Tell us a bit about your work and what inspires you?
Most of my illustrative work starts as ink or gouache paintings, I enjoy the process of starting an image hand to brush to paper, and there’s a very heavy focus on dogs at the moment, specifically sighthounds because let’s face it, they’re absolutely beautiful and a total dream to paint. Their swerves and curves are a constant source of inspirations for me. And of course, having my own whippet companion helps too!
I studied illustration at Brighton Uni but didn’t pursue it right away. Being on furlough and having free time really re-ignited my love for it. Over the past year, I’ve produced work for some great brands like Wild for Dogs, Soho Radio, The Trendy Whippet, Dog & Bone and even started selling some prints and originals on Etsy too.
It’s not all dogs though, I’m heavily influenced by trips to the beach, natural forms, women, femininity and flora & fauna. I’m definitely drawn to soft, flowing lines and try to capture that in my work
What’s your first memory of dogs being in your life?
I’ve always had a fondness for dogs. Growing up we had a dog called Lori. She was a little black lurcher with a really gentle nature. She was very much part of the family and a calming influence on my childhood.
Tell us about Lolly and how she came into your life?
Sam and I had been discussing the possibility of having a dog for a few years before we finally took the plunge. Having spent quite a bit of time around sighthounds we realised that the Whippet was the breed for us. Calm, affectionate, low maintenance, not too big, and up for all sorts of adventures. Our dog discussion lasted a few years until we finally found a flat with a garden space that would allow us to have one. We moved in and in the following months, we welcomed Lolly home.
She came from a litter of three and was the only brindle. We went to see her a few times before taking her home and just fell in love (who doesn’t fall in love when they’re handed a sweet little puppy.)
How does having a dog fit into your general working day?
Unless there’s a very strict dog policy Lolly comes with me everywhere. She has great manners and is happy in most places so long as she’s warm and has something soft to sleep on. Before Covid I was working for a creative studio called It’s The Flash Pack and was very fortunate to be able to take her with me each day. She’s grown up around people and office environments so is very comfortable and well behaved in working spaces. I currently work from home and she’s equally as happy to just sleep next to me on the sofa or in her favourite little Charley Chau snuggle bed.
When you’re not working where do you like to head out with the dog?
We’ve been keeping local during the lockdowns, we’re fortunate that South London has a great selection of enclosed spaces. Beckenham Palace Park is one of our favourites. Lot’s of open space to zoom and a decent cafe on site too.
When we’re allowed to travel a bit more we like to head to the coast, or into the Somerset area where we have family. Dunster Beach is amazing for sandy walks, it’s a huge stretch of beach and at the right time of day the tide goes out for miles. Being in fresh air is always at the top of our list when we have a day off from work
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?
I like to be prepared so I have quite a few!
A tin of treats is essential. We’ve found that good recall requires constant training. Even now Lolly is 3 and a bit, we still reward her for coming back to us - especially if it was a particularly exciting situation for her to be leaving (ie. Squirrels!)
A whistle. Again, sighthounds and hearing when they are on the other side of the park is a real challenge so we whistle trained Lolly. I rarely use it but it’s got us out of some hairy situations before and it’s a great relief to know we have a secret weapon with us.
Frisbee. We have a kong frisbee that she is obsessed with. One of the best pieces of advice from our puppy trainer was to take something to the park that becomes the most interesting thing about the walk. For Lolly that is her frisbee.
Layers. On colder days we take our Occam onesie or raincoat. For us they’re the best whippet coats around, they fit so well and still allow Lolly to move at top speed without any chafing or discomfort. And they look amazing. And Nadja is an awesome whippet wizard.
I like to be as hands-free as possible on walks but If I don’t have pockets on me I’ll use a tote bag, or a crossbody bag. I recently bought one from Bimba y Lola which is a great size for phone, card, keys and all the dog essentials.