Who Drew That? The true story of the Peach Teats calf.
Toby Morris, contributing writer and artist for The Spinoff, writes:
“The Peach Teats billboard is a legitimate cult classic. In the first of a new series uncovering the stories behind classic New Zealand illustrations, Toby Morris meets the artist responsible for State Highway 1’s favourite cheeky calf.
If you’ve ever driven State Highway 1 through the central North Island, you’ll have seen it. And if you’ve seen it, you’ll remember it: two punchy words and an illustration of a sly and some might say flirty calf, a beacon of strangeness in the rolling farmland. It’s the Peach Teats sign, midway between Hunterville and Mangaweka, a cult classic billboard that’s been catching eyes and confusing tourists for 25 years.
But while everyone knows the image, few probably think about the story behind it. For illustrators, that’s a familiar situation. It’s a funny job like that – one that sits midway between commerce and art. On one hand you’re a tradesperson taking briefs, solving business problems, working within the space a job gives you, but on the other hand you need to be an artist too. You need creativity, style, a vision. But artists get their name on the plaque. Movies have credits. We know who sings our favourite songs. Illustrations can have an enormous impact, emotionally, culturally and financially, but usually their creators remain invisible. But not today: this article is the first in a short series looking at the stories and the artists behind some of our most enduring images.
Read the rest of the article on The Spinoff here:
The Peach Teat has been embraced by New Zealanders as a Kiwi Icon. Its bright pink signage is seen at rural field days, in all farm supply stores, and even pops up regularly in youtube videos posted by users around the world.
The sign located near the farm where the Peach Teat originated is a local landmark and is a backdrop to many tourist photos.
The successful growth of the Peach Teat, from such humble beginnings to its position as the best-selling calf feeding teat in New Zealand and Australia, has struck a chord with New Zealanders and they embrace the brand in a way that is normally reserved for their sports teams.
There is even a great song written by Polly Johnson, and performed by The Polly Johnson Set, about the sign located near Hunterville, New Zealand. It is guaranteed to become a Kiwi classic. Check it out below...
The video was written and directed by Ness Simons. Thanks also for the people of Hunterville for their participation in this unique event.