My Dad had this book, I don’t know why, I can barely (if ever) remembering him look at it, but it was called the Big Book of British Birds. When I was in my early teens, I used to get up really early at the weekends, and I would sneak into my parents room and take this book. I was never really that bothered about birds, but I liked drawing, and I could do a decent bird (please, do feel free to insert your own jokes at any point). Over the years I must have drawn most of the birds in that book on old computer paper (you know, with holes in the edges and very faint green lines on the back) that my mother brought home from work.
I don’t know if Sheffield artist Faunagraphic had a copy of the Big Book of British Birds, but nevertheless she has gone on to forge a career out of drawing not just birds, but other wildlife as well (maybe she also had a copy of The Observer book of British Mammals – I knew me and my brother and sister missed out somewhere) and her work is to be seen on both walls and galleries around Sheffield and further afield.
Other than it being fantastic artwork, what I like about Faunagraphics work is her genuine interest in the subject matter, often going all over the world painting rare birds to raise awareness for their protection, Recently, she went to Bulgaria to paint pictures of the Red Breasted goose to raise awareness amongst people put there because the birds nesting area is under threat from Farmers.
A lot of Faunagraphic’s (or Sarah I’m led to believe) is that its rare to find female street artists, and her work, this beautiful expression of life and beauty, looks absolutely fantastic against the relative dead, cold surroundings of derelict buildings and factories, which seem to be a particular favourite of hers. Maybe I’m wrong, but her continued presence on the streets around Sheffield (and the world!) highlights the quality of her work, as it does with any street artists, but particularly a female I guess.
Her client list is expanding (Converse being an obvious example) and you can buy her prints here. I’m going to have a look on eBay tonight and try to get a copy of The Big Book of British Birds. It never quite worked for me, but I’ll wait for the patter of my children’s feet to come and get it on a weekend morning off my bookshelf. Oh, and I’m definitely getting The Observer book of British Mammals. I want to keep all bases covered.