This was an interesting piece for me. It came from deep in my subconscious, and was a mix of many thoughts, feelings, and memories. I was surprised when I suddenly pictured it one day, so clearly, because I usually just get a vague sense of a picture, or have to try hard to force something out of me.
I had a childhood friend whose father was a hunter, and his living room was full of stuffed animals like this. It was a haunting place, and I remember feeling guilty about even being in there.
My middle name is Hunter, which has made me remember this room, those feelings of fear and guilt about the way people dominate and destroy nature, like the way we're contributing to global warming.
I've always believed in those fantastic creatures, the hidden monsters of myth and legend, cryptids. Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, sea serpents... they were all so real to me growing up. I'd still like to believe in them, but unfortunately the scientific reality of adulthood has dulled my imagination a bit. Not completely though, and never fully.
My girlfriend Courtney wrote a children's book about fabled creatures like these, but it's about one man's journey to find them and document them. In the end, he has a chance to see one, but is too afraid, and closes his eyes. Perhaps this speaks of Courtney's own fear of the existence of that which is unknown. My illustration may symbolize my fear of becoming the old hunter who has stopped nourishing his imagination and faith in the mysteries of the world, and has thus killed these fabled creatures. Perhaps this picture is a reminder to myself, to never lose my beliefs.