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Living On Through Art

We all know my stance on "JUST GET THE PICS!".

In other words, don't wait on creating some sort of lasting memory of you and your pet. Whether that's a professional photoshoot (with meeeeeeeee), leaning your phone up against a rock at the beach to capture a little video of you enjoying the sunrise with your dog, or a few impromptu photos at the barn with your friend and your horses. Just do it. Other than giving you loads of content in which to make your animal's birthday or Gotcha Day posts (I hope I'm not the only one who does this!?), it also gives us something tangible to look back on after the inevitable loss of our partners in crime. When we're ready, of course.

What we don't often think about is commissioned portraits of our four-legged loves ones. Maybe it's because it's so hard to find someone who excels at realistic portraits, & such talent is rarer, or the result takes more time to receive. Whatever the reason, these folks exist, & right here in the Maritimes!

I was recently recommended a young local artist for a pet portrait. When I checked out her instagram page, which you can check out here, I instantly knew she was the real deal. Her portraits were incredibly realistic, and it was obvious each one was created with great care.

So, what do I do when I run into an amazing, locally-owned, small business? I ask them if I can write about them.

Here is a little introduction to Alexandra of Pencil Your Pets, currently based in Sackville, New Brunswick, but travels home to Halifax, Nova Scotia when time permits.

I sent her a few questions for inspiration so she could tell us about herself in her own words. You can reach her through her instagram, which I've linked above a few times, and I'm sure she'd appreciate a follow!

From Alexandra:

Hi! My name is Alexandra Morrison I’m a 21 year old university student! I love to draw and do puzzles. I have a dog and a cat they are such amazing little companions. 

I started Pencil Your Pets around 2015-2016 when I was about 12-13. I’ve always liked to draw so I decided to post some drawings online! I soon opened up free requests and drew hundreds of pets day and night before I opened up paid commissions. It was incredible practice! My first pet portrait that I can remember was a hairless cat!

