It may seem strange that, when I thought about “the zoo,” monkeys and hippos weren’t the first things that came to mind. So you have to understand that when I was growing up my family had lots and lots of animals. Small animals, mind you – we weren’t horses-and-cows people, seeing as we lived in town. But what our animals lacked in size, they made up in quantity.
The pets shown are only a few of my favorites: our loyal family mutt, a selection of our dwarf hairy-footed hamsters, one of several hedgehogs, the boa constrictor that my brother found in the school parking lot, a few fish (Bert? Ernie?), the lovebirds that let out the loudest shrieks known to man, one of our budgies, and a lonely little finch.
Animals not shown include a lot of cute (but smelly) mice, more hamsters, a gecko, some anoles, all manner of tropical fish, more snakes, a few more budgies, and a little lady finch. Perhaps my siblings would like to chime in with some of the ones that I’m missing…? (And yes, my mum was very, very patient.)
I did the drawing from memory instead of using reference photos, which isn’t how I usually work, so I know that there are some inaccuracies. (The hedgehog isn’t actively biting anyone, for one.) But it seemed fitting to me that the Marston family zoo be depicted from the memories of a 12-year old child instead of reconstructing the animals from photographs.
And I had many, many fond memories to draw from.
P.S. The original drawing will go in the shop this afternoon.