Assorted mammalian musings
• On June 3, 2007, the first Daily Mammal post went up. Almost a year ago!
• I was up until 3:30 am last night working on a spreadsheet that lists the Latin names and taxonomic situations of all the mammals of the world. (Don’t worry, I didn’t make that part, I downloaded it from the Smithsonian.) What I was doing was putting in the common names and the dates posted for the mammals I’ve drawn. I got them all in except for this latest mammalthon batch, and while I do feel a sense of satisfaction for having done that, I am very disappointed that I have drawn nowhere near the 366 mammals I should have. Luckily, my 14-year estimate was based on a rounding up of 13 and a half years, so I don’t need to change that prediction yet. But I have to get on the ball!
• My first goal for the few weeks left in this first fiscal mammal year is to hit half of the 366 mammals that we needed.
• My second goal is to draw at least one species from every order of mammals by June 3. Orders are the groups like rodents, primates, ungulates, carnivores, etc. There are 10 orders we haven’t covered, so unless one of them is extremely mysterious and no reference images can be found, that should be no problem. One of the remaining orders is represented by just one species!
• My goal for next year is to draw 365 mammals between June 3, 2008, and June 3, 2009. I think that hard as it is, it’s still worthwhile to try to draw one a day. I know there will be times—business trips, for instance—when it’s just not possible, but I can do mammalthons to make up for those times, maybe. Here is a quote from Andy Warhol (via Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project, one of my favorite blogs) that addresses this:
“Actually, I jade very quickly. Once is usually enough. Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more.”
• In creating this spreadsheet, I got to go back and look at all my old drawings. My drawing has improved so much in just a year! (Imagine how good I’d get if I actually did draw every day.) I think right now I’ve plateaued, but maybe I’ll start an upward swing again soon. Here’s something funny I noticed. I’ve drawn three different kangaroo rats over the past year, and each time I didn’t think about the other ones I’d drawn. But look at the drawings. Every one is in the same position! And what’s up with the style of that second one (from Mammalthon 1)? Here they are; which is your favorite?: