Vanessa works exclusively with ethically sourced skulls, feathers and other specimens obtained via private collectors and reputable sources, as well as cruelty-free, non-animal-tested cosmetics. No living creatures are ever harmed for the sake of her art. In fact, she's a vegetarian, and, as noted in her biography
, a lifelong wildlife advocate.
Any North American songbirds featured in her work are printed images—for example, the paper goldfinches and robins pictured here can be found in a number of her portraits. In North America, it’s illegal to possess live native songbirds/raptors or their remains (taxidermy, bones or even feathers) unless one is a legally licensed wildbird handler or care provider.
All bones and other specimens in Vanessa's collection are ethically sourced, cruelty-free and non-CITES species, and were obtained through reputable and trusted sources. She does not own/collect specimens protected under international conventions or North American laws, nor should any enthusiast. If her work has inspired you to collect skulls or animal parts, it's your duty as a responsible collector to educate yourself on the legal requirements applicable to your country of residence. Conservation and awareness are crucial to preserving wildlife and wild places.