Zanzibar was my first large mural commission in Ann Arbor. It started with one wall. The client wanted a world map of where his ingredients came from. Most of the sources were tropical and I came up with the great idea to make the cold continents tiny and blow up the islands to giant sizes. I called it The World as it Should Be, because I redrew the map so that more people could live in the tropics. Unfortunately, the mural was destroyed by the new owner before I was able to get decent photos of it.
The mural below was the second mural in Zanzibar and was actually much larger than the original map mural. It was requested that I paint this in the style of Henri Rousseau, who was most known for his colorful paintings of jungles, although he never visited a jungle in his life. Rousseau had never painted water, or any of the animals that I included in the mural, so I had to figure out how his style would have applied to these elements. In the far left of the painting, I put in a little nod to Seuss, who was my favorite childhood illustrator. That’s a monkey-lope.
Unfortunately, this mural was also destroyed. However, it did grace the walls of Zanzibar for 17 years and was much loved by the public.