The art of KJHayler. Lithographic portraits of wild animals from Kevin Hayler.

I'm always slightly wary of calling myself as an 'artist' it's such a loaded word, I am more comfortable describing myself as a wildlife illustrator. I specialise in fine pencil studies of my favourite birds and animals.

Wherever possible I try to capture truely wild moments and I have observed most of my subjects at one time or another in the field. I spend most winters travelling the tropics visiting reserves and national parks and tracking down wildlife. Sounds romantic doesn't it? Well it's tough work but someone has to do it.

Wild creatures of course tend not to pose readily which can be very frustrating so it's inevitable that I visit good zoos, breeding programmes, re-hab centres aswell as orphanages and the like to source much of my material.

Everything takes time and patience of course and I usually allow a week on average to complete a drawing. Sometimes they do take longer, three and a half weeks is my maximum for one picture. If I totted up all the hours I spend travelling, photographing and planning aswell as making the drawing it would all be too daunting to start anything.

So why black and white? Well simplicity in short, all I need is a pencil and paper. I used to paint many years ago but taking all that kit abroad was a nightmare. Gradually over the years I painted less and less and drew more and more until my drawings became the finished pieces in thier own right. Oh and I am colour blind so maybe that makes a difference.

I was born in 1961, raised in Bognor (I dont talk about it much) and presently live in Brighton

I have had no formal training and am entirely self taught. Yes I can just do it I am afraid.