I “adopted” Hammish, Florence and Geoffrey in 2017 after a holiday vacation with my son in Australia. These beautifully digitally created animals were created (or given birth to) by Sydney digital artist Graham Atwell.
As fate would have it, I found myself lost in Sydney trying to find my way to the top of the famous bridge so that we could scale it like so many tourists seem to do these days. But as I wove through narrow unmarked alleys trying to follow the spotty Google maps reception, I instead spotted a small shop and a beautiful ostrich looking out at me. It was digital painting which I had not seen up close before and was mesmerized by the number of hours and strokes it takes for an artist to digitally paint.
Risking losing my place in line to hike up the bridge, I peered into this shop and saw a bevy of digitally painted animals with beautiful eyes, all named (and numbered ) and waiting to be "adopted" as the artist says. There was something endearing about the fox and the hare paired together that I couldn't resist them and when the artist told me he was working on a grizzly bear that was the same size as these two, I knew I had to adopt the fox, the hare and the bear!
Atwell lovingly creates animals from emus to giraffes and hares in 3 phases until each is executed perfectly and refuses to name each one until after he sees it in print for the first time. Most of his creations take between 150 - 250 hours to complete with the exception of his most recent - an elephant - which will take about 800 hours to complete.
So, as I walk down my hallway, I say hello to Hammish, Florence and Geoffrey each day and remind myself of how you never know what is around the next corner if you slow down and look up.
More information on Graham Atwell - and available adoptions can be found on his website!