During my travels in 2005 at Friends of the National Parks Foundation in the deep jungles of Borneo, the eyes of the orangutans and the exquisite beauty of native Indonesian wildlife struck me. It was my calling to raise funds and awareness for endangered wildlife. At the time, I had the rare opportunity to visit the rehabilitation centre for the orangutans. I remember how heavy and steamy the air was as I walked toward one of the enclosures. The heaviness eased as my eyes met the most loving, big brown eyes I had ever seen. These eyes captivated me. The love shining from her eyes was the key to unlocking the personality and sentience I strive to express through each of my works.
Before I start, I take time to connect with the animals and imagine being in their world - to listen to them so I can tell their story. I take all the time and care I need to perfect each mark I make to honour and respect them at the core of my being. My process is slow and deliberate, unfolding one stroke at a time in gouache and coloured pencil or scratchboard.
I deeply respect all the scientists, environmentalists, researchers, rangers and volunteers who go above and beyond to make a difference. In many cases, they risk their lives to save wildlife and their habitats. I feel inspired to create and share my art because of them.