YouTube video

Tara Tucker knew from a young age that she wanted to be an artist. The problem was she couldn’t draw. But after seeing the art show “Raptors and Other Birds” by Leonard Baskin at the Santa Barbara National History Museum, she was inspired to stay up all night drawing, using a taxidermied bird from her mother’s collection as her model.

In the morning, looking over her night’s work she was amazed. “It was like a switch flipped in mind, and I could suddenly draw.”

Berkeleyside visited Tucker’s Berkeley studio where the visual artist creates highly detailed drawings of animals — both real (birds, dogs, rabbits, cats) and supernatural (a 12-foot stuffed Sasquatch holding a unicorn), and sometimes a combination of the two (bears with trees growing from their backs, monkeys braiding a horse’s hair, a coyote that has tied a crow to his back in an attempt to fly).