Talking about the cats of bygone, peace of mind, values…
Virtual interview with Peter Hutzler
The first „specimen” of our topic is a talented paleo-illustrator… on contrary the prefix (thank God), this is not related to the nowadays famous „paleo-diet”. The so-called paleoartists’ main goal is to reconstruct, more accurately „resurrect” animals and their habits from a long-past era. Similar to a sculptor or an architect, a good paleoartist has dexterity, precision, last and not least professional knowledge. Hungary hasn’t got many of this kind of talents (or is it me, who is not informed?), so I happily introduce you Peter Hutzler, who is a member of this small group.
- My friend, please introduce yourself in a few sentences!
- First of all I would like to greet you and your colleagues, and of course the readers! I am Peter Hutzler and I spend my everydays in Hungary, a small city called Martonvásár in Fejér county with my wife and our daughter. I direct the work of my five workmates at a security-technology company, and I also train and look after our three dog-colleagues. I would like to add that this virtual interview surprised me, but you made me very happy! Thank you!
- You’re welcome! Your works look amazing, and that’s not even the correct word to describe it! When did you start seriously drawing? How did the paleo-art get into the picture?
- :-D Thanks! You could say I started when I was a child. I barely remember that my father taught me the basics: how to draw a horse, a dog, etc. The urge of my primary school teachers and my parents was the reason I choose an „artistic” secondary school, where I unfortuately didn’t get in… so I continued my life in another direction, but drawing remained my hobby. After I graduated, I got to know the virtual drawing programs in a multimedia-training. I found myself again, and the hobby became a profession. I worked as a graphic several times, just the „right time in the right place” not succeeded until this time! I got interested in paelo-art early, again, by my father. We had, have a book – Zdenek V. Spinar: Life before man – filled with the artworks of Zdenek Burian. The style of the artist got me as a child. This was how it all started…
- One of your first works I’ve met, illustrates a saber-tooth. As far as I know, you love „ancient” cats. Why are they your favourite?
- My love for the animals came from my father as well, who worked in animal care. We often watched and watch nature films. The first documentary I saw was about big cats, on channel National Geographic. This was love at first sight, as they say… and then I saw in the mentioned book how their ancestors could look like. So the topic just got me…
- Feline carnivores from the past have lots of genuses… Have you got a favourite? My guess is the genus of Smilodons, but please correct me if I am wrong!
- You got it right! Most of my pictures represent Smilodons. They were the biggest saber-tooth felines.
- And what about the Miacidae? Before the nowadays known felines could have become „top predators”, they must have lived in the shadow of Miacidae… What do you think about them?
- I don’t know much about them… I focus on saber-tooth felines right now. Sooner or later I’m sure I will be interested in other species, too. What you said is interesting, I mean that felines were just „second fiddles”… We can notice this in our lives too, for example african lions and the other predators in their shadow… Because of the impact of the human race, lions will go extinct, and other predators will take their role… Well, this is what we call evolution! Smaller and lighter carnivores will take their place. Bigger herbivores are getting more rare too, but that’s just my theory… But please correct me if I’m wrong.
- The truth is, upstarts like reducing the number of the herbivore population, too. For example there are cape buffaloes, rhinos, and of course elephants. Have you got a favourite animal? Regardless if it is extinct, or alive…
- You made a lot of drawings in the past years… Have you got a favourite? Or one that you aren’t really proud of? The latest question seems stupid… or isn’t it?
- There was a period in my life, when I didn’t draw anything, but I missed the feeling… The feeling that I could create something, something that is my own, made by my own hands… so approximately a year ago I started making paleo-illustrations. Browsing on the internet I found the pictures of Mauricio Anton and Roman Uchytel; and I felt the tingling feeling again, the inspiration. I suddenly realized that this was what I was missing from my life! I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t like to collect and look at others’ pictures, I want to make my own. I have a favourite, but I’m not fully satisfied with any of them. Old warrior shows a weathered, experienced Smilodon populator, an alpha male. I would like to mention a false saber-tooth feline, which is called „the Balkans’ saber-tooth” , the Metailurus major zdansky. I think that a lot of people find interesting the fact that these predators lived even in our country’s area. These days the most dangerous animals encountered on trips are ticks…
- If it is not a secret, can you tell us, how do you make your drawings?
- Of course, there is no need to be secretive! I simply make photomanipulations, based on my drawings made by hand… of course reality is a bit more complicated. As I said I watch lots of nature films. The week of big cats on National Geographic Wild is like a holiday for me. Watching these lets my imagination loose and the conceptions come…
-A question raised in my head… have you ever been asked to make a special or official work? I mean, have you ever made something for a book or a website?
-Truth is, I probably started making paleo-illustrations a year ago, for my own joy. I wanted to have my own, self-made pictures of my favourite animals. I wouldn’t dare to dream about that it could catch many people’s attention, including official artists’. I haven’t received such a thing yet, but I think it is too soon now. Day after day, I learn and study more and more, and I’m sure it’ll yield fruit.
-Have you got plans for the far or near future, which you are willing to share with us?
-I have lots of plans, but they are at an early state. Unfortunately, the lack of technology and funds are making progress hard. I would like to make sculptures, in fact, I already started it. I mean, I tried out a few 3D imaging programs. Right now I would like to use my experiences in this area.
-Our website, The Deimos Peninsula is trying to broadcast values to the readers. What are the most important values in your everyday life? Which ones are the most important?
-The most important is my family… I mean both my nuclear and „bigger” family. I have to thank them for the loving, peaceful environment and for the harmony around every walk of my life!
-Have you got an exemplar? A person you look up to? I’m sure there are at least one person in your profession, who gives you inspiration…
-I got help and encouragement from my parents, and I still get every day, for which I can’t thank them enough. My exemplar is my father. And from the profession, Mauricio Anton is the artist, who is the mostly inspiring for me. I never thought I could get to know him in real life; it was a pleasant surprise that I got an invitation from him to the Okavango Delta, to draw big cats, and take photos of them. I’d like to mention Roman Uchytel, who is working with similar methods. Thinking further, seeing his pictures made me think that I could create something like that.
-My last question: have you got a motto for life? Or a certain message to the readers?
-I think many don’t know what is meditation, what is the point of it. When meditating, brain only focuses on one thing; one thing, that makes the outer world „disappear”. Therefore soul can find peace. I feel it when I make my pictures. Completely turns me off! Similar feeling to this when you get up from a long sleep, world seems so close yet so far away. Dear reader! I wish you find a thing, an activity in your life, which can divert your attention from the problems of everydays! I wish you find your inner peace!
Thank you for your time and for honoring us with your presence, my friend! I wish you luck both in your life and in your profession!