True Tiger was created for Jungle City, a charitable event of major conservation impact. The event, launched in Edinburgh, celebrated the magnificence of Asia’s endangered wildlife, generating mass awareness of their plight and making everyone smile at the same time. Purchased by Apex Hotels at a charity auction, he is now on display at the Apex City Hotel in Edinburgh.
We spoke to the artist who created him, Amy Rhian, to find out more ...
How did you get involved in the Jungle City Project?
I am living in the warehouse that the Jungle City people rented out to paint the animals in and I really wanted to paint one, so I entered a competition to design and paint one of the animals - and I won!
What was the inspiration behind True Tiger?
My ideas started from some Japanese armour I saw in the V&A. I wanted to make my tiger his own set of armour as if to protect him from extinction. I took simple shapes from my armour research and created a pattern to cover him in. I named him True Tiger after my friend and housemate Neil's DJ and production group, True Tiger.
How long did the design take to complete?
It is hard to say how long he took to paint because I was working on him at home, so I dipped in and out of the job a lot. I would say start to finish he took me a month.
What are your thoughts on where he ended up?
I am really pleased with where he has ended up. I wanted him to be in a public place where lots of people could see and enjoy him and the Apex Hotel seems the perfect place for this! He will get to meet people from all over the world. I am also pleased that he is still in Edinburgh. I have visited twice now and I love the city. I came up for the Jungle City Grand Auction and dinner at the Museum last month and it was an amazing night, I loved it. True Tiger loves it in Edinburgh too, he looked happy when I saw him there!
What are you working on at the moment?
I have just returned from two months of travelling around India, so I'm not working on anything just yet! I am planning to do more 2D illustration work of my own and build a new website over the next couple of months. That's all I know at the moment, if some set design work comes around I will go for that too.