Art, straw, and a daughter for inspiration

There is a 12 foot straw camel in Brian Sobaski’s yard. The neighbors must be getting used to it. There was a huge horse a couple years back, and an elephant last year.

Sobaski says there’s now a regular stream of SUV’s and other vehicles past the house as people seek out his Falcon Heights home.

The camel is the result of his artistic training and interest – and the Halloween desires of his young daughter. She wanted to be a Chinese princess a couple years ago, and when they visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and saw the terra cotta figures in the Chinese collection.

Sobaski says he thought, “I could do that.”

He’s got an interest in Bricolage, making art from materials at hand, and he’s been making scenery for Hollywood for years. He also likes the idea of green, recyclable sculpture.

So a huge horse soon appeared in his yard made from a wooden armature and straw.

The next year his daughter wanted to be an Indian princess, so an elephant was in order. He admits that the camel this year was his pick. He wanted to make something where he could work to give the animal more of a sense of movement. Another step forward was his discovery that landscaping cloth makes a fine-looking stomach.

Another innovation this year was to send out fliers to orchards, corn mazes and other autumnal businesses offering his services, and suddenly Brian Sobaski is very busy. He’s been doing three to four pieces a week: bears, pirates, scarecrows, a woolly mammoth, and even a Buddha. Each takes a day, or a day and a half, to finish.

He’s got several more to do in coming weeks and he’s having a lot of fun.

“On top of that I get an awesome photograph with my daughter on top,” he says. You can see more pictures of his creations at his website