Before I moved to Dubai, a lot of my work came from the portraits and more specifically – pet portraits. This may sound strange but the actually it’s not really. The British are known for being reserved with each other but they’re certainly not shy of fawning over animals and spoiling them with treats – which is great news for an artist that can produce pet portraits. In the UAE most advertising agencies are clustered in Dubai Media City, whereas in England, most of the big advertising agencies base themselves in London. So if you’re an artist that lives out in the Kent countryside you have two options – move to London or evolve to the local market. Pet portraits and portraits in general can be harder than one would first imagine. Not only do you need to produce a decent drawing or painting but the character needs to be captured too, usually from photographs. If you’re working from good photographs this can be easy but sometimes I found myself creating a ‘Pet Frankenstein’s Monster’ from a collection of old photographs that I would take elements from and combine.
Although these days I’m fairly busy working commercially as an illustrator for magazines and advertising agencies, I’m still happy to accept commissions for pet portraits from photos. They make great personalised gifts and are a fitting tribute to our furry ( feathered or scaly) friends.