For many years, Meredith London was working as an artist, hitting the local art shows with her custom painted wine glasses and bowls. When she decided to combine her love of pets with creating custom art for people, she found her niche and Meredith London Pet Portraiture was born.
“I created some glass treat jars and ornaments with pet faces on them based on work I saw on the Internet and bam – that’s when everyone started to come over to see my work,” says London. “I’m so passionate about animals and I enjoy doing this so much more than my other work. Because what I do is custom, each jar or ornament is very different.”
Londonworks to try to capture each pet’s personality as much as their look when she is designing the treat jars, ornaments or custom canvasses. She asks for photographs that show good detail and also asks about the personality and history of an animal before she starts working on any project.
“You can buy a breed specific anything out there – photo, mug, etc. – but you can’t find anything that is specific to your pet,” says London. “No two labs or golden retrievers are really alike because the eyes and expressions are different. Before I start to work, I ask about the pet’s personality. The story behind an animal, especially if it was a rescue story, really helps me capture something special in their face that makes that pet so unique.
“I have a soft spot in my heart for animals with physical deformities,” adds London. “One woman had a dog that had cancer and had part of his nose removed. She told me that she fought this internal battle of whether to send a pre- or post-cancer photo. In the end, she settled on the most recent one because it was part of what made her dog her dog.”
As London searched the Internet and social media, she didn’t see any work like hers and she eventually trademarked her creations. But her work didn’t stop with her trademarked treat jars and ornaments; London also creates custom canvas animal portraits that give her even more room for creativity.
“The work on canvas takes much longer to create because I carefully dissect each photo for shape, color, highlights and shadows,” says London. “While the pet’s personality is there, the art itself is one off from the real color, layered and not blended. When the work is complete, it’s more stylized and really pops. I love the process of doing the paintings because I’m able to be so much more creative and it is more of a challenge.”
During the holiday season, London admits that she’s buried in ornaments (and everything else) and extremely busy as people turn to her for that unique gift. In order to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas, she has set a December second deadline. For orders that come in later, she sends a certificate so people will know their special present is on the way. For those who wait until the last minute to shop, she also offers gift certificates.
“We are all put on the planet with something to offer,” says London. “Painting is great, but I’ve been able to donate and help so many great animal causes as well through my work. It’s more rewarding and it makes all the difference. I also get emails all the time from people when their pet has passed away and they tell me they feel like that pet is with them all the time – that’s why I love what I do.”
Some of the non-profits she has helped support include – Orphans of the Storm, Heartland Animal Shelter, The Anti-Cruelty Society, PAWS, the Puppy Rescue Mission and The Puppy Mill Project. Learn more about Meredith London Pet Portraiture online, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Do you volunteer or work for a shelter or rescue that has programs you’d like to promote? Do you work in a pet-rleated business that has an interesting story to tell. If so, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy this article? Receive email alerts when new articles become available. Just click on the subscribe button above. You may also follow me on Twitter, Facebook or read my blog.