Working For Wildlife with Martin Aveling and Derwent Pastel Pencils

Art has served me well throughout my lifetime. Not necessarily for profit, mind you. Any artist knows that is not why you make it your career.

For fun, for focus, for getting up every morning. For surviving big changes at a young age, my escape, my safe space. For mental well being and a sense of calm, art has served me more than well.

To this day going missing in art is pure joy. So while drawing remains my medication, my passion is the subjects.

The Animals.

Pastel pencil drawing of a toucan by artist Martin Aveling

In just 44 years, 60% of all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have disappeared from the planet, and the invertebrates aren’t doing so well either. I have been around for the best part of that. Not the first 7 years, but we weren’t killing as many rhinos back then. It is easy to feel despondent, but also partly culpable. How did we let this happen?? We really took our eye off the ball.

Pastel pencil drawing by Martin Aveling

I feel like there has never been a more important time for wildlife art. There is a far greater urgency now for communicating this catastrophe we find ourselves in, and visual artists have an advantage in an age that puts such emphasis on quality visual content. Grabbing people’s attentions quickly and effectively is paramount.

One great thing about drawing animals is the natural relationship it has with wildlife conservation NGOs. Ever since I chose to become a professional wildlife artist I have supported a number of different conservation charities through funds raised from the sale of my work. As much as the need for funding remains high, I feel I could also be adding value on a PR front, by producing works that portray a more
honest narrative for what is happening to our planet and its wildlife. I would really like to see more wildlife artists challenge themselves by using their skill and creative license to paint a truer picture in the hope that it engages more people in the cause.

Pastel pencil drawing of a green sea turtle by mART

In June I was awarded the ‘Conservation Artist of the Month’ prize by the ‘Artists For Conservation’ group – an honour and responsibility I take very seriously. Currently I am quite taken by the notion of using the globe in its entirety as an effective way of communicating the urgency of our climate crisis.

I think we could all do well to remember that Mother Nature is the true CEO. If she’s happy, more of us are too.

Celebrating a great naturalist on his 90th birthday. E.O. Wilson.

Find out more about Martin Aveling via his website

Shop the Derwent Pastel Pencil collection here.

Pastel Pencil drawing of a Chilean Flamingo by mART
Pastel pencil drawing of a macaw by artist Martin Aveling