After yesterday's long essay, I thought something a bit lighter would be nice for today: the whimsical, wonderful watercolor paintings of Akitaka Ito, based in Tokyo, Japan.
Ito was born in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1979, graduated from Tama Art University (Department of Graphic Design) in 2003, and has been a member of the Tokyo Illustrators Society since 2009.
"Every animal is a tradition, and together they are a vast part of our heritage as human beings. No animal completely lacks humanity, yet no person is ever completely human. By ourselves, we people are simply balls of protoplasm. We merge with animals through magic, metaphor, or fantasy, growing their fangs and putting on their feathers. Then we become funny or tragic; we can be loved, hated, pitied, and admired. For us, animals are all the strange, beautiful, pitiable, and frightening things that they have ever been: gods, slaves, totems, sages, tricksters, devils, clowns, companions, lovers, and far more."
- mythic scholar Boria Sax (from The Mythical Zoo: An Encyclopedia Of Animals In World Myth, Legend, And Literature)
"We poetically construct our identity as human beings, together with our values, largely through reciprocal relationships with animals. They provide us with essential points of reference, as well as illustrations of the qualities that we may choose to emulate or avoid in ourselves. Any major change in our relationships with animals, individual or collective, reverberates profoundly in our character as human beings, in ways that go far beyond immediately pragmatic concerns. When a species becomes extinct, something perishes in the human soul as well."
- Boria Sax (from The Mythical Zoo)
"Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet." - Colette