• Em


Updated: Mar 1, 2018

For the month of February, The Catkin Boutique created a illustration challenge to draw 28 different black and white animals everyday. These were the only guidelines to the brief and I thought it might be a fun way to challenge myself everyday by a) having to be creative b) working with a different subject matter than what I usually focus on.

I wanted to try and keep to my usual messages within my work, whether that be some sort of pun, body positivity and acceptance, as, for me, I didn't see the value in just drawing cute animals! I wanted to use the brief to try and challenge my thought process and have fun trying to do so!

I didn't take more than half an hour on each piece and used it as a warm up every morning to get my creative head on. Here are my finished pieces -

1. Orca

I started easy... with a pun!

I imagine this is what I would be if I were a sea creature...

2. Panda

For panda, I didn't want to use the typical puns that you might use like "bear with me" or "panda-mondium", so I chose to make this little cutie take a political stance (or sit!)

I referenced my favourite photo from the internet for this one!

3. Zebra

Perfect excuse of body positivity with this one... bra is in the name! So I drew this zebra girl just loving life and herself in her underwear!

4. Skunk

I found it difficult to find something for skunk until I remembered little Flower from Bambi!

I captioned this one "Bambi didn't think anything else about that little skunk, other that he was so beautiful that he must be one of the flowers".

Kindness is nice, huh.

5. Spaniel

I had loads of fun with this one. I decided to play on the word 'bitch' and create a 1970s drag queen spaniel based on the subject of David Bowie's song 'Queen Bitch'. I now want to draw drag animals everyday!

6. Cow

I am vegan and sometimes make artwork based on my views so it seemed relevant to make a piece against the #februdairy movement that the dairy industry promoted to the month of February to try and push sales of dairy products after the success of #veganuary this year.

7. Penguin

I had originally wanted to draw the Little Penguin because they are my favourite after seeing them in Australia on the beaches (do you know they come out of the sea and follow the same path to their house every single night!?) but they are blue! So I drew a Gentoo Penguin having a bit of an emotional day...

8. Magpie

I discovered this quote by Eva Ibbotson when I was back at uni and it has stuck with me every since. It seems appropriate to use it for magpies due to the saying 'one for sorrow, two for joy' which I why I chose to draw two birds.


9. Lemur

After researching a little bit about lemurs, I found out that they start their days but sitting high up in the treetops and bathing in the Madagascan sun... which is a brilliant form of self care!

10. Crane

Is this cheating?! I don't think so!!

"Senbazuru" is the Japanese tradition of folding 1000 origami cranes as a symbol of hope or healing during challenge times. I thought it was a great symbol of self care, as well as an interesting take on an animal drawing.

11. Snake

For snake, I wanted to play on the shedding of their skin, sort of 'out with the old, in with the new' ideals of personal growth and self awareness, casting off the old or painful or what restricts you and moving forward into the fresh and new. If I had given myself more time on this, not just the 30 minute limit I've given myself, I think I could produce something I was really happy with!

12. Ostrich

I did spend slightly longer than half and hour on this piece, but only because I got really into drawing the feathers!

I wanted to play on the idea that ostriches are a flightless bird, as well as trying to link it to something positive. I chose to go with this pose as its powerful, suggesting confidence, as opposed to just an ostrich standing!!

13. Snow Leopard

I went to a real comfort zone here and drew one of my characters going full 'Crazy Cat Lady' and giving a snow leopard a cuddle.

Imagine how good that would be though!

14. Tasmanian Devil

I've got flu today so drawing was a struggle but I didn't want to give up on the challenge, so I had a doodle from my sick bed!

Tasmanian Devils are weirdly cute! Plus it's Valentine's so I had to get a heart or two in there!

15. Spider Monkey

So, I was still pretty ill today so this is a really rough outcome of my idea! But at least I did it!

16. Tapir

I researched Tapirs after trying to come up with a worthy pun and failing! I found out that Tapir that live near water sink to the bottom and stroll along the riverbed to feed! In itself, that's pretty awesome! Then, I read that, as they do this, the fish preen them and get a little meal too! I just thought that was quite a cute series of events!

17. Parrot

Since being ill, I've found it a bit difficult to get inspired by this project. I'm finding it more difficult to come up with interesting and inspiring images instead of just a simple sketch of the animal, which is what I didn't want to do initially!

I took a simple idea here and just drew a parrot who has a heap of self love! It's great to think you're pretty!

18. African Dog

Felt very uninspired for the African Dog. I researched them and found out they are endangered because of hunting for agricultural land... maybe I could return to it at a later date and draw something for that.

However, they are sometimes known as the 'Painted Dog', so I did a little painting of one! They are very beautiful creatures!

19. Badger

Illegal badger baiting happens a lot in the countryside, and is something I'm pretty sure happens around where I live. I spoke to representatives of Hounds Off at a local vegan fair last summer who told me that hunters purposefully tamper with badger sets to either trap them in or hurt them. My mum also informed me that, a lot of the time when you see a badger on the side of the road, it's not been hit by a car, but put there by a poacher to try and cover the fact it's been illegally hunted and killed.

20. Swan

I have always wanted to go in one of those super naff swan pedalos! I think they are so kitsch and fun!

I could've done something to do with the Ugly Duckling with this one, which was the first thought that sprung to mind, but then any excuse to dream about a swan boat! My best friend and I went on a pedalo last summer and it was so cute, she gave me a history lesson about the lake, so it's not just all about the romance (but, ah yeh, it is!)

21. Porpoise

Yes! An easy pun!! Porpoises are insanely cute animals!

We all have purpose, remember that.

22. Butterfly

Watching time lapse videos of butterflies emerging from their chrysalis is one of the most amazing and beautiful things ever! I love butterflies, I've had a few live in my room over the years! I am just amazed that they turn into these beautiful fluttering mini beasts from their fuzzy, caterpillar selves!

23. Colobus Monkey

When I first saw the Colobus monkey, I thought it looked super glamorous with it's long white hair, almost like it was wearing a fancy fur coat! So I drew a little Colobus feeling beautiful in its fancy outfit!

24. Sheep

Ok... ok, this is an absolutely terrible pun! But an easy one!!

This is how I feel a lot of the time!

25. Wagtail

I did this really quickly... and I don't like it at all!!!!

But I found this lovely poem about a wagtail and went from there...

26. Arctic Fox

It snowed this week!! So I found inspiration a bit easier for arctic fox! Going for a snowy walk with your furry companion is a great form of self care, especially if you look for all the snow in the trees and take in how different nature looks covered in white!

27. Black Buck

I'm really happy with how this turned out! I was struggling for inspiration so I just decided to make the black buck look a bit fancy with some natural adornments, but I think its quite simple but effective!

28. White Tiger

Last one!

White Tiger cubs are so tiny and cute, but still powerful and strong! That's how I feel sometimes!

If you are interested in any of these illustrations as a print, please send me a message emandtheearth@mail.com

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