Lenny Pelling

Artist bio

Based in Parramatta, Lenny has been a practicing artist for nearly (ahem!) 30 years and has been working full time for the past five years under her business name, Critterarty. She is also a published author/illustrator with projects spanning both trade and educational publishing. Lenny completed her BA in Visual arts at Western Sydney University.
Lenny specialises in richly detailed pencil drawings of animals which blurs the line between the human world and theirs with warmth, humour, sweetness and the odd bit of searing social commentary. All of her pieces are accompanied by an introductory blurb, allowing the viewer a peek into the secret lives of Lenny’s critters.

I create art because...

I just wouldn't be my whole self without it. It's an expression of my humour, interests and personal ethics and while I am making art, I am calmer and more focused than I am doing anything else.

I am different to most artists because...

Well, that's a hard one. I like the fact that there are loads of us out there, making things where before, there was an empty space or a blank surface. I love being part of that community of imaginative thinkers. I guess what makes my work very me is how I combine words and pictures, how I blur the lines between human and animal worlds. It makes each piece very relatable on an emotional level.

When you look at my art, the thing I want you to feel is...

I don't want to tell people what to feel, they are drawn to something for their own reasons but it is wonderful when we approach the making and buying from the same place. I experience great joy when making art and also from creating a personality and background that rounds out the piece and makes it more than two dimensional. People say that my enjoyment and cheekiness comes through very clearly.

The thing I most want to say to non-artists is...

Often people say to me "I don't have a creative bone in my body!" to which I say, it doesn't matter if you draw, make music, do admin or build houses, creative thinking can be applied to ANYTHING! If there is a skill to learn, how do you go about it? A problem to solve? How do you break it down and solve it? Anyone can be creative in their field and in their life.

I believe art is an important part of our lives because...

Art is a means of expression, a way to comment on or highlight things that we see and experience. If I didn't have it, I would feel mute and less able to participate in the world. It is so important as an expression of culture and identity and emotion.

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