If you drive through Montana, you quickly notice a wide variety of license plates on the vehicles you follow or walk by in parking lots. Any organization in the state can sponsor a license plate to promote and raise funds for their cause giving a new customer over 125 choices at the DMV. Look here at just the available wildlife plates. I was contacted by Steve Kelly, a board member of Friends of the Wild Swan, and Wild Rockies Alliance who, as a gallery owner and artist himself, was in charge of putting together the license plate. I was thrilled that he wanted the subtle elegance of a sumi painting of a bull trout to represent the wilderness and wildlife protections they advocate. After painting dozens of trout, this image was chosen then assigned a blue-grey color.
I enjoyed working on the design as well, following a template with drill holes, tab and alpha-numeric spaces, consulting with the graphic designers in the prison, then watching, by way of Steve, as they enlarged the state name, lightened the trout even more than the 50% requirement and added a borderline over the course of several months. Now, I wish I lived in Montana to see the plate on the road.
Here are some of my other sumi trouts that we considered. All are available for purchase.