A giraffe needs to look like it has a lot of guts,” Dr. Sze said. “It’s the idea that something is more than just its body that interests me.”
“I wanted it to be like a character in a film or on the street. That’s what I tried to create.”
In the beginning, he took images of animals that he had seen in his university library and drew them in a way that didn’t resemble them too much.
“Even the animals that I drew, I looked at the pictures and looked for their proportions,” Dr. Sze said in an interview on March 30. “But I think that I made a mistake and I didn’t look at their anatomy. I didn’t really know what it would be like. I would look at my drawings and look for symmetry and the proportions, and then I would start drawing it.”
Dr. Sze said that if you take a picture of a giraffe and have a similar-looking animal in the same area of the ground, the giraffe in the photo will look different in the photo.
“I don’t know if it’s because I drew it at a different spot, or why it looks different. For example, if I put a duck next to a giraffe it will look the same because the proportions are so similar,” he explained.
Dr. Sze said that in order to create believable giraffe imagery, he and some of his classmates have even modeled them after their favorite animals.
“My girlfriend, who I have an artist relationship with, took me to her favorite zoo, and I tried drawing their giraffes. She’s actually a giraffe lover,” Dr. Sze recalled.
The photo above was taken at the University of Zalec, Slovakia. Dr. Sze said that he liked the way his photo of a giraffe looked in his head.
“I want people to understand that this is part of the real animal,” Dr. Sze said. “I did not want to exaggerate this photo at all — it’s as realistic as possible.”
Dr. Peter Sze (left) in 2007 with model and photographer Aleksandra Blakova. Dr. Sze says that the two of them have modeled a number of animals of their choice at their favorite zoos.
“It was our choice to go to Zala in Switzerland and model the giraffe, but it wasn’t our first choice.