As children, most of us had a pet rock at one point or another, maybe because our parents wouldn't let us get a pet or just because it was fun to have something to carry around in our pocket. Pet rocks could take on the form of almost any animal imaginable: cats, dogs, birds, even a silly raccoon.
But there's nothing silly about these extraordinary painted rocks. Artist Akie Nakata takes pet rocks to the next level by creating such life-like stone animals that we had to double take to convince ourselves that they're actually rocks.
Like many rock crafters and painters, Nakata believes in working with her medium. She doesn't alter the shape of the stone at all — instead, she works with what nature has given her, and creates the animal that fits best with that particular stone. While some may just see a pile of lumpy rocks, Nakata sees a pair of beady-eyed owls.
So if you're feeling like you want to take your pet rock game to the next level, take a look at Nakata's incredibly life-like animals for inspiration. However, if your crafting skills aren't quite up to par, you can always use one of our easy rock craft projects. Follow Akie Nakata on Facebook to see more of her stone animals.
Feeling inspired? Watch Martha Stewart and crafter Jodi Levine make their rock craft animals: