In 2005 Chris Ayers was working as a character designer and concept artist in the Los Angeles film industry. On April Fool's Day his career–and everything else for that matter–was put on hold when a cancer diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia slammed its massive fist down on the PAUSE button of life's remote control. Fortunately, though, that pause did not become STOP and a premature EJECT.
After a lengthy and tumultuous period of treatment and physical recovery, Chris devised a personal project to support the continuation of his emotional recovery. By combining two lifelong passions, animals and art, and challenging himself to draw one animal each day for a year, The Daily Zoo was born.
For those of you who have been following the Zoo since its early inception, you'll know that the project proved to be so therapeutic and creatively satisfying that he continued it beyond its initial yearlong timeframe. At the time of writing the introduction to this book, Chris is nearing the end of Year Seven, which will culminate with Day 2,559. That's a lot of drawings…but what he feels is the bigger accomplishment–and what he is most grateful for–is that it also marks a lot of days of being in remission from the leukemia.