Friday, May 16, 2008


I belong to a group called Illustration Friday that puts forth a topic each week for illustrators to work with. Some create new illustrations and other rummage through their portfolios. Today’s topic was WIDE... and so I went digging for one of my favourite illustrations to submit.

My Nanny LOVED hippos. I blame it on seeing Disney’s Fantasia when it was first released in theaters because real hippos are not nearly as cute. For whatever reason, she fell in love with them and that gave all of us who loved her a chance to hunt for hippo figurines to give her at Christmas. One winter when I was over for a visit, she was watching the neighbours children make snow angels next door. She mused aloud about hippos making snow angels... and that artist supernova went off in my brain. I painted this for her as a gift and when she passed away, it came back to my portfolio.

I now use this photo when I speak to school children about illustrators needing to use their imaginations. You cannot borrow a real hippo from the zoo. Zookeepers won’t let you do that. You cannot convince a warm, mud-loving hippo to roll around in snow. It is cold... VERY cold. So, you have to use your imagination and think of how the illustration would look. How big is a hippo? Is it bigger and heavier than a field mouse or a bunny? You bet! After all this discussion, I show the kids the picture and usually get more laughter from the teachers than the kids. THIS hippo looks proud of her Oooomph!

That’s why I chose it for the topic WIDE.

Now back to working on my drawing for a new client who found me through my web site. The Internet can certainly be both a help and a hindrance as this week has proven in spades!

16 comments:

Ratlion said...

Love the story and the illo!
:)

NANCY LEFKO said...

what a great snow angel....

princesstomato said...

i love that this comes from such a special place in your heart. :)
teri

Kristi Valiant said...

What a creative idea! My husband is fascinated with hippos too. He worked as a graphic designer in a zoo years ago and he had to throw a birthday party for the oldest hippo in captivity. So now our guest room is hippo-themed!

L.A. French said...

Your hippo has such a cute 'personality' to her!

Thanks for sharing your story too...I enjoyed it! :-)

bozena said...

What a wonderful story. I love how inspiration can hit at any moment -- when you're not even expecting it.

rbaird said...

Hippos make really sweet snow angels!

SENTA said...

That is so funny, I love it!

indigene said...

I wish hippos were this friendly looking in person! Great illo!

www.indigeneartforms.blogspot.com

Irma said...

SO Sweet!!! And so is the background story!

Raluca C said...

what a sweet hipo!!

Kstyles said...

Lovely illo!

Barb said...

I love the hippo:-) Actually I love everything you do.

thedoodlegirl said...

What a fun concept!! So does the hippo make snow "angels" or just snow hippos? SO darling!! I love it!

Itziar San Vicente said...

Really funny!

tusen said...

sweet idea and the hippo is so lovely