Southsea Zoo:
Animal Magic

We’re delighted to bring you this collection of animal portraits with a difference by local illustrator Leila who goes by the name of Southsea Zoo.

Leila is known for surprising Portsmouth’s residents with her endearing anthropomorphic characters on their walls and clothes. We love them!

Bear With A Flag by SouthseaZoo
Rabbit In A Dress by SouthseaZoo
Fox In A Party Hat by SouthseaZoo
Beanie Bear by SouthseaZoo
Squirrel With A Handbag by SouthseaZoo
King Of The Jungle by SouthseaZoo
Party Panda by SouthseaZoo
Monkey In A Hat by SouthseaZoo
Bow Tie Bear by SouthseaZoo
Fred Abear by SouthseaZoo
Racoon vs. Sophie McPike by SouthseaZoo / Sophie McPike
Tashe Bear by SouthseaZoo

We asked the artist…

How would you describe your work?
In short, I would describe my work as animals with accessories. They are jovial, light-hearted pieces that are a spin on a standard portrait. I like to produce drawings that make you smile.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by the community around me. The Portsmouth art scene has flourished in the last 10-15 years – we’ve got some amazing creative people in this city and I’ve been a part of some great projects with some of them. Being a part of these collaborations and ideas has spurred me on to create work in the style I’m using now.

What materials do you generally use?
Over the years I’ve tried loads of different pens but settled on Staedtler Fineliners. I like the quality of line I can get from them – dark solid black as well as a scratchy textured line.

What has been your favourite project to work on so far?
My favourite project to date was painting a mural at Southsea Coffee Company in 2014. When they first opened they had original artwork on rotation in the snug room at the back of the café.
My ‘King Of The Jungle’ Lion was only up for a couple weeks but it’s one of those pieces that sticks with you. It was one of the first large pieces I had done, it was majestic.

What are you currently working on?
I’ve recently produced some screen-printed t-shirts with my ‘Party Panda’ piece on. They were printed by the awesome guys at Sea Dog Print Studio and they’re available to buy from my online shop.
Currently I’m working on Christmas presents for friends and family and in the new year I’m hoping to produce some new kids t-shirts, and to redo my website.

Where can we find more of your work?
You can find my most up-to-date work on my Facebook page, and I’m on Instagram as @SouthseaZoo.
I also have an online shop selling my t-shirts and stickers:

Check out these previous exhibitions…

If you find an artist who’s work you enjoy, please do check out their social media and leave them a ‘like’, a ‘share’ or a ‘follow’… It is appreciated!