Friday, February 20, 2009

IF - Instinct

pencil, colored in Illustrator

Once upon a time -- just a few months ago, in fact -- a farmer's trusty old sheepdog passed away. Not able to herd his sheep, and unable to afford a new one, the farmer was at a loss. Until one day, while visiting a wildlife park, he noticed that one of the keepers had hung a poster of a wolf in the sheep pen as a joke. Curiously, the sheep tended to avoid that poster. So the farmer had a brilliant idea. He carried a large poster of a snarling wolf to his flock, and lo and behold, the sheep began to move out of instinctual fear. So now, when the farmer needs to herd his sheep, he follows behind them with a large wolf poster, to his neighbors' delight and amusement.



Click to read the original story here.

81 comments:

Milkberry said...

Wow. That's amazing. Your art of course, and the fact that the sheep instinctively know their predators even though they've never seen one before (I assume).

yoon see said...

Beautiful sheeps!
I like your sheeps and they have become one of signatures...do more sheeps' illustration yeah!
I just so enjoy them:)

I salute you Bella.
Your post is so creative and amusing! Enjoy the spontaneous jumping thrill the sheep is having.

Candace Trew Camling said...

cuuute sheep! Great job with the overall illustration but I really love the textures too!

Amy C said...

that's so cool, I always enjoy the stories you share with us and the sweet illustrations that come from them

Sam McCullen said...

Great story and illustration! Made me chuckle! :-D

isay said...

you made me smile! i like the story and you illustrated it well!

great photos of Disney Sea by the way.

messyfish said...

ha ha ha ha thats funny!

bobo said...

What a fun story! Love your sheep, they're sooooo cute!

aimee said...

this one blew me over the top! just like that sheep! this is a fabulous drawing and i love how you based it on a true story.

Valerie Lorimer said...

Really, really fabulous artwork! And story. That's very cool they instinctively knew to get away. I love all the texture in your piece. It's wonderful!

Ces said...

Holly canoli! The story is incredible but the illustration is fantastic. Bella, you are my favorite artist. Have I said that before? So far I love EVERYTHING you have done. I love the way you drew the sheep's fleece! I love this drawing. It should be the picked by IF for a perfect post.

Ces said...

The comments in the original story are funny. One of the commenters wrote "what the flock!" I thought that was clever.

By the way, you sure read interesting human events stories, this and the Snow Whites. I love how you illustrate them

Where is your signature ? You should draw a cute Bella Logo(si) with every work.

Ces said...

Oh by the way, your sheep are ready to be sheared. Can you draw then naked too?

There I go spamming you again!

linda cardina said...

BELLA!!! i love this one!! how funny! there's that little girl with the teeny tiny hands..i love her! hope u are doing well. xoxolinda

Renee said...

This is just wonderful. Your work is perfect just like you. I think this is fantastical.

I love love love your pictures and this is sweet.

Love Renee

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

fabulous sheep girly! they are way cool and I love that old wolf coming up in the rear! He's a total trip. I just love your story telling as well. You already know that this is book in the making! I'll take 50 please! Where should I send the check???? Love it!
Hugs a plenty
V

Nicky Linzey said...

Bella, where do you find these stories? They always make me smile! Lovely sheep especially the springy one.

kj said...

bella, i'm sorry to swear on your blog, but this illustration is
f---- adorable!

(not to mention the psychology of the story. I'm wondering what picture i may want to have blown up and carry around and why...)

Peter Breese said...

Nice image and brilliant story to share with it! Well done Bella - always a pleasure to visit your world.

ArtSparker said...

Wonderful illustration and linkage.

The truth is, we (homo sapiens) are not all that different as far as responding somewhat programmatically to certain stimuli - Fear has played a big part in motivating us in the U.S. in recent years in particular.

Kat Hannah said...

I love a touch of ingenuity...and your work is gorgeous - love the lilac color and opening of the mouth which leads us right into the image.

kara said...

Haha! So cute and funny! I love it!
Thanks for the lovely comments about my "celebrate" illustration (even though I accidently posted it under "instinct" )
:) Kara

Dusik said...

