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It was one of the most gorgeous winter mornings of the year 2017. I could hear the sound of flowing water while I was near a water canal. When life doesn't treat you well, nature is your only refuge. 2017 has been a difficult year for me thus far, and as a result, I've been really dissatisfied with life. But my life took a turn when I experienced a marvel of nature; I was gazing at the lake when a startling golden flare drew my full attention. My gaze followed the yellow flash, which led me to the stunning and bright colored "GOLDEN ORIOLE" bird. I had never before seen such a beautiful bird in my neighbourhood. I instantly stopped caring about my life and began to pursue the yellow bird. I found the bird on other side of the canal, the bird was perched on a neem tree.

This bright yellow bird appeared in my life like an angel. When I heard the male golden oriole's melodic whistle, all of my stress vanished. I started my journey in the world of birds and nature on that day. I went home and did some research on the name of the yellow bird. The next morning, I learned about the "GOLDEN ORIOLE" and started going to the water canal every day to look for it. I learned about so many unique and stunning bird species while looking for an oriole.

I came to understand that many of us are unaware of the magnificent bird species that are all around us. Several of them require conservation. You need to get to know them in order to start coexisting peacefully with them by planting native trees, maintaining feeders, and getting to know them. But for that, people need to be conscious of the wildlife in their immediate surroundings. So I made the decision to put my abilities to work.

As an artist I decided to tackle this issue through art and on January 1st 2018 I started my miniature art project. I created my first paper bird artwork on January 1st 2018 and shared it on The Paper Ark’s social media platform with the basic information about the species, such as their name, what they eat, there habitat, where they live and so on. Initially it was 30 days series and people begun connecting to the series. They started coming up with their stories about how nature, birds, animals has inspired them in their life.

So after 30 days, I chose to continue my series for 1000 days because in the first 30 days only I explored a lot more species which I never knew. I gave my series a title and called it "1000 Feathers Project" . So from there on for every single day, without fail, I continued to create a new species and raise awareness about them. After the first year I included animals and other living beings also in my series. It was really an encouraging and life changing series but with that it was a difficult assignment also because I had to work on it no matter what I am experiencing in life be it emotional discomfort or terrible weather or any other life circumstances, I kept going without fail for 1000 days. On 26th September 2020 the "1000 Feathers Project" concluded.

So this is how Golden Oriole inspired not only my series but also the rest of my life and to honour this beautiful bird I made him the identity of my artistic venture

"The Paper Ark". I am a wildlife artist today specialised in bird art and I continue to create various artworks and work on different series with a focus on nature and its magnificent creatures. I shall describe my artworks and artistic style more in my upcoming blogs.

I appreciate you reading my tale. The only advice I have for you is to be aware of your surroundings and the natural world, and to work to protect species that is valuable.

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The Paper Ark is an artistic collaboration between Nayan & Venus. Let’s begin with a brief introduction about the Paper artist of The Paper Ark. My name is Nayan Shrimali and I’m a paper miniature artist specialised in bird sculptures (Paper Sculpture and Paper Relief Sculpture). I was born and raised in a small town Gandhinagar (India), since I was a kid , I have always surrounded by nature. Birds, monkeys, squirrels and dogs fascinated me a lot. I still remember how I used to climb trees, feed cows and always loved listening to birds chirping. My house had a garden where we had various native trees, and my window was surrounded by gorgeous Madhumalti creeper (Rangoon creeper) where tiny sunbirds used to build their nests every summer. I was always a bird enthusiast . Painting and drawing occupied my childhood days during summers, as I grew up I wanted to bring that nature indoors and surround myself with lovely natural elements of my childhood, and that’s why I create artworks of birds, animals, insects, pollinators, marine life etc. so that I can constantly be surrounded by them. Of course, there are many other factors that tie my work to the natural world, For instance, through making lovely paper sculptures, I hope to raise awareness of natural world and its inhabitants among the people. I will continue my blog with more stories about my thoughts with you here on my blog, along with that I will share stories or facts about my artworks, tutorials, nature, conservation and some more thoughts. Thank you for reading and appreciate my Blog!

(Picture courtesy - Venus Bird)

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Hello everyone, this is my first blog and from now on I will keep sharing stories, information and facts about my art, my inspiration and nature through my blogs, so keep watching this space.

Today's topic is the Last song of Kauaʻi ʻōʻō, if you follow me on Instagram than you would have seen my post about this beautiful bird and his last song. Here I will elaborate more on how this bird had that fate and why it is so important to conserve our nature and my inspiration for the artwork.

I came across this bird three years back while researching for my series of 1000 days of art and I was completely taken back with the sound, he sang with such love and power that if you listen to it you will feel his longing. So I researched more about this bird and found that they went extinct because of human interference. The last song of this bird was recorded in 1987 and the last sighting was in 1985. The first cause of their extinction was introduction of predatory species which never existed in their habitat, they never knew how to protect themselves and that effected their population gravely. This problem was faced by one other bird also the Australian Kākāpō but now because of great conservation efforts by amazing humans they are saved. They shifted all the non native predators from their habitat to other zones, so now Kākāpō can roam freely. The second problem was deforestation which is still the biggest environmental threat to every species on our planet. Lastly was the mosquito borne diseases which the humans brought with them when they started entering their lands. These were broadly the reasons for extinction of this species. They were nectar feeding song birds and their family was responsible for pollinating many plant species and some of which were fruit bearing plants also. So now with this family no longer performing their task the reproduction of those plants will reduce and eventually effect our ecosystem and ourselves.

So this makes it clear that we all are connected and we all can thrive only if we live in an harmony. Because if any species from our ecosystem is gone then the consequences can be fatal and can lead to disastrous conditions in future. This is the reason we need to conserve our nature and not only ourselves and our family, on this earth we are big family or I can say a big industry. We all have to work together to keep the company running effectively. As every species on this earth serves a purpose like some are predators, some are pollinators and some are scavengers. All of them have a purpose and they all help in keeping our company called "Earth" in profits. If earth is in profit then our salaries will be good and we all can get bonuses also. Because nature is always rewarding. I feel the purpose of humans on earth is book keeping, we are here to monitor the activity of every other species and to make sure they are performing well. If they have any problem then we can solve that with our logic, the only thing which makes us superior. With said that I can conclude this by saying that just look around and try to observe the earth see the sky and feel the wind. When all our senses will come in an harmony with our surroundings we will get an answer to our question that "what is our purpose"

Lastly the artwork which I created on World Environment day was inspired by all these thoughts and I wanted to convey them through my art. So that's why I made an animation of this wonderful bird to remind us that we are failing at our job and our company is going under loss. We need to act soon to keep it in profits or we all will go bankrupt.

Hope you all enjoyed my little blog.


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