In the early 2000’s I moved from Sydney to Los Angeles to design masked wrestler characters for an animated kids’ TV show that I co-created.
As clicheed as this may sound, I adopted a blue-eyed Boston Terrier a few years later and he changed my life and the course of my career. I drew my dog Boogie obsessively. Not only did these drawings help launch Doggie Drawings as a fundraising pet portrait business, Boogie put a hole in my building manager’s leg, almost had me evicted from my home, and before long, I was on an educational journey about dog emotions and behaviors that still hasn’t ended.
At first, I misunderstood Boogie’s aggressive behavior, and did a lot of things wrong. I used methods that made him more fearful and more aggressive towards unfamiliar people and dogs. When the world of dog body language and positive reinforcement-based training methods opened up to me, the difference this knowledge made to Boogie and our relationship was something worth telling the world about.
I love working on educational illustrations. I love taking complex information and translating this into accessible graphics that can make a positive difference to everyone who lives or works with a companion animal. Over the past 10 years I have had the privilege of contributing to many animal welfare and dog bite prevention programs, working with progressive animal trainers and behaviorists, including the late Dr. Sophia Yin, and the inspiring Dr. Susan Friedman. In 2020, I am thrilled that my first book about dog body language has been published to wonderful reviews.
Doggie Drawings today is also an online shop. My Dogs of the World designs have gone viral on the internet since 2014, which have led to exciting new products, collaborations, and licensing partnerships. It’s not all about dogs though! I also illustrate cats, pigs, birds, and other wildlife animals, as you can see in my collection of gift products and wall art.
I couldn’t tell you where the Doggie Drawings journey will take me. Boogie, my best friend of 13 years, passed away in October 2020. I live with two wonderful cats now – Mambo and Shimmy – and they have a lot to teach me! I am still learning and creating as I go along, and I am grateful to everyone of you who is joining me on this ride.