Parenting – it’s an equally tough and rewarding job. My daughter is in the pre-teen years (Lord, help me) and each day is like a roller coaster. As parents (esp. a new parent who has no idea what the heck we’re doing – how I’ve felt the last 11+ years), parenting is a wild ride with the constant fear of screwing up our kids with a sense of inadequacy at every turn.

Naturally, we artists are drawn to portraying the emotional turmoil of life, and that’s just what Australian photographer and digital artist, Jane Long does in her newest series, a reflection of parenting and childhood titled, Nasty Little Critters. We previous featured Jane’s work in this article showcasing historical glass plate portraits that she painstakingly restored and colorized and in this series, she turns again to her skills as a digital artist..


In this new, tongue-in-cheek series, Jane explores the themes of being a parent and familial relationships. Now that her own children are adults and, after losing several family members, Jane says that she finds herself “reflecting both on the sweet highlights and the painful losses of family relationships” in this season of her life.

In the four images from this series, Jane uses her own toys, her kids’ toys and some toys from other family members in a nostalgic (and in her own words, “slightly creepy”) representation of “the darker side of how we feel about those we love unconditionally and those who we know intimately through shared history. We are all nasty little critters!” The result is a colorful and whimsical (with a little bit weird) series that kind of perfectly describes life as a parent – at least in my book.



To see a layer-by-layer process on how the above image was created, check out the video below.

If you’re interested in seeing more from Jane, check out her website here.

CREDITS: Photographs by Jane Long are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.