This past Saturday was the Oakland Zoo's "Walk in the Wild" event, and is the sixth year that I've made the illustrations for the event's collateral. Veteran drawgers know I've been posting each year's images - thanks for bearing with me. The event is a fundraiser where donors buy tickets for an evening private opening of the gorgeous zoo, where patrons stroll around the grounds sampling delicious food, beer and wine provided by local businesses and vintners, entertained by local musicians.
Alex and Becca from Zipfly Design in Oakland are such sweet, easygoing clients. The zoo always wants the same conceptual approach, which after six years and 12 images can feel restrictive: a chef/musician/dancer out in the indiginous landscape of a given animal that the zoo keeps; but it's the different animals and their landscapes (and awesome mellow clients) that keep it fun for me. This year's beasts were the zebra and the meerkat, both residents of Africa. Some of the animals over the years have been much trickier to capture for whatever reason. Warthogs still are at the top, but meerkats are also really odd looking critters. I thought about Robert Hunt's daughter while drawing this one - I think he told me her graduate thesis was on Meerkats? Nice thesis topic, these are cute lil' critters.
These days I work digitally mostly, but every now and then greatly enjoy painting. Last year I did these digitally, and although I had fun I just felt like painting them this time around.
Each year they make a limited edition of 200 prints that I sign - sold at the event as fundraisers. This year it was a new challenge as I've just had wrist surgery (yes, drawing and all those other things this hand does) and am stuck in a cast for a month. My wife Cynthia snapped this pic of me signing away. The morning after surgery I made a point to write my signature - the doctor advised I do my best to keep the fingers in action - so this was the perfect excercise for me.
Notice the stubble...it's a bitch shaving with your wrong hand, not to mention flossing and...well, use your imagination - so, I'm officially growing yet another beard. At right here I am with our buddy Paul, mugging in front of the flamingoes right at the beginning of the evening.