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Written By Matthew Gallo

I have been painting, drawing, sketching, doodling, scratching, and scribbling since before I can remember.  Some of the earliest pieces I created as a young artist were heavily inspired by nature and history–my dad likes to brag that I was three and drawing dogs with detailed fur.  Still to this day, two of my favorite places are The Bronx Zoo and The Museum of Natural History in NYC.

As I grew older my artistic inspirations shifted to subjects like sci-fi and fantasy (5/4 is a holiday in my heart), ancient history, folklore, and anthropology.  I quickly fell in love with the field of illustration. The fact that a single image can tell a complex story mesmerized me. So as a youthful teenager I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life…

…So I went to college and received a degree in illustration and design.  Unfortunately, not only did I graduate with a degree in a field that is ridiculously competitive with no income stability, I graduated in 2006, more or less on the eve of one of the greatest financial collapses of our time.  When companies and employers are forced to tighten their belts, by several notches in this case, art is typically the first thing to get axed from the budget.

Things were tough going. I was commissioned for odd jobs here and there, but nothing steady. In other words, art and illustration was a pretty good side gig for a while, but wasn’t enough. I was an adult now, doing adult things like getting married and growing a family (one wife, three kids, two dogs and counting at this point), and I decided that a career shift was in order.

So I did what needed to be done, sold my soul and started working in the finance and insurance industry.  Even though I’m a creative, I actually have a great mind for numbers and statistics. However, no matter what I do for a living nothing will soothe the itch that a natural artist feels when thoughts and ideas need to be put on paper.  After what seemed like a very long time, I started painting again…this time for my children.

My children inspire me every day.  I am so thankful to have children that want to be outside exploring and adventuring regardless of the temperature or the weather.  They are fascinated by the natural world that surrounds them. This has re-energized me and sparked the young artist from my youth to create nursery and playroom art that is a natural extension of our parenting philosophy.

I hope that these images inspire curiosity and encourage your little ones to develop a deep love and appreciation of our natural surroundings.


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