Hello friends! With Easter just around the corner, I thought it’d be fun to share some illustrations to get us in the bunny spirit. Although I will say, with my kiddos, bunnies are big *all* year round. They actually used to have bunnies in their last preschool, which was the cutest, and they’re now stuck on the idea of a bunny as their first pet (and yes, I think we may go for it this year!). But back to the illustration world, I am a big fan of Australian-based illustrator Clare Dunstan of Tog & Pini. It’s one of those times where you find yourself putting hearts next to half of the artist’s collection on Etsy. And scrolling deep into the artist’s Instagram. So let’s hop down to this peek into Tog & Pini, as I’m sure it’s going to capture many fans. – Jen
Here’s a surprising fun fact about Clare. She didn’t even start drawing until she was 25! (How is that possible?!) She was always creative and as a child she sewed and made jewelry. Clare patterned her own teddy bears and made tiny doll’s house food out of clay. Then, on the professional side, she started out as a jeweler after studying gold and silver smithing. How did she jump from silver and gold to illustration? Clare shares, “After an unfortunate accident — setting the curtains above my work station alight — I turned to illustration as a safer pursuit for a dreamer!”
Just a little mermaid bunny for anyone else who lives with a child who loves anything related to mermaids.
So Clare turned to painting and drawing as her new passion, and it obviously suits her. Talk about an amazing late bloomer! She lives in Australia, so imagine the inspiration outside her window. And she works primarily in watercolor. “Being surrounded by such varied fauna has an obvious impact in my work,” shares Clare. She mostly draws on a little old antique desk that’s piled high with paints, pencils, papers, and photographers. “I’m a very messy worker!” she notes. Obviously, a lot of beauty comes out of that mess.
I love this illustration she did of meerkats. Clare lives in an outer suburb of Melbourne, Australia. “I have daily visiting native birds; a mob of pink Galahs, several sulphur-crested Cockatoos, and a pair of brightly coloured King Parrots,” she shares.
Here’s some bunny fabric in classic Easter colors, which you can find in her Etsy shop.
Clare is a true animal lover through and through. And she has pet rabbits (which surely inspired her sweet bunny illustrations.) She says, “We have two rescue dogs (who are hilarious), five guinea pigs and two rabbits that are a constant source of inspiration.”
And now I have some Easter baskets to plan. A big thanks to Clare Dunstan for sharing a peek into her work!
Photo Credits: Tog & Pini