people used to be just a small blip on my radar. It’s always been about animals. But, why?
Since I was very young, I’ve had a profound fascination with the animal kingdom. Dinosaurs held my interest for a very long time and there were a number of years that I wanted to be an archaeologist. From there I moved to modern day animals. I wanted to be a marine biologist, a zoologist, a veterinarian. I mourned the loss of extinct animals even though they were gone long before I was born. And my heart feels the strain of the threat to those that are endangered now.
Because All Life Is Valuable
Why animals instead of people? I remember seeing things as a child, things done by people to animals that horrified me. There was a commercial I saw back then for some animal rights group. The commercial was pretty graphic considering the time frame. In it, baby harp seals were being clubbed to death for their white fur. Seals were crying on vast areas of snow stained bright red with their blood. It was heartbreaking. Movies like Gorillas in the Mist, which depicted the struggles Dian Fossey went through, and ultimately gave her life for, in order to protect gorillas from poachers also struck me just as deeply. And then there’s endangerment due to loss of habitat. Not violent, but no less tragic. The ASPCA’s commercials of abused and neglected animals breaks my heart every time.
Why? Am I a bleeding heart for animals? Sure. And why not? I understand animals a lot better than I do people. They’re honest. They don’t sell each other out for a profit. They don’t lie, cheat, or backstab. Food, water, shelter, reproduction. For animals in the wild, that’s it. With domestic animals, they’ve become accustomed to having human interaction. For them, they also want kindness and love. And in return, you have a loyal companion for life. With animals, it’s really quite simple. Their only motivation is survival. And maybe a belly rub or two.
Preferences Don’t Have To Be Set In Stone
But notice that I said “people USED TO BE just a small blip on my radar.” It’s not that I’ve warmed up to people any more these days. It’s more that I don’t like not being able to do something that I think I should be able to do. Drawing people is one of them. So is drawing landscapes and environments. But my biggest frustration has always been drawing people and so I am going to tackle that one first because I think it will pose more of a challenge for me than the others. So while I think that I will always prefer drawing animals instead of people, let’s just say that I am looking forward to expanding my skillset. They say the worst feeling at the end of your life is to go out with regrets. Since drawing is such a huge part of who I am, I don’t want this to be one of them.