Zettiology – What Kind of Art is That?

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I recently discovered the fascinating world of Zettiology. It made me curious to know what this art style actually encompassed but I had trouble finding a definition of it for myself. Because of that I have hunted down some clues for you to consider.

Did I get it right I wonder?

Here is what I do know for sure: Zettiology is an art form based on the work of Teesha Moore. Teesha has a website showcasing her work. When I went to her site, I found myself in a different world and I got lost in it for awhile just marveling at her creations. What I did not find was a written definition of her art. It would be hard to define something you do intuitively and naturally, so maybe this is why there is no writing to help the viewer understand. The motives for not defining Zettiology are pure speculation on my part though. There are certainly pages of examples of Teesha’s work for people to study and form their own conclusions, but I wanted some words that told me about it as well.

What else is known about Zettiology?

First of all, the word was coined by Teesha Moore to describe a new genre, a blend of the ordinary and the fantastic. I can see it is about creating new creatures made both from the familiar and from the realms of fantasy. The new creatures belong together like a tribe: you could call them The Mythical Zettis.

One of the most succinct explanations I have found is that Zettiology is ‘Sustained Confusion.’ When you look at Zetti style artwork you will probably notice animal and people parts being cobbled together into one form, with outlining and doodling all around to make the fusions not so confusing. This makes for original, quirky art that is a little fun or silly.

Crafters often use black and white elements mixed alongside bright colours for their Zetti creations.

You may also find whimsical words or sayings handwritten or printed in an equally whimsical font alongside a Zetti creature.

Yet a Zetti art work is more than just these few elements. Zetti work produces a feeling of other-worldliness as well. I often marvel at how people put together so many different elements and make them work together so well.

Another way to think of Zetti art is to start with a human or animal figure (that is, with reality), then blend it with something fantastic or other worldly (that is, fantasy), such as adding wings to a child’s body. Add in other unexpected details such as striped legs or cone hats to make the new Zetti creature even more incongruous.

I guess you could think of Zetti as taking traditional ideas and blending them in nontraditional ways. You could take creatures you would doodle, then cut and paste them together at a whole new level. Use patterns and textures that contrast with each other as you form your new creature.

So to sum up, ways I have discovered to make your Zetti art are:

  • Aim to make the ordinary into something whimsical or from a fantasy world
  • Use contrasting textures and patterns
  • Use lots of bright colours but mix in some black and white patterns such as stripes
  • Use mismatched faces and bodies
  • Add body parts, clothing and/or wings to a creature who doesn’t usually have them
  • Give your creatures fantastic hats and crowns
  • Combine the quirky, odd and whimsical to make a new Zetti creature
  • Use lyrical, poetic, handwritten sayings or text/li>
  • Use outlining and doodling to bring all sorts of elements together

Did I capture the essence of Zettiness? Could anyone really do that but Teesha Moore? Perhaps not defining Zetti style makes it all the more fantastic and mysterious? I suppose we will have to draw our own conclusions!

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