On this bright winter’s day we’ve decided to promote our Pet Portraits as we feel it’s a service we just don’t celebrate enough! It seems ironic really, considering this is how most of our design ranges are initiated, so as it’s the beginning of 2016, we’re going to promote this service more!
Hand drawing plays such an important role – not only in our product ranges but also our signature style as a brand. We feel it is the act of drawing itself, which brings out the essence of a subject’s character and we recently wrote a blog for the Etsy London Local Team, discussing the importance of drawing and why it really matters to us.
A lot of the time, we find that our commissioned pet portraits inspire our product ranges and the above example of our ‘Winston The Great’ design is a classic example. This came to light through a customer of The Yellow Bird Deli, (Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire), who had seen our dessert plates and mugs, (stocked there), and who contacted us to request a British Bull Dog design, in Winston Churchill attire. Our creative director, Kat, saw the potential in this idea and its iconic character, so decided to add it to our main range of Fine Bone China Mugs and Dessert Plates, (as seen in the image below). * Unfortunately these items are not yet available via our online shop but we have plenty in stock so please do contact us if you are interested in purchasing any.
It was actually the customer who had requested to have the illustration printed onto a mug and plate, which made us think ‘why don’t we offer commissioned mugs and plates anyway?’ We get many requests of this type, and it makes a lovely gift to have a pet or character, custom drawn, which holds significant value to you. The main issue, we were faced with was that it’s a lengthy and costly service, with each drawing being so detailed, but it seems a shame not to promote it, so we will very soon be making it available via our shop! An A4 custom portrait costs £250 and an A5 portrait, £175, where an additional Plate or Mug would cost an extra £30.00 or £15.00 respectively. We thought this would be a fair compromise as we always ensure that each drawing represents its subject as accurately as possible and as each one can take up to 20 hours to complete, this makes for a reasonable hourly rate.
Each illustration is hand drawn in pencil, from a photo, onto cartridge paper and we request that a selection of high resolution photos are offered to us so we can choose the best ‘fit’. During our ‘Winston’ commission Kat was in regular contact with our customer to check that she was on track, because as you can imagine, the original photo did not come with the bowler hat, bow tie and cigar! These items had to be fashioned onto the photo before drawing, and/or drawn separately and dropped into the illustration (as per the cigar image above), therefore we always make sure our customers are happy with the ‘costumes’ we have chosen first.
Accuracy and attention to detail is of the utmost importance so when responding to any enquiry, we always provide examples of previous commissions with their original photos so that the customer can gauge the standard of our service.
We would also like to collaborate with charities where possible, as we had the pleasure of working with the fundraising charity, I Heart Whippets and donated our ‘Miss-ter Marple’ portrait to their Christmas Auction, which raised a whopping £13,769 in total and was such an honour to be a part of.
Thanks to our muse ‘Basil’ of The Whippet Hotel, we not only gained a wonderful subject for our character range but also a funny story behind our illustration. Kat was unaware that Basil was male before choosing to draw him from a post on The Whippet Hotel’s Instagram page, and when she contacted the organisation’s proprietor, Caroline Patey-Johns – with the intention of turning him into a ‘Miss Marple’ character – there was much amusement on the discovery of his gender so his name took an un expected twist!
Our handsome ‘Sir Norman’ design above, had also originated from a commissioned brief and has been a wonderful addition to our Mugs and Dessert Plates ever since. As we look into the future of our products, we look to commissions as a valued source of inspiration. We therefore want all our customers to have their say and will be launching 2 new ranges of Limited Edition T-shirts, each designed to your requirements! To provide some inspiration, we’ve narrowed the theme down to Famous Pets or Characters, linked to a Celebrity or Fictional Character, who has gotta be hot now! You may want to see a Cat dressed as David Bowie or a Dog dressed as Darth Vader but the decision is yours so please post any comments on our Event Page, where further details can be found, or alternatively we welcome any comments on this post!
If you would like to commission us to create a Pet Portrait – or even a Human Portrait of your choice, please contact us with your enquiry and we’d be more than happy to assist you :) You may choose to have your subject in character, on paper or a fine bone china mug or plate, and * as an added plus, we’re offering 10% off the first 10 commissions of 2016!
Thanks again for reading and as always, if you would like to post any comments, they would be most welcome :)
Have a lovely day,
Kat – drawing ‘Winston’ below!