Saturday, November 5, 2011

Olive the Rabbit

So I'm going to talk about my talented partner in crime a bit here. Her name is Roseline Lau and we've worked together as animators all across Australia. We mostly animated in Adobe flash (grrr) and working in that for 5 years and the productions we were on limiting/restricting how much drawing we could do (the time it took to draw 'on model' usually means we just use what we have even if it looks lousy) meant we both hit a breaking point. Rose pretty much swore she would never animate again.

While I'm still struggling trying to find the love and do more interesting creatively challenging animated projects, Rose has gone ahead and setup her own business 'Olive the Rabbit' Pet portraitures of your animal friends

The name Olive the Rabbit came from her animal friend Olive the lop eared rabbit.

"Olive the rabbit was a lop eared rabbit I bought when she was weeks old, to keep me company while I was going through a tough patch, a crossroads of sorts, in life. One fortnight she fell sick, and I didn't notice until it was too late, and in some painful hours of hoping the medicine the vet gave her would help, she died. I was working as an animator at that stage, and I had a natural instinct towards character animation. Sorry that no one really knew how quirky Olive was, and sad that I didn't give her as much time as I should have, I began drawing Olive as the funny character she was. Naughty, mischievous, bold, a real street urchin, full of energy who could beat up other rabbits. Olive the rabbit was the beginning of my drawings of the many animal friends and pets I have met, and she was the inspiration that got me showing them as the great characters that they are." 

Unlike other pet portrait artists (which was surprising to both Rose and me that there are quite a few out there). Rose doesn't recreate a photo but she characterises the pet and tries bring out the personality. This was something she kicked ass in as an animator. Where most of us would be moving a character to the sound her character would act and would feel alive. I learnt so much from her work and it's great that she is able to bring that skill to this.

Here's a few examples of her portraits

Rose has always talked a lot to the owners and where she can has gone to meet the animals. She loves hearing the stories the owners tell and a common theme is that the animal isn't just a pet it is a member of the family a friend. Which is so true and when my family dog (A corgi named Gabby) died last year it was great to have Rose do up a painting for us

Gabby always loved her walks and was really acted like a mother to us kids. When my brother and I used to fight in the backyard she would run in between us and bark and try to break us up haha.

Since Rose has started doing these portraits and getting hugs from her clients (and some money of course) she has become more creative again. Drawing comics, sketching people in cafes and life drawing sessions she even did an animation just for fun (OMG!)

(this is for the loopdeloop screenings that I'll talk about tomorrow)

This is her website for Olive the Rabbit:

and if you want to see some more of her art:

She is actually running a raffle that you can enter (via her blog) and possibly win a Pet Portrait for $3 (aus) with $1 of that money going towards an animal cat/dog shelter. That raffle ends tomorrow so get in fast.

Speaking of which I should head over and see how her table is doing at the "Wet Nose Day" (hopefully it's not too wet)


  1. I love the bunny halfway down. the real rabbit looks a bit terrifying, but the painting makes him such a dapper gent.

    Now I'm looking sideways at Franklin the cat and wondering if he could be imagined as anything beyond a colossal pile of fur and fat.

  2. They really are lovely portraits and its so nice to see something more original than just replicating the photos.