The Animal Alphabet in Primitive Portraits

Lovingly created giclée prints in a limited edition of 150. Conceived, created and crafted in Leicester, England.

A project in print.

This is the creative outlet of Mat Mabe, currently focusing on a collection limited edition, premium quality art prints.

This particular journey started when I wanted to create something pretty for my children's rooms. I carefully crafted digital drawings of their favourite animals for them - they liked them and so did a few other people… So I got busy creating more and that endeavour turned into the alphabet you see here, and which I'm exhibiting during April 2013 at The Gallery@Pedestrian in Leicester's Cultural Quarter.

I wanted to create affordable art for little and big people alike. As such, I don't charge much more than the prints cost to produce and I've purposely designed the prints to fit perfectly in super-affordable RIBBA Frames. So you can get something beautiful on your wall and see change out of £45.

All prints are priced at £30 each.

About the Collection:

The concept was inspired by my children's instinctive love of animals and their intriguing need to pick a favourite. The favoured animals are usually manifested in soft toys and become central to everything they do and everywhere they go - they have become a genuine part of the family, to the point where they needed portraits; so I started work.

Once I'd completed my children's favourites, I asked the children of family and friends (and some apparent grown ups) for their favourites and created portraits of them too. This has now grown into an entire alphabet of animal portraits.

The portraits explore the use of primitive, geometric shapes (triangles and circles in the main) to create complex organic forms - and play on the notion of the natural attractiveness of facial symmetry and the idea of beauty through simplification.

About Me:

I'm an industrial designer, turned graphic designer, turned games designer, turned tech company director and charity trustee.

This is an exploration of long-sat-on graphic concepts around simplification, reduction and geometry that I've had over the years, combined with the comparatively new context of being a father of three children. My hope is to create something that someone might find beautiful and wish to hang on their wall, that might encourage a smile to someone's face, evoke a childhood memory or inspire a child to pick up a pencil.

I'm interested in the idea of reducing and simplifying complex natural forms to extract the innate beauty. Taking the simplified forms and reinterpreting them - in this case into juxtaposed, ordered, geometric forms that produces surprising results. The process has been an exercise in identifying and understanding the important and often overlooked details which create beauty; connecting me to the essence of the Italian concept of La bella figura.

About my prints:

How they’re made.

The limited editions in the collection are made using a process called giclée, which provides the highest levels of colour accuracy and greater longevity than any other means of production.

My prints are made in Leicester, using UV resistant inks and printed onto heavyweight ' Hahnemuhle Photo Rag' archival paper. Altogether, this means you'll get a perfect print with faithfully reproduced colours and which is really hardy - as long as you don't hang it direct sunlight all the time, it will last you a lifetime or more.

All of the prints in 'The Animal Alphabet in Primitive Portraits' collection are strictly limited to 150 copies. Editions are printed to order, then signed an numbered, the print runs are final and will not be reprinted, If you would like a specific limited edition number (other than #1) and it's still available, please let me know and I'll be happy to oblige.

How Big?

All of the prints are 400mm x 500mm in size which means you'll easily find an off-the-shelf frame to fit. I'm really keen on affordable art, so I deliberately chose this size as it's big enough to make a statement, not so big that it overtakes a room, but crucially it fits perfectly in a 70 x 50 IKEA RIBBA frame with the supplied window mount - these are currently only £12.00 each, so you can have your print hung for less than £45.

Buying my prints:


Payments are processed through PayPal and as such, all major debit and credit cards are accepted - and you don’t even need to set up a PayPal account to order. Simple.

Once you’ve placed an order, you'll receive a confirmation and receipt by email.


Orders are usually dispatched within seven working days of payment being received, if there's a delay for any reason, I’ll let you know straight away by email.

The standard delivery charge for UK orders is £5.00 per order, including packaging and postage - the delivery is per order rather than per print, so buy two or three or even all 26 prints and you'll only pay £5.00 P&P. All orders are sent by first class recorded delivery - so a signature will be required.

If you're not in the UK, fear not, I can ship to foreign shores too. Packaging and shipping charges are £10.50 for Europe, (5 - 10 working days) £12.00 for the rest of the word (5 - 15 working days). As per the UK charges, P&P is per order rather than per print. Please be aware that international deliveries may be subject to import duty.


I'm more than happy to hand-write a message if the print is purchased as a gift - just let me know.

I wrap and package every print by hand, the heavyweight cardboard tubes I use will ensure that you receive your print in the very best condition. In the unlikely event that your print arrives with you damaged or faulty, just let me know with a photo within 48 hours of its arrival and I’ll send you a replacement.

You're also perfectly entitled to change your mind. If you do, then just let me have the print back, in its original packaging, its original condition and inside seven days of receipt and I'll give you your money back inside two weeks from receipt of the returned goods. A quick note letting me know why you're returning it is always appreciated. When you do send it back, make sure you get a proof of postage, as I can't be held responsible for anything that gets lost/damaged.

Commissioning me:

I'm always happy to take on commissions for special editions, one-off pieces and bespoke requests - drop me an email if you've got a concept to run by me.