Some years ago, a shy, quiet, and misfit young girl used to wander the wilderness that surrounded her home in the countryside.
Fast-forward to more recent years, and Diane Ozdamar, the little girl from the countryside, has become a successful photographer, illustrator, and graphic designer. Currently residing in Montreal, Canada, Diane recalls her childhood as one of the biggest inspirations behind her artistic personality.
Diane Ozdamar was a shy, quiet, and misfit young girl used to wander the wilderness that surrounded her home in the countryside.
Today, she’s created numerous galleries and explains that she’s also in charge of a grand exhibition about small mammals, and while in conversation with Wonderish, she explains this in a little bit more detail: “It takes place at the Animal Expo show in Paris, inside the exotic pets pavilion hosted by volunteer animal rights activists.”
So she took to nature for artistic inspiration and today, is a successful photographer, graphic designer, and illustrator. Art acted as a type of therapy for Diane.
But how does one jump from being a photographer to an exhibition about small mammals? Well, it has everything to do with rats!
Diane’s recent project on rats has taken the internet by storm. But this isn’t the first time she’s photographed these cutesy mammals.
“My photographic journey began when I was 20 years old, and I am now 32, although I only started taking pictures of rats back in 2008,” she explains. Diane started photographing rescue rats in hopes of finding them permanent homes. That’s when she came to an interesting realization: “Cute pictures displaying these rats’ personalities not only helped to find them good families but also allowed some people to get over their phobia and prejudices,” she admits. And so started her journey of creating an entire gallery of cutesy rat photos that has since gone viral all across the Internet.
“My photographic journey began when I was 20 years old, and I am now 32, although I only started taking pictures of rats back in 2008.” Diane started photographing rescue rats in hopes of finding them permanent homes.
The artist always had a liking for rats. Although she doesn’t own one anymore, she has had up to 14 rats at one time. It wasn’t planned at all, but at that time, she remembers stepping up to foster these mammals when they had no home and were at the risk of being euthanized.
She has had up to 14 rats at one time, and her most recent pet rat passed away last summer.
She talks about the incident and says, “I agreed to take three of them while I already had other foster rats. But in the end, I got so attached to them that I just couldn’t let them go.” Her last pet rat, Kjalarr, passed away last summer at the age of three—she didn’t go back for another because she can’t bear the pain of losing them.
All she wanted to do with this project was raise awareness about the importance of keeping rats safe, and how harmless they really are.
This photographer created a successful project (one which her audience has loved) effortlessly because of her love for art from her childhood. Diane says that she’s been involved in art and creation for as long as she can remember. Many children ask for toys and dolls for presents, but the artist thinks back to the time when she was asked what she wanted on special occasions: “I used to ask for pencils, paintings, and paper for Christmas as these were my favorite ‘toys’ to play with. I cannot count all the times I borrowed my father’s art supplies to illustrate the short stories I used to write.”
The photographer says that the positive feedback she’s received has been overwhelming.
Eventually, her father gifted her a “big box of colored CarbOthello pencils” when she moved to Paris to pursue her art education; speaking of the present, she says, “This box has been following me everywhere ever since. It is so full of memories that I just couldn’t leave it in France when I moved to Canada at the beginning of this year.”
“Lots of people asked me about rat care, how to handle them, and even where to adopt them.”
As a little kid struggling to find her ground within a circle of other children, Diane said that her interest in art became a kind of therapy, especially after her mother passed away at the tender age of 13.
“I really hope these pictures and the information I have provided will do some good for the abandoned and/or abused rats in need of a home.”
Her parents have always been a source of encouragement to pursue art as a career, especially my father, who she says, “had to fight to follow his dream of becoming an architect, thus he knew how important it felt to me to be able to create.”
She’s immensely thankful for all the support she’s gotten for this project from her audience and hopes for a positive change.
Diane’s creative side oozes out in every one of her projects, and her images with the rats are nothing less than amazing. When asked to talk more in detail about the response she’s received from her audience (on this project), she says, “I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback I received these last few days, and I have been especially touched by people who had a really bad image of rats and told me they were eventually going to adopt their first pet rats thanks to these pictures. Lots of people asked me about rat care, how to handle them, where to adopt them, etc. I really hope these pictures and the information I have provided will do some good for the abandoned and/or abused rats in need of a home. I would never have thought the pictures could suddenly get so much recognition!”
Did you find these pictures fun? If so, then please like and share this post with family and friends, and help spread Diane’s important message!
To see more of Diane’s work, visit: dianeozdamar.myportfolio.com.