Arty Awesomeness Featured Inspirational Designs

Wonderful Wildlife by Iain Macarthur

Freelance illustrator Iain Macarthur from Swindon, UK uses intricate geometrical patterns to create the faces and bodies of the animals in his series entitled “Wildlife”. The line work is fantastic and detail is absolutely amazing, they’d made fantastic tattoos I wager. Have a look at his wonderful wildlife portraits after the jump.

Arty Awesomeness Featured

Mecha-Zoo: Animal Transformers by Brice

I met freelance illustrator Brice Reignier at a party recently and we had a fabulous chat about TV and comics over several beers, well it was more him talking and me avidly listening and noting things down in Astrid Tasks (very nerdy of me I know).

It was also then when I found out that Brice had a blog/portfolio entitled Drawn Out and it didn’t take me long at all to find something I thoroughly loved – in his series of illustrations entitled Mecha-Zoo, Brice re-imagines several African wild animals in beautiful mechanized forms. He explained it in far more eloquent terms, sadly I was a too “refreshed” by then and forgot, sorry. I will let his images speak for me – have a look at his animal transformers after the jump.

Animal Kingdom Awesomeness

Bush Babe & his Big Cats

Tarzan 1

I don’t know about y’all but this wild thing sure makes my heart sing! Super hot 28-year-old Frenchman Olivier Houalet has hand-reared five orphan cheetah cubs in the Namibian wilderness, and he’s about to release them into an independent life in the bush. I wouldn’t have minded being hand-reared by this hottie at all! Thanks to the Daily Mail for this bit of  yummy.

Hit the jump to see more of this young Tarzan and his beautiful beasts.

Animal Kingdom Awesomeness Photoworthy

It’s a Wild Life: Photography by Süha Derbent

I’m a city boy. Taking me into the bush is as useful as a pork chop at a Bar Mitzvah. Every time I think I see a buck, it turns out to be a dead tree branch. Süha Derbent, however, can easily distinguish animals from trees, and has visited many countries, taking amazing wildlife photos as he goes.

More of this work after the jump.

Awesomeness Photoworthy

Best Wild Animal Photos of 2008

The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition finds the very best wildlife images taken by the world’s top professional and amateur photographers.

Here are some of the winners from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 competition.

Overall Winner – Snowstorm Leopard

This most striking photo was taken by Steve Winter (United States of America) after spending 10 months and a winter with little snow in Ladakh’s Hemis High Altitude National Park, India.

Snow leopards are adapted to life in the mountains of central Asia. They have long, waterproof outer fur, dense woolly under-fur and large nasal cavities that warm the air as they breathe it in. This allows them to survive temperatures as low as -40°C. But the leopards can also tolerate the heat of the Gobi Desert, where temperatures can reach 40°C.

Creative Visions of Nature Winner – Polar Sunrise

This photo taken by Miguel Lasa (United Kingdom) shows a bear backlit by the first rays of sunlight.

During winter, polar bears live on the frozen seas of the Arctic. In summer, in areas where the ice melts completely like Canada’s Hudson Bay, they spend months ashore living on a variety of foods. They will also swim in the water and catch birds. By the time the seas freeze again in autumn they are eager for fresh seal-meat.

Animal Behaviour: Birds – Osprey Snatch

This specially commended photo by Paul Hobson (United Kingdom) was taken from hide overlooking a lake in Pohtiolampi, Finland.

Ospreys hover over water then dive, plunging into the shallows to grab prey. They have special feet to hold onto slippery fish scales: the soles are covered in spines and one talon can move so the bird can grip either side of the fish.

Ten years and under – Great Tits and Teasels

This photo from Baptiste Drouet (France) won the runner-up prize in the 10 years and under section of the Junior awards.

Great tits are a woodland bird found across Europe and Asia, but many have adapted to urban gardens. In rural areas they eat insects, but urban populations supplement their diet with bird seed put out by humans. Tits can be aggressive at bird tables, fighting off other smaller birds.

One Earth Award Winner – Sacrifice

Taken by David Maitland (United Kingdom), this disturbing photo shows a Gabon black colobus monkey being tossed onto an open fire to strip off the fur.

A cloud of acrid smoke filled the air. Then, the glossy jet-black fur caught fire, crinkled and crisped up, and fell off as dust. It was deeply upsetting.’ Black colobus monkeys have a distinct, high-pitched roar and frequently call to each other, so human hunters can easily track them down. This helps to make them one of the 10 most threatened primate species in Africa.

You can see more photos from the competition at the Natural History Museum’s Online Gallery.

If you live in Cape Town, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 exhibition will be at the Iziko South African Museum (25 Queen Victoria Street Cape Town) until 15 March 2009. Entrance is R15 and well worth it.