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Announcement    Are you starting to get ready for your winter holiday celebration? Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, oh my! Aunimals make amazing and thoughtful gifts 🥰


Last updated on Sep 16, 2021

Are you starting to get ready for your winter holiday celebration? Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, oh my! Aunimals make amazing and thoughtful gifts 🥰



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Auni Milne

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Auni Milne


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5 out of 5 stars
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About TheArtfulAuni

Sales 31
On Etsy since 2019

The Artful Auni – Whimsical Sculpture & Painting by a Small Town Girl

My name is Auni and I am crazy about animals. I keep them as companions in my house, I keep an eye out for the wild ones outside, I photograph them, I draw them, I paint them, and now I’ve started sculpting them. I can state with some certainty that animals, art, and animal art have been an enduring constant for my entire life, and will surely remain a passion of mine for the rest of my days.

I started drawing animals as soon as I had the motor skills to hold onto a piece of chalk and haven’t stopped since. There is a story told about when we were living in Ohio when I was about 3 and my nursery school teacher phoned my dad out of the blue, absolutely confounded because apparently I’d drawn my Thanksgiving turkey in a way that no 3-year-old should be able to do!

As an adult I’ve been lucky enough to hold jobs in the creative industry, but you know, marriage, kids, mortgage — my personal artwork took a back seat for far too long, but once my kids moved out, my wife and I moved to the country (near Ottawa in Ontario Canada) and I made room in my life for art making once again.

We had a crazy double whammy about 10 years ago where we first lost all our possessions in a furnace accident, followed by a house fire 4 months later where we lost our house completely. It was a pretty awful time for a while but now of course we have a beautiful new house, with a purpose-built studio for me to make my art in.

In late 2020, after struggling as we all have with this terrible global pandemic, I took a little online course about how to make birds with clay. It has turned my life upside down because it’s the perfect medium for me to make animals that make me truly happy. I always secretly wondered if sculpting was an art form for me, and it turns out that I love it. So I started The Artful Auni. The name of course is inspired by The Artful Dodger in the Charles Dickens novel, but it also comes from the Milne Scottish clan motto: As Much by Art as Strength. So many of my family members have adopted this adage as their own personal motto to deal with the challenges that life presents. More than one of us even have it tattooed on our persons!

I still have my day job as a graphic designer, but evenings and weekends and sometimes even playing hooky during the week, you’ll find me making armatures out of paper and wire, building clay suits, carefully carving and molding, making little tiny smiling eyes and grinning beaks. They give me so much joy that sometimes I simply hold them and let the happiness fill me up. My customers say they are magical and seem to get the same sense of fulfillment out of these little beings. They make great gifts since they are so unusual, especially for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts.

Each Aunimal (as my 84-year-old mother coined them) is hand built and hand painted with love and care. I work with my hands, slowly, taking great care to build them in a way that they are sturdy and have great balance. They look wonderful on coffee tables or tucked away in unexpected places such as book shelves or phone tables.

The Artful Auni is just me in my studio. Drop me a line! Let’s have a chat.

*:) Auni

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  • Auni Milne


    Auni Milne is a visual artist living in the Lanark Highlands in Ontario, Canada. When not creating her personal work, Auni works as a graphic designer and illustrator.

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