Thursday, 7 July 2011

My Painting Companion

Rather embarrassingly, I have recently come to realise that my rabbit is mentioned rather a lot by Holly Exley, the illustrator. What's drawn my attention to this is the fact that she is, more often than not, mentioned when I'm requested to write an artist's bio. What am I thinking when I construct this shpeel? That somehow by mentioning an animal I'll win the nations pet owners over? That a rabbit makes me more interesting? She's even mentioned in my twitter bio. It's almost as if I am a little bit obsessed...

Hergé as a baby.

You see the thing is, whether I like it or not, my floppy eared friend is a big part of my life. I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is flip open her cage to let her run around my room (if she hasn't already spent the night doing this. ) Similarly, the first thing I do when I get in in the evening is clean her cage, and top up her food and water. Its a subconscious thing. I take care of her, she continues being cute. We even have a little routine, where by when I sit down at my desk to work, she instantly hops behind me on my chair and up to a second chair next to mine. She'll happily sit there for hours beside me, compacted into a furry cushion shape, so long as I give her the occasional stroke. Quite frankly, it's a little bit adorable.

One cushion is not enough for her majesty.

I think the reason I mention her so very much is because she is such a big part of my work. I don't mean that I'm forever painting her, because I seem to remember that I've only painted her the once (sorry HergĂ©). What I mean is that she's there beside me for pretty much every single painting. 
My silent art critic.
When I'm frustrated with my work and need support, she's there to cuddle. When I've been working for hours alone, she provides some company. It's nice.
Thats not to say she's perfect, because we do fall out sometimes, like any room mates will do. She's a smelly little thing, despite cleaning her cage daily, and sometimes I do wish I didn't have to tend to her and clean up her 'pellets'. Sometimes she's a naughty girl and does a wee on my bed, and thats when we have BIG words.


So vain / vein.


Similarly, she often gets moody with me too. I don't think this is a very well known fact, but rabbits are generally quite tetchy creatures. Beyond her cute, fluffy outer shell, theres a growling, territorial madam. I kid you not, she actually growls. I know what all her different growls mean. But the general message is "fuck off mummy".
Having said all this, despite the poos and the wees and the tantrums, she's my little squishy face, and I love her dearly. Whilst I uphold the message, "a pet's for life, not just for christmas", for illustrators a pet can become your life. Or is that just me...