Lino: the Story, so far

Funny how walking with bags makes my shadow look like Lino

Funny how walking with bags makes my shadow look like Lino

I have been asked so many times since I started the lobbyplanet site about why I sign my articles and tweets as “Lino The Rhino” or @linotherhino that, although I had anticipated the “Why a Rhino?” question here, I feel I should respond to the former question once and for all.

First, Lino is not a way of “hiding my identity”, since my name is intrinsically linked to that friendly little blue animal. It is actually a way I found to manage my schizophrenia on a daily basis: basically, when I write as “Caroline De Cock” or make statements, I consider that it is normal for others to expect that I am representing one of my clients. And for the bored, the list can be consulted in the European Commission’s registry here, even though it’s last years’ results (2008).

On the other hand, when Lino blogs or tweets, it’s just me speaking, without client representation in mind. Oh, and to show the full depth of my multiple personality disorder, when it’s “Mama” talking, it’s kids time.

And frankly, it’s funny as you can see from the picture in this post to what extent Lino and I are now merged! Oddly enough, people that do not look beyond the “Lino” identifier usually think I’m a man (as do spammers seeing the very appealing offers to buy Viagra I am getting on a daily basis…or is it a color thing: blue pills for blue rhino?).

Now in all fairness, the “why a rhino” explanation that is already on this site, does not tell the story of how rhino was drawn by Aurore Delannois, the 20-year old artist that imagined Lino (check out her website here). I met her one evening to ask for the creation of a mascotte for lobbyplanet. Being a big fan of Gotlib, a tremendous comics books author, I had in mind something similar to his

Euro-version of Gotlib's famous "coccinelle" (ladybug)

Euro-version of Gotlib's famous "coccinelle" (ladybug)

famous Ladybug.

In short, something small, anecdotal, that would kind of walk around the pages of teh site with the aim to make the not always exciting content of the wiki pages slightly

more “fun” (an ambitious goal, I agree). And a couple of days later, I received a first hand-drawn set of sketches of my now alter-ego, Lino…a rhino…an animal weighing between 1400 and 2000 kg and that no one would for a second associate to terms such asĀ  “discreet”, “small” (apologies to all rhinos struggling to accept they’re kind of “bulky”), unobtrusive…

I must admit that, looking at Lino, I immediately flashed for the little fellow but still considered it my duty to have a chat with Aurore to understand how, in her extremely artistic mind, a ladybug ended up looking like a rhinoceros. Her explanation, I think, is the perfect conclusion to this post. When I asked for the drawing, she asked me “What does a lobbyist exactly do?” so she could better understand what lobbyplanet would be about. So I did my usual “song and dance” explaining the multiple facets of what I consider a fun profession. And as she candidly told me during our “from ladybug to rhino” conversation: “You know, the kind of fluffy and lightness associated to a ladybug just didn’t feel right and when I came home, I could not stop drawing rhinos…maybe it’s your African upbringing, or just the fact that what you do didn’t sound very subtle or refined, but more like a constant charge…”…so here I am, setting forth my daily charge!

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