I’m Hal Aetus and I live in a quiet neighborhood in Milwaukee with my husband, Colin. I grew up in Washington state and have lived in Alaska and California too.
I attended undergraduate studies in Alaska and studied veterinary medicine at Washington State University. I later went on to earn a board certification in avian medicine and surgery and have practiced as an avian-exclusive veterinarian in California, Washington, Alaska, and now in Wisconsin. I’m also a private pilot and have enjoyed flying a variety of airplanes on sea and land. My unifying passion in life has always been birds and anything bird-related.
My artistic interests began when I was a child. I started by drawing spaceships engaged in battle, inspired by sci-fi of the time. Then I was inspired by engineering to draw blueprints of machines and buildings at the age of 10. I soon discovered I had a talent for still life and, shortly after that, discovered the beauty of birds and added that to my repertoire. I also loved writing short stories and in combination with drawing, I won awards in art and writing during my teen years.
I enjoy creating digital art, much of it by commission. Most of my art involves, you guessed it, BIRDS! But it’s not your typical bird art. Most of my commissions involve fantastic avian characters with human-like qualities. My style tends towards realism, both in detail and in form. I like to imagine what the anatomy of anthropomorphic avian creatures would be like and how these creatures would live together as a society. I also enjoy creating art involving real birds and my eventual goal is to create pieces that put the viewer into the bird’s body– to see intimate moments in a bird’s life that a camera cannot reproduce. I also enjoy writing creative pieces along much of the same lines as my artwork– birds in fantasy fiction with as much realism as my technical knowledge of birds can bring.
So who is Aetus? Aetus means “Eagle” in Greek. It’s also the name of a fictional eagle character that I invented while dealing with a life crisis in 2013. It’s nothing mystical or spiritual, but it is important to me. Aetus is my creative and fun-loving side– you might say my younger self that I was never previously free to express. If you are at certain fandom cons, you may even catch a glimpse of Aetus all dressed up as an eagle.
Thanks for joining me on my journey through art and writing. Please comment on pieces and consider purchasing prints or commissioning me.
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