Bella, you are the greatest as usual! i just love this illustration and the girl, and the sheep, and the whole witty idea :)

love your style!

Bella Sinclair said...

Milkberry, I’d have to agree. It’s amazing how animals are hardwired to fear certain things. Why they can't just figure out it's paper boggles me as well.

Yoon, thank you. Sheep are fun and easy. Cotton balls with faces.

Thank you, Candace.

Amy, thanks. I enjoy sharing these weird stories. Not enough weirdness in this world.

Chuckling is good, Sam. ☺

Hi, Isay and Messyfish and Bobo! Thank you so very much.

Hi, Aimee. Truth is stranger than fiction, no?

I agree, Valerie. I wonder if they’d run from a lion poster.

Ces, ces, and ces. You are a flocking crackup! Naked sheep? Oooh, my friend, do not go there. And haha on the Bella Logo(si)!

LINDA! Teeny tiny hands…why, the better to pick up stubbly pencils with, my dear. :D

Aww, Renee. You always know the perfect thing to say.

Super V! Payment? I’ll take that in Ruby books, please. ☺

Oh, Nicky. I’m an internet troll. It’s sad.

KJ. Hmmmm, what WOULD you carry around? And how does that make you feel? :D

Thank you, Peter. It’s nice to escape this place and visit your world as well.

Hi, ArtSparker. True, true. As far as simple stimuli, I believe humans are hardwired to fear long, skinny snake shapes.

Thank you, Kat. Careful not to fall into the mouth.

Kara, nonsense. It’s always a good time to celebrate!

Oh no, Dusik. Just a girl with a pencil and a simple style. There’s so much I’d love to be able to do, but I know my limits. But thank you, you are sweet.

Indigene said...

I loved this post! I also love the sheep...:)

Carli said...

that is really funny and i love your illustration

caren said...

That is a wonderful story. What an amazing illustration. It must be nice to draw anything you would like! I am in awe.

Indigene said...

Bella, thanks so much for your great comments and that great link for the polar bear mama and cub! I love it! You're a sweetheart! :)

Björnik said...

Wahaha! This is very cute Bella. I could actually hear the little girl howling and giggling at the same time as she chased the poor flock away.

What I find more interesting is how you get inspiration and apply your personal take on the matter. My friend and I adore your illustrations.:)

Bella Sinclair said...

Thank you, Indigene and Carli. Indigene, I'm glad you enjoyed the video. I know it made me smile.

Oh, Caren, I WISH I could draw anything I wanted. There's so much I wish I could do.

Howl with me, Bjornik. Ah-woooooooo! Actually, I'm working on something right now that might look familiar to you. :)

viru said...

What a great idea. And your job is beautiful. Congratulations.

Owl Eng said...

this is absolutely cute!!

flower girl said...

Beautiful and creative :)

TattingChic said...

What an interesting story! At first I thought you were telling a story! I guess that's an actual event! It's funny and kinda sad at the same time. You see, I sincerely hope it doesn't damage the shepherd's rapport with his sheep to have them see him behind that image. I know it sounds silly, but I really hope he can afford to get a sheep dog soon.
That said, I love your illustration! It is very humorous! I love how that one sheepie is "jumping" out of pure startle-ment, LOL! :)

Shugar said...

Hahahhahaa... it was great reading that! Animal behavior really is so strange sometimes isn't it?
I love the sheep you drew! they're so cute! :)
Hey I may be heading to tokyo in march... hehehe maybe it'll be fun to meet up?

Ces said...

Good morning Sunshine! We have a beautiful day here today, bright, sunny and cool, a perfect southern winter. I was in bed drawing but I welcomed the Epsilons' invasion of my solitude! Epsilon 1 is looking at Google World focusing on slum areas and Epsilon II is reading in bed. Back to drawing - the title is "Stalked!"

Ces said...

Oh check out my laundry. I am airing them on my blog.

studio lolo said...

