Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Save the Girail!

Years ago I ran a campaign to save the girails.  It was sort of an interactive street theater concept revolving around the then endangered girail, the animal that both snails and giraffes evolved from. I drew lots pictures of girails, but never did get a photograph of one. When I logged into my classroom last week and found that one of the two options for our midterm assignment was to combine two animals to create altogether new one, I knew right away that I would be making a girail.  I already had pictures of giraffes from when we went to Safari Park for H's first birthday last year, and I came up with this for my rough draft:

It obviously needs some work and fine tuning, but I was pretty pleased with the result. Yesterday, however, I listened to the audio feedback from my Digital Imaging teacher, Mr. "If I Was Me, Which I'm Not, But if I Was", in which he said that:

1.  If I want to use a picture of a giraffe, I need to go to the zoo and take a picture myself.
2.  The giraffes need bodies; they look sad without bodies.

Seriously? Now, if I were making a picture of a giraffe with a snail shell on its back, which I'm not, but if I were---

But I'm not making a giraffe, and girails don't have giraffe bodies or giraffe legs. It just doesn't seem that it would be nearly as interesting, nor would it make much sense, to simply plop a snail shell on the back of a giraffe. How would that be creating a whole new animal? It's because of people like this that the girail is now extinct. 

I think I have to tread carefully in my response; I don't know how this teacher responds to defiance.  
In any case, I have decided to keep the girail picture for myself, and to turn in something else (still using the giraffe, which I photographed myself)  for my assignment...

What do you think? What would you do in this situation? 


  1. Are you sure they are extinct???? Maybe they are not and this is why your professor doesn't get it? Anyhow, as you so ably point out, his comment makes no sense if you were supposed to combine two to make one!?!? If I were you (which I'm not), but if I were, I would submit a completely new combined animal. We used to have a catrab as I recall...

  2. P.S. Considering the field he or she is in, it is really too bad the person directing your work seems to have no imagination!

  3. Wow! i think you did a fabulous job with them. i don't think the girails look sad at all. i don't understand why he wouldn't accept it when you followed the assignment and took the picture yourself. i think i would probably challenge his comment, just try to understand why he doesn't feel like these are acceptable. Was he maybe expecting something more blended together, like a cat with zebra stripes and hooves or something? Personally i think you did a really nice job with it.

  4. you are creative and i think that it is a cute picture!! As for other people's view on arts, some just don't have it! I think he needs a little imagination!

  5. I would stick with what you have and submit a copy of your original giraffe photo so he can see that you did indeed take the photo yourself. What an interesting assignment and creation.