Welcome to Artful Animalz, a delightful menagerie of pet-inspired graphics and animal-themed gift items, including greeting cards, stamps, shoes, apparel and more, perfect for passionate pet owners and animal lovers of all kinds, for any occasion. Click any item in the flash panel or its link in one of the blog posts below to view the product listing page in our Zazzle gallery.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Kiboko - The Swahili word for hippo

Artful Animalz is going wild to launch its new Jungle Instinct™ safari-inspired gift line, celebrating the world's most awe-inspiring animals, featured with their Swahili names. The series kicks off with Kiboko, a dramatic pen and ink hippo illustration which took artist Mark Hedberg over nine hours to create, utilizing a painstakingly slow, detail-intensive process known as "stippling."


For those of you interested in deconstructing the elements of our new Jungle Instinct_Kiboko design/product line, we thought you might find the information below helpful and/or informative:

It's the technique of using small dots to simulate varying degrees of shading. In a drawing or painting, the dots are made of a single color, applied with a pen or brush. In the case of our Jungle Instinct_Kiboko illustration, an "old school" Repitograph pen was used. The Stippling technique first became popular as a means of producing shaded line art illustrations for publication, because drawings created this way could be reproduced in simple black ink. Stippling is similar to, but different from, "pointillism," which uses dots of different colors to simulate blended colors.

The common male hippopotamus weighs about 3 tons. The females weigh about 1.5 tons. They're generally found in grassland areas, like the Serengeti, where there is permanent still water, but not too deep, and without a lot of rocks at the bottom of the pool. Hippos are amphibious, meaning they live on land and in the water. Under water, they run or walk along the bottom, with their ears pressed down flat and their nostrils closed shut by tiny muscles. At night, they come out of the water to feed on grass. The ancients referred to this magnificient beast, as "The River Horse," and on land they can run as fast as 30 Kilometres/hr., if provoked.

Swahili is a Bantu language spoken by about 35 million people in East Africa, and is the official language of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and the African Union. The word Swahili comes from the Arabic word for "coast" or "coast dwellers," since the language was developed along the East African coast and heavily influenced by centuries of contact between predominantly Arabic-speaking traders and many different Bantu speaking inhabitants of Africa's Indian Ocean coastline. You'll also find German, Portuguese, Indian, English and French worlds co-mingled in its vocabulary. "Kiswahili" is the Swahili word for the Swahili language, and is also sometimes used in English.

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