Inspiring Conversations

Art by Animals

  • SumoMe

Inspiration comes to animals too. Here are works of art by animals!


Watch this elephant paint a beautiful image of an elephant holding a flower. You’ll be amazed at how her talent unfolds as she carefully completes each stroke. Her mahout (a person who drives an elephant) talks to her throughout the process as his gentle touch gives her confidence. She focuses on her work and seems to enjoy the approval of the audience and, of course, the sugar cane and banana treats. All of her training has been reward based.

So touched by their horrific backgrounds and loving personalities, now supports, “Starving Elephant Artisans” by selling their paintings so they can continue to have a new life in Thailand. Own a print of the art for $35.

Sea lion

In 2008, a sea lion at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans displays his artistic side for the sake of charity. These pieces of art including paintings by red pandas, frogs, Komodo dragons, elephants and other animals living in facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums during the Sept. 16 “Art by Animals” event conducted by the Auction Network.

Art can be a valuable form of enrichment for animals housed in zoos and aquariums, said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy, adding that creating art is safe for the animals and that the paints are non-toxic and washable.

“Some animals use a paintbrush while others chose to paint with their paws, claws, tails and scales,” Maddy said.


Tillamook Cheddar, 10, is a Jack Russell Terrier from Brooklyn, New York, is widely regarded as the world’s preeminent canine artist. Touted “the most successful living animal painter” by The Art Newspaper and “a masterpiece of conceptualism” by Time Out New York, Tillie has already had twenty solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe.

See more of Tillie’s works here.

Know of any other animal artists we failed to mention? Let us know who they are!

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