rainbow watercolor foxes queer art

Erin Darling is a storyteller and illustrator from Tacoma, WA. She uses watercolor and ink to share original anthropomorphic characters. She is a queer Christian and single mom. Themes of community and inclusivity are important in her work.

Erin is a self-taught artist who didn’t start painting with watercolors until she was inspired by raising her daughter. When she started this website in 2009, she blogged primarily about simple living and homemaking. If you scroll back far enough, you will find a year long series where she posted each week about the veggies she received from her local farm CSA during the year she was pregnant with her first child, and some of her most popular posts to this day are about cheese.

Which is funny, considering what she is doing now…

How You Can Experience Erin’s Work

Erin’s latest project is Calico Jill and the Search for Cheese, a serialized story in zine format about a mouse pirate who navigates an urban landscape in search of food and finds community along the way. You can follow new chapters of this story as they release each month on Patreon and you can discover extra tid bits about the characters in Erin’s blog posts. The zine is not for sale, but you can pick up a FREE copy from one of our small business partners.

Erin’s first storybook was Coco and Olive: The Color of Love, a book by international adoption advocate Michelle Madrid-Branch, telling a story of blended family and borderless love. In this children’s book, a family of dogs adopts a new puppy as their youngest family member.

Queer representation and LGBT+ advocacy are central themes in much of Erin’s work. Transgender representation shows up time and again in Erin’s paintings, in either obvious or subtle ways, and she often chooses trans models for her subjects without outing them.

She is the artist behind the Affectionate Animals series turning vintage photographs of queer couples into anthropomorphic portraits. This series was initially developed for a gallery showing at PCAF, formerly known as Pierce County AIDS Foundation. Through her partnership with this nonprofit, she is continually raising money through fundraising efforts. Her artwork and networking have increased PCAF’s engagement with youth for HIV testing and PrEP navigation.

Other illustration projects you may recognize her from include album art for Deer Ears, Instead of Lying, and Beewilderness puzzle designs.

Join the Darling Artists community on discord here.

To request a wholesale catalogue, email your request to hello@darlingillustrations.com.

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