I recently held a contest on my Facebook page to help me name my bear. There were over 130 entries. I was blown away by all of the creative responses, it was awesome! The name that struck a chord for me was “Owsley”. For those of you who may not know, this is a reference to Owsley Stanley, who was a sound man for the Grateful Dead and responsible for recording and preserving many of their live shows. In fact, I listened to many hours of Owsley’s recordings as I was drawing this very piece. His nickname also happened to be “Bear”. Unfortunately, Bear passed away last year in a car accident, but he will forever be remembered through the recordings he left behind. I felt the reference was pretty darn appropriate, and I’m stoked about how it all came together.
His name aside, I also really like bears in general:) Bears are everywhere, and have been adopted into so many characters that had a big influence on me growing up… Smokey the Bear, Yogi Bear, teddy bears, gummy bears, care bears, teddy grahams, the list goes on and on… Plus seeing bears in nature is always an amazing experience… similar to the mountain lion, it’s something I’m constantly hoping for, just as long as it’s from a safe distance:)