About the Artist
As a child growing up in New Milford, Connecticut, Drew Aquilina was captivated by a movie starring forest animals examining their day-to-day struggle to survive, not to mention battling a forest fire. His early interest and first thoughts about cartoons and cartooning were, of course, fueled by watching The Wonderful World of Disney.
"The first time I realized that it might be possible to understand how animals think was one cold, dark Sunday evening in the winter of 1971. My brothers and I were huddled around the basement fireplace fighting over apple cores and watching one of our favorite TV shows, The Wonderful World of Disney. I was captivated by a movie starring real forest animals examining their day-to-day struggle to survive and their battle against a forest fire. The film used human voices for each animal and I found the animals’ perspective and reactions interesting and funny. From then on I started to look at nature, animals and people differently."
Aquilina did not draw his first cartoon until college, when he was a student at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania. Sharing a dorm room with a turtle named Iggman, or Iggy, and three lizards, the pets were a source of inspiration for stories. Aquilina soon added cartoon tales of the pets in letters home, and out of that arose a holiday feature: "The Christmas Igglet," in which Iggy, dressed as Santa Claus, delivered toys to his lizard friends. One year later, a full-fledged cartoonist was born.
Aquilina's first cartoon strip originated as Iggman on Campus in 1987 after he transferred to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. That strip was published for three years in The Collegian, the UMass student paper. After graduating, the strip Green pieces© was born and the strip was copyrighted and ran as a daily and weekly feature in three Connecticut newspapers. Aquilina attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, as an art student and the strip was published in the school paper.
Aquilina graduated from UMass with a B.S degree in Landscape Architecture and in 1994 moved to Arizona. He worked as a Landscape Architect in training and became an Arizona Registered Landscape Architect in 1998. He has owned two successful Landscape Architecture firms and is a Registered Landscape Architect in Arizona, California and Nevada. He is the principal of Site Design, LLC Landscape Architecture in Scottsdale, Arizona. The firm's focus is mainly medical/healthcare commercial properties and high-end residential design work.
As a professional cartoonist, Aquilina continues to produce a daily Green pieces© strip and he celebrated the publication of his first cartoon compilation book, Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up , in January 2011. Aquilina lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona, with his wife, Lisa, and their own version of Green pieces©.