Tell us a bit about work and how you became an illustrator
I studied fashion design at Uni, I loved the whole process of designing and making a garment but I was always much better at the stylised illustrations rather than garment construction. It was’t really until after uni through part time jobs and internships that I considered illustration as a career. I was still drawing in my spare time and experimenting with screen printing, soon friends started commissioning me, then friends of friends as well as working with an agent selling greetings cards. I sold 1000 cards in my first order and thought, hey! I could try and make a living this way. Now I spend a lot of time illustrating Albert and his ridiculous habits.
Tell us about Albert and how he came into your life.
My partner, Charlie and I had talked about getting a dog for a long time and we both agreed on a retired greyhound since there were so many of them needing homes and so many people recommended them. Once we had decided that we started seeing sighthounds everywhere! We visited Battersea and they told us that despite what many people think, greyhounds make perfect pets for flats. We started off by visiting Hersham Hounds (Wimbledon greyhound welfare) which is open every day of the year to walk the dogs. We initially went to just walk some dogs but ended up falling in love with Albert. When he was brought over to us Charlie looked over at me and said “he’s the one!” It’s been a real journey since February when we first adopted him. He couldn’t go up or down stairs, he was scared of everything, he’d almost pull me over when we would go for walks and couldn’t stand being left alone. Now he is a completely different dog, it has taken time, patience and a lot of liver treats! He can go from being an absolute goofball to the sweetest cuddly boy and after 10 months with we’re so proud of how far he has come.
How does Albert fit into your general working day?
We wake at 7am, Albert always tries to drag me to the park where he knows all the squirrels are but I try and mix up the routes. He’s very low maintenance, when I’m at home working he likes to sleep in which ever room I’m in. He’s good at keeping me to a routine and makes sure to let me know if we’re running late for his walks or if his dinner is not on time!
When you’re not working where do you like to head out to with Albert?
I live in South East London and there are a couple of routes called the “green chain walks” that are linked by the many parks/green spaces so I like to follow these. They include the Horniman museum and Dulwich woods which are two of my favourite places in London, there are some impressive views across the whole of London.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?
Compostable poo bags and treats. I carry everything in a Fjallraven shoulder bag which is so handy to just grab and go. Albert wears a muzzle when we’re in the park as he’s not used to small dogs and is very reactive when they approach him.
What adventures do you have planned with Albert for later this year?
He’s already had quite an adventure this year! We took Albert home to Northumberland to visit our families. He had a few off-lead field and beach runs (my heart was in my mouth every time I took his lead off). I can’t wait to take him back home for Christmas and see him running along the beach again.