Wow, that's wild!!
I'm thinking maybe sheep aren't that intelligent. How about all the folks that out plastic owls on their roofs to keep away pigeons and seagulls? I guess we don't always need the real deal to get the job done!

Fantastic drawing Bella!

Brian Lue Sang said...

LOL - very funny and interesting! I love how you find these gems of news! Wonderful IF piece!

Ces said...

OMG! I just went through your blog from the beginning. I was floored by your pencil drawings. Your one-trick-pony description made me think of myself with my pen drawings. I need to get Illustrator but I like doing things from scratch (OCD, I think?). You truly are a fantastic artist and a great mother. You are no one-trick-pony at all. With your styles, textures and genre you are the whole stable! I love your pencil drawings. Now I remember when I first visited your blog. Am I so glad I did so!

Random York said...

This is a fun and fantastic illustration Bella! Thanks for visiting!- Have a great week (I hope)- John

Bella Sinclair said...

Viru, Owl Eng, and Flower Girl, I thank you very much.

TattingChic, HA! As long as this keeps working, I doubt he'll get a new dog. He's quoted as saying that this is much cheaper than feeding a real one.

Shugar! Wow, that would be such an honor! You can email me at:
bellasinclairdoodler@yahoo.com

Hi, Lolo! And yet other animals - ravens included - are SO intelligent! Wild, isn't it?

Thank you, Brian and John. I hope you have a wonderful week too!

Ces, ARE YOU STALKING ME? Hahaha.
Good gracious, woman! Why would you ever subject yourself to that?! I can tell you couldn't sleep last night. No, no, no, you are too kind and generous. I wish I could paint brilliantly like you. I wish I had the patience and skill to create such fine-detailed pen and ink drawings like you. But right now, I'm only comfortable working with things I can easily erase (or control-z). I am seriously blushing from head to toe. By the way, if your son would like to see pictures of the world's slums, he might be interested in this link:
http://www.theplaceswelive.com/

Draffin Bears said...

Oh what a lovely story Bella ~
Your sheep are so sweet.

Always lovely to come and visit and see what beautiful drawings you have done.

Animal behaviour is interesting - I remember our cat always jumping high over a new front door mat, always did that and don't know why.

Have a great week
Hugs
Carolyn

soulbrush said...

delightful the whole post. hugs to you and the family.

Ces said...

Halloo thar matey. Howdy har har!

linda cardina said...

bella,, u need to join facebook...easier to chat with u my dear:) xolin

Caroline said...

I love these sheep and your story, you have a way with them (both!)Bella!

Bella Sinclair said...

Hi, Carolyn. So wonderful to see you each time you visit! Really? Your cat did that? How odd. And funny!

Thank you, Soulbrush. Hugs to you right back! :)

Hello, Linda! Oooh, yes, facebook. I've considered it before, but I would rather not be found by my past. I choose to remain...a woman...of myssssssssstery....... ;)

Thank you, Caroline. 'Twasn't my story, but that farmer's. :)

Ces -- WHAT THE FLOCK?! HARDY HAR HAR HAR HAR!

Carmen Saldaña said...

Jejejeje, what a strange story!
Lovely illo, I really LOVE this sheeps, especially the jumping one, it´s very funny
:-)

Shugar said...

hehehhee, i dropped you an email!

linda cardina said...

hahaaha bella u r sooo funny! u crack me up! i understand totally;) i should be like u ...too late..they all know aabout me now...hehehe

Charmingdesigns said...

I'm glad I found you through Tatting Chic. I have just been visiting sheep...and gathering wool. I got to hold a baby in diapers.lol...Laurie

Annette Q said...

What a great story and piece- Love the little girl in the mask and the sheep's expression are so funny! Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. Really enjoy visiting yours:-)

Bella Sinclair said...

Hello, Carmen. Thank you, my friend.

Linda, what's not to love about you!?

Hi, CharmingDesigns! Gosh, thanks for visiting. Honestly? A baby sheep in diapers? Whyyyyyy?

Miss Q, I enjoy visiting your blog, too! Thanks. :)

Chris said...

HA! That's hilarious. And your illustration is really nice. I like the sheep fur quite a lot.

