Sometimes when I design a print, I spend weeks or months planning the design, finalising the colour palette, picking the animals to feature and rearranging the design. Other times, inspiration hits me like a freight train and the whole design is finalised and off to the printers in not much longer than 72 hours of frenzied painting - the tapir design was one of these.
Since lockdown started, my brother got married and moved out but as we're both working from home, we phone each other every day on our lunch breaks and watch some old cartoons together. It was a sad, grey day in early January and I started doodling tapirs while waiting for him to finish a meeting and break for lunch. Last year over Summer we went to Amazon World on the Isle of Wight and they still had adverts up for their tickle a tapir experience and we agreed we'd have to go back and tickle tapirs, so I guess that was why they were on my mind.
I'd forgotten exactly how cute tapirs were, and once I'd started I was hooked. There are four definite living species of tapir (and one unconfirmed!) so I knew I wanted to feature all of them, plus, of course, their babies! They are born with all kinds of crazy stripes and spotty patterns to help keep them camouflaged against their jungle homes.
And here's a close up of the final design! I think it's been my most popular design ever on Instagram, which is crazy. Who knew so many people like tapirs? Are you a tapir fan? What other animals should I do next?
Shop the tapir print here: