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Chats with Makers - Kitty Draws Dogs

Smiling female in a chair with glasses on, holding a whippet on her lap.

Autumn has really set in hasn't it!

This October, for 'Chats with Makers', we are featuring the amazing Kitty Forbes - Artist and Founder of Kitty Draws Dogs. Kitty joined our market in June with her dog Margo and we loved seeing her colourful creations in person.

Kitty offers a whole host of goodies in her shop. From prints, cards and tote bags to original drawings and bespoke commissions, there is bound to be something to catch your eye, especially if you're a dog lover. Kitty's commission slots are now open if you would like to get on the list and request something from her in time for Christmas.

Wednesday 13th October - Kitty Draws Dogs x LMM Instagram Takeover and Live at 1pm.

Scroll down to find out more...

Tell us about 'Kitty Draws Dogs'. What do you offer?

As you might tell from the name I specialise in drawing dogs!

I offer a couple of different styles. Classic - which is very detailed, a mixture of watercolour and pencil, Contemporary - where I use a selection of multicoloured pencils which brings the dog to life in a more playful way, and a coloured line drawing - this is much more understated and I offer them in smaller sizes.

I also have a collection of cards, postcards, tote bags and prints.

Detailed brown Spaniel puppy drawing in colour.

When did your business first start and what made you take the leap?

I was working part time in a shop and feeling rather lost, so I started sketching again and as I really love dogs I thought I would try drawing them…turns out I really loved it. A few years of working part time meant I could focus on my art and eventually I was able to go full time. It was a very slow process but I couldn’t be happier.

What has been your proudest moment so far?

Ooh I think it would have to be being approached by Halcyon Days to create a collection of drawings for a selection of their products. These have yet to be launched but they should hopefully launch at the end of the year.

How is your work made from start to finish?

It all starts with a photo. I then begin a preliminary sketch, which helps me with proportions of the dog as a whole.

When I start the final drawing I always draw the nose first, I find it best to work my way outwards and up to the eyes. Once I am happy with the placement of both I usually find my way up to the ears and finish with the chest of the dog.

This is pretty much the process for all my drawings, apart from my line drawings which I just draw straight from a photo and hope for the best! Like all artists I do have to re start more drawings than I would like, but its always worth it in the end.

What is your favourite subject to draw and why?

Well it has to be dogs, each one has such unique character and they can say so much through their eyes and expressions. It is very satisfying when you get everything just right and you can see the silkiness of their fur on the page.

(However, I also really love drawing Alpacas, I one day would like to have two of them!)

Colourful dog drawing in pencil.

What is the biggest challenge you've faced?

I would say going full time and marketing myself have been equally challenging. It's always such a big leap to go full time, it was the best decision but it also came with a lot of learning curves, as running your own business does. I find I am constantly learning, and marketing myself and my business is an ongoing struggle, thinking I could always be doing more or something better.

Which digital platforms and programs have helped shape your business?

When I re-branded a year or so ago, I had my website built for me using Webflow which was a game changer - its embarrassing how bad I am at tech stuff! Instagram is my favourite platform to use, even though it's changed a lot and small businesses are feeling the effects of the evolving app. However it's still a great way to share your work, see what people like and it's also just handy to have a catalogue of your work in one place.

Detailed colour drawing of a white dog.

Do you have any advice for those looking to start their own art business?

The key to starting your own business is to really love and believe in what you do, it's also ok to do it slowly. Not everyone can jump straight into it, and it can take time to shape your ideas. Even though it's really hard, try not to compare yourself to other businesses doing similar things, each person has something unique to bring to the table so focus on that!

What's next? Any exciting projects or plans for the future?

I have been working on a collection for Halcyon Days, I am very excited and can’t wait to see my drawings on their products. I will also be doing a couple of drawing classes on ‘How to Draw your Dog’ with the Elephant Academy, happening in early November and early January.

In the new year I would love to start experimenting with a few other mediums, and work on a larger scale, so watch this space.

Colourful drawings of dogs on chairs with balloons. Birthday cards.

What is the process for customers? How can readers contact you?

The best way to order a commission is either to order through my website, or get in touch via email and we can discuss what you would like for your commission. Once you have made your order I will send through a form where you can tell me a little bit about your dog and upload some photos. If you just have a few questions you can also get in touch through Instagram, I’m more than happy to chat on there.

The usual turn around is 3-4 weeks, so if you are thinking of getting something done for Christmas, get in touch sooner rather than later. If you would like to commission me there is a discount code below which will run until the end of year! x

Discount code LMM21 - 10% off commissions.

If you've enjoyed this interview, or have any further questions for Kitty, please get in touch. Join us on Wednesday 13th October at 1pm to find out more about Kitty Draws Dogs via Instagram Live.

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