Who is this Pine Marten on the Internet?

My name’s Ardent and I’m a Canadian pine marten!

Ardent the pine marten waves hello.

I’m a mixed media visual artist with a love of painting and animating!

I’ve been an artist for most of my life, now, and after some really excellent encouragement from some friends, I decided to make my own website to independently host my art, independent from a need to rely on unstable, chaotic, and mismanaged social media platforms.

My art inspirations!

When it comes to my artwork, I really enjoy working with a variety of traditional and digital art mediums and programs. If it’s not already obvious from my gallery, I have a real love of animated art made in the transitional period between the late 80’s and early 2000’s where, in my opinion, you really got the best of both worlds; the artistic richness of meticulously hand drawn animation and beautiful, skillfully painted traditional background paintings, cleanly composited together with the cutting edge digital animation software of the day!
So, when it comes to the art I love working on, you’ll notice that a lot of my background paintings are entirely traditional, while a lot of my character art is drawn traditionally and/or digitally.

A big reason why I’m making this website is to have a place of my own to celebrate the absolutely incredible nature of animation as an artform.
After all, art is a journey, not a destination! So thank you for joining me on this journey!

Why are you a pine marten?

Ardent's 2023 reference sheet.

As you’ll be able to learn by browsing through my gallery here, it took me a really long time to settle on a character species for Ardent but after a lot of artistic exploration over several years, I settled on pine marten as a species for a lot of personal and symbolic reasons.

In the days before synthetic bristles were developed, natural furs were the only materials to make paint brushes with. The Russian sable, a relative of the pine marten, is considered to have very high quality tail fur for brush making and I wanted a character species that was closely connected to painting and traditional art. As I was designing Ardent I decided that I wanted to use a species more local to my home country of Canada and so I shifted focus to the Canadian pine marten! From there, I wanted Ardent to have a name that represented what I wanted out of a character: something to represent my enthusiasm and love of creating visual art!

With a name and species chosen, I went to work drafting many iterations of Ardent’s character design until I refined it to the design you see now! And I’m sure his design will only continue to grow and change over time as I continue to make more art and develop him more as a character and a form of personal representation and reflection.

Web freedom.

As well, this website is 100% “organic” and is made by an actual person! There are no algorithms or bots here, just whatever art and ideas I feel like posting.

I know that may seem like a redundant thing to state but in an age of social media bots and content farming algorithms overflowing through the hyper-centralized social medias we’re all trying to get away from, I want to make sure the people visiting this site know that they’re not gonna find any of that nonsense here!

And, like so many people getting into making their own websites, the feeling of liberation from the burden and exhaustion of social media is so remarkably freeing! I never realized how restricting platforms like [redacted] are until I began to realize that I could make literally anything I wanted to with even some basic HTML and CSS!