BobbyBlog - concerning life & anything doggo

A fun-filled Digital Collage of Me and a couple of dressed-up Dogs

My Guest Blog published 10 July 2021 for UK's Top 10 Pet Blogger, @RuffleSnuffle 2021, owned by CEO, Sarah-Jane White, 'BusinessWoman of the Year'

A digital collage of different dog portraits with a singular human subject: a little smiling girl child

 

Blog Post #A-2

A Story of How I decided I wanted to Draw Pet Dogs as a Career 

As far as I could remember, drawing has always brought inexplicable comfort, peace and joy to me. Even as a child living among members of 2 extended families, ours and my Eldest Uncle’s whom my 5 elder sisters and I ( I had been the youngest) call “Dai Bak”, brought with it quite a bit of angst for me. Family intrigues, bullying from one of the boys, jousting for favors from our very correct Grandmother from Hong Kong, had been part of growing up.  

 Drawing with my dad very early on equipped me a lot on dealing with my young pressures. Even though we did not know the name for it then, Art (Therapy) gave me inexplicable strength and tenacity to move forward, ignoring the distractions (even when that young) to enjoy and excel in drawing with my Dad….alright it started with doodling, with my dad holding my chubby little hand! Dad believed so much in me and my budding inclinations. I could doodle my yellow pupper with (odd shaped anatomy) long before I could memorize my A,B,C’s and I also remembered that I still couldn’t count then. So I drew small banana bunches for “fingers”! And in my Primary (Elementary) 2, I was already drawing pictures of princesses with tiaras and poufy gowns studded with diamonds and gemstones for my eager little girly classmates. The popularity I got made up a great part for the loneliness in my childhood days. 

Also the other turning point in my young life was when a little yellow puppy was introduced. I named him, “Bobby”. I practically grew up with Bobby. He was my “muse”, my companion, the one to go to when I needed a safe warm retreat. Animal Art actually began for me at that spot in my life. I think I was between 6-7 years old. 

 Through all my young life otherwise, doing art has given me the therapy of cultivating a better self-awareness, reliable emotional well-being, safer comfort zones where I could face my emotional conflicts, raise my confidence, protected my self-esteem, and helped me cope and focus on my schooling and family life. The latter, as a result, I could summarily say, had been quite a happy one! 

 As I grew older, I researched on how life can turn out for those who relied on art as a coping mechanism in the often difficult process of growing up. That was when I realize that those friends who got to have their pet dogs drawn, had received much delight and comfort from those portraits. 

It took me another few years after having embarked on a professional architectural profession and 20 years as a Fashion Illustrator before I decided to fully involve myself in a new career as a Pet Portrait Artist. 

I started my new business, “Char Coal Tofu”, a pet portrait business, at a ripe age of 68 and it has been functioning for the last 2 years. 

I turned 70 this March. I daresay I have benefitted much from the deep-dived passion that I have given to Illustration.  This altruistic “giving” back to my dog loving clients has brought me much joy and satisfaction. Maybe it is because of that, my 70 years is not a hindrance to my active continual enjoyment of my craft. 

I have contributed to collabs with dog shelters (right now mainly in the US) to help them in their funding. I have interest in and donated to non-profit dog and their homeless owner welfares. Like the Feed the Pets of the Homeless, NV. I am active in interest-groups like the LIGHTBULB UK, a meeting place for the media and entrepreneurs like myself and also am a full member of the Dog Writers of America Association_ US  (DWAA_US). I am a faith-driven individual who hopes to change this world we live in, one untiring brush-stroke at a time. 

 Conclusion: My work has often given my customers double takes, made them teary-eyed or have the corners of their mouths turn up, when they see my work of them, even though half-done. I find that my art has a blessed gift of mending broken hearts, imbued with the chic -ness allowing my dogmoms to aspire to be as savvy as they appear to be in their portraits.  They try, and that is quite sufficient for me and my objective.  The most recent response came for a retired Military Personnel: “I’m in tears…….your work is breath-taking…..!”            

I know that every time my customers get to gaze on their trendy portraits, they will be glad they have something positive to look up to, possibly with a renewed desire for positive change in their lives. In doing so I do hope to draw them back into  the loving arms of our divine Creator, who is the unending, inexhaustible source of all comfort, love, acceptance, forgiveness hope and joy.  

       ____________________________END__________________________                               

 

Excerpt from my Guest Blog published 10 July 2021 for Sarah-Jane White 

Animal Behaviourist & Enrichment Expert. Advice, games & DIY Ideas – Top UK Pet Blog 2021- Editor@rufflesnuffle.co.uk   

https://www.rufflesnuffle.co.uk/animal-art-therapy-5-simple-art-techniques-you-can-use-to-control-your-mind-and-channel-your-emotions/ 

My Website for my Pet Portrait Gallery: Https://CharCoalTofu-DogArt.com/ 

 

 

 

A recent pic taken after my 70th birthday in March 2021

 

Blog Post #A-3

What to do next when a Pet Portrait is to be commissioned

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A progression of a Pet Portrait from the beginning pencil sketch on the left hand side to a partly finished painting on the right. The time taken to come to this unfinished state is about 3 days.
A Progression of work that starts with a pencil sketch appearing on the left side then progresses. Much prep work is needed between the artist and customer before the pencil sketch begins.

Congratulations, you are about to embark on a delightful journey to having your 1st pet portrait painted! It must have caused you a bit of ambivalence: the queasy yet exhilarating joy in having your companion “done”.

I know what it is like because I have dealt with my dog-owner clients for a few years now. I know what the anticipation is all about. Let me share with you how to prepare yourself for that and how to allow the artist, that is, me, to bring out the best in both you and your pet on my fine gauged watercolor paper

Contents:

  1. Choice of photos/snippets/cuttings of You and /or your pet dog
  2. Your preferences: Your favorite feel on colors, trends, past experiences, a favorite dog costume that Charlie used to wear……
  3. Your Story: Tell it to our empathetic ears. We are committed to expressing that bond into our painting for you
  4. THEN, the Pencil Prelim Sketch done by me, the artist, begins.

Choice of materials to be submitted to the artist

Remember that the artist is not aware of your history with your pet. Don’t overlook snippets of information: snapshots at a dog birthday party where your pet had been the b’day boy……a random casual shot caught of your doggo in a happy mood……etc those spontaneous shots can help a great deal to give a depiction of your dog at an off-guard moment. Other then that, try to provide those close-ups, as sharp as possible.

A tip and an easy way to take a good closeup of your doggo is to have someone that he knows to hold him up into his arms then you can start taking those photos as close up as you want. When carried up like that, your dog will not struggle so much or become restless and run away.

Remember not to use camera flash but best to take the photos in a well-lit room. If outside, take photos on a downcast day or after 4pm or late afternoon.

Your Preferences

You may have a favorite color which you like to wear or you may have a favorite dress – or your doggo might have a favorite toy. Or you might wish for me to rig up something apt and attractive for you. Have you ever considered a coiffed hair do or something upswept and diva-esque? And your accessories – allow me to design a set of  chic and chunky accessories that befit a lady of glam. Trust me and my 20 years in Fashion Illustration and design.