Niki Firmin

Biro Artist, United Kingdom

Niki Firmin is a self–taught artist who has, from an early age, displayed a passion for art, and recently focussed on Wildlife Art.

'From an early age I would always sit and draw rather than read. Although I did put aside my art implements for a few years, with the commitments of being a full-time mum and wife, I later picked up my art again when my two boys became older and less reliant. Still with time being a premium, I found it convenient to just pick up a biro and draw as there was usually one to hand. I had used this medium in the past, but once I started to use it more I began to really enjoy its versatility.

The advantage of the biro, over other ink pens, is that you can shade with it like you can with a pencil. Yet unlike a pencil, it gives a sharper glossier finish and is great for detail. It is a medium that is relatively unexplored by artists possibly because of the fact that it is very difficult to make any alterations to your work once it's on the paper; not to mention the great deal of patience required in the process of building up each layer of the picture. Typically, one piece of wildlife art takes me around 30 to 60 hours to complete. Some of those in the art world don't regard the biro very highly, which I find really difficult to understand as it is surely the end result that matters and not the medium you use.

Therefore I really want to encourage the use of biro as a valid medium and what better way to do that than to use it to draw and help save the most beautiful and magnificent wildlife that we find in our world today. I hope that people enjoy seeing what art can be created with such an everyday writing implement that we all use. To buy such a picture would be to encourage a new art medium while helping to save some of the most endangered wildlife species. I have real passion for drawing these fascinating and majestic creatures and we need to do everything we can to prevent losing them forever.'

Thank you, Niki Firmin.

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African Conservation Foundation

ArtSavingWildlife is a project of the African Conservation Foundation

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