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The Artist behind Fergus, Part II

Published: 3/24/2013
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Fergus!

He's the wise, white-faced goofball with more than 50,000 facebook fans.

Read Part I of our interview with Jean Abernethy.

While Fergus may be silly, Abernethy connects with fans because she understands horses from an informed perspective. She has a wealthy of barn and trail experience and she’s taken collegiate courses in equine science and management. She’s even built her own saddle. (see photo at right)

NN: How does an average Fergus moment happen?
How does it evolve to a finished piece?

 JA: Usually it happens in the barn. Some of them are kind of philosophical. they don’t evolve in any time at all. But the wild turkey on the trail, what can you do but laugh? Or the Clydesdale that stands on your foot? That just happened… and I just happen to be able to draw pictures of it and then make the horses look goofy.

NN: How long does it take?
JA: One of those comic strips is about four hours. At least.

NN: You’re an accomplished artist aside from Fergus. What else are you up to?
JA: Fergus is taking up about half my time lately. I’m also working on illustrating a book for an author in Australia. I have some advertising work. I have the Sweet Pea character for Sweet PDZ, the horse stall refresher product. It’s a little character I invented for them. We’ve had some fun with her.

NN: Do you have a business strategy?
JA: Business strategy? Honey, you’re talking to an artist! That’s very hard thing for creative people.

NN: Your ‘Life is Short’ line has had a lot of notice.
JA: Yes, I think it’s because a lot of people in the horse industry are women of our age. You know how it is. You hit the middle age of your life and life starts to look pretty short. And you start to look at what’s really important. And that’s why that design goes right to the core of where our hearts are. You hit the middle age of your life and life starts to look pretty short. And you start to look at what’s really important. And that’s why that design goes right to the core of where our hearts are.

NN: How did you name Fergus?
JA: My grandfather’s Christian name was Ferguson. I suppose it probably comes from that more than anything else. I wanted a name with a “U” in it because the horseshoe fits in there so perfectly. It’s part of my Scotch-Irish heritage. That and my grandfather’s name…It all fit together.
Seems to work.

NN:
Sure does.

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7/6/2013 Anja Hooymans
Simple........I just love Fergus :-) He makes me laugh!

   
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