Ces said...

It just occurred to me. If I carry a large picture of Obama, I wonder what that will drive away?

Bella Sinclair said...

Thanks, Chris. When I get the sheep sheared, I will send you some fur. :)

Ces, why, you'd drive away all the Republicans, of course! He's managed to cleave right along party lines, hasn't he.

Edrian Thomidis said...

This is so lovely! Love the hair on the sheep and the little girl pretending. Great job coloring it in illustrator.sos!

Ellen said...

Bella, what a cute story - your stories are always wonderful!!
I see your doing some Illustrator work - yea!! The illustration is beautiful - and I love the soft shading you did. I recognize that little girl behind the mask! :-)

Danielle Barlow said...

That's just the funniest story!
I like your sheeps too!

rachelhoward said...

That is just wonderful! I really thought you'd made the story up until I saw the link - brilliant! Your interpretation of it is fantastic - I love the variety of sheep-reactions and the way you've adapted it to your character.

Genius. :)

Faruffa said...

This is so fun, love your curly sheep!!!

nancy said...

Haha, too funny story. Love the curly sheep! I'd feel a little bad though, frightening them so! lol

Zari said...

haha...so cute!!!

Bella Sinclair said...

Thank you, Edrian. The curls are probably just me projecting -- I wish I had curls in my hair. :)

Hey, Ellen! Illustrator's fun, but I keep doing the same old, same old. I'm not learning new techniques yet. And can I tell you a secret? The grass was a cheap and dirty trick. I took a photo of grass and blurred the heck out of it. Ssshhhhhhh.

Danielle, thank you!

Hi, Rachel! Thank you, but the real brilliance belongs to that farmer, dontcha think?

Thank you, Faruffa!

Don't feel bad, Nancy. They have bad memories. They told me so.

Thank you, Zari!

Kassi Isaac said...

lol wow what a story- Youve made my day!! lovely drawing- thanks for sharing! x kas

Dot said...

too funny. I love it!

Shani said...

Well now that's an interesting post. Could put a few sheepdogs out of work though :-). And an excellent illustration too! I like the way you've colored in Illustrator, it's a bit brighter, nice!

Michael O'Connell said...

what a wonderful story… my fav so far… and a wonderful illustration to match…

Bella Sinclair said...

Thank you, Kassi.
And thank you, Dot.

Shani, I dunno...walking for miles carrying a big poster? I'd opt for the dog.

Thank you, Michael! Loved your Spidey guy.

Jim Rowland Creations said...

I can see why this has received so many positive comments... I saw this picture a few days ago and knew I had to remember to comment because it is such a simple and wonderful picture. Well done indeed Bella!

kathy hare said...

coming to visit your blog is always such a pleasure.. wonderful stuff!

sketched out said...

I just love your style, both illustration and storytelling. There are wondrous things to be found here, at your blog.

That is amazing about the sheep reacting to the photo of a wolf. My ex-boyfriend and I went to the zoo once and while we stood next to the meerkat's habitat, he made a sound like an eagle, and they all instinctually looked up in fear. Sort of mean, but interesting and, yeah, well funny too, heehee.

Bella Sinclair said...

Thank you, Jim. Did you catch that practically half these comments are my own? HA!

Hi, Kathy. I always enjoy your visits, too!

Hello, Sketched Out. Heeheee, ok, that would make my sadistically giggle, too. Your ex-boyfriend sounds like a talented guy. :)

K. Grace said...

delightful work. i love the heart and humor in the piece too. but overall, your style is so inspiring to me!

Angela said...

Cool story, and I love how you translated it into this cute illustration! :)

Andrea Kobayashi 小林アンドレア said...

It's a pretty scary poster, I'd run away from it. Nice drawing, like the wool!!

Flying Colors said...

You are a dream in finding the small things in life and sharing them with your incredible illustrations!

Such a wonderful post, the whole package! You don't skimp, I'm left with my mouth open like that sheep :-)

rebekah said...

i loled when i read this! thanks for sharing!!

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deepazartz said...

You are a genius:))