1000 Ducks is my take on the Japanese tradition of senbaruzu–which is folding 1000 origami cranes to give someone good luck or to grant a wish. It was made for my dear friend Pat Placzek who was being treated for leukemia at the time.
It is, essentially, a joke. Pat had little energy at this time but took up bird watching while out on short walks and ducks, in particular, are great for when your mobility is low. They’re easy to find around water, they move slowly, they are used to people, can be drawn to you when fed appropriately, and you can find them in multiples–both in individual members and in species.
I made him an illustrated guide to local ducks and included one made-up duck for a small laugh. This became, knowing our minds, an opportunity for a big laugh. And that’s how this collection of drawings was made.
Everyone that knew Pat thought of him as their best friend. I think that’s the highest compliment a person could get and he’s very, very dearly missed.
About the Ducks:
In addition to the drawings there’s also an album of “natural recordings” called 100 Duck Calls that covers coastal and woodland habitats. The naming convention for the ducks was as follows: no repeat words for any duck (except “duck”), no specific brand names or cultural references.