As a kid, all I ever wanted for my birthday was a DoodleArt poster (my frugal father was delighted)! If you are not familiar with this brand, they were large, extremely detailed colouring-in posters that came in a tube with Berol felt-tip pens (koki pens for Southern Africans). Maybe due to boredom or because I’m often uninspired by Namibian curios, a few years ago I decided to create my own colouring posters depicting various Namibian regions. I wanted something that could be enjoyed by both adults and children. I also wanted them to be informative as I felt this might inspire children to be more in touch with their natural surroundings.
I started with Etosha as this is one of Namibia’s most iconic tourist destinations and seemed like an easy starting point. It also meant I would have no shortage of animals to fill the poster with. Drawing the front image for the poster didn’t take very long. I created a border because I am fond of goggas (bugs) and this meant I could incorporate them into the overall design without being too small.
The part that took hours of research and frustration was the information about each animal. My mistake was to include some creatures on the coulouring-in poster that haven’t been well researched and that the web woefully lacked information on. Any normal person would have redrawn the more difficult creatures and be done with it. Unfortunately, that is not in my nature! This proved to be even more true with the Coastal poster. I spent hours trying to get hold of entomologists at Gobabeb Research Centre, went to lectures at the Namibian Scientific Society and emailed various experts. In a few cases, I never managed to get the kind of detailed information I was looking for, mainly because the research just hasn’t been done. This was frustrating but also fascinating. To think that in this day-and-age we still don’t know so much about the animal kingdom!
We will be making regular posts on animals from the colouring-in posters with information about them.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the online versions and maybe get inspired to buy one to colour-in. At this stage please email me if you are interested in purchasing a poster as we haven’t yet got around to sorting out the shopping section of this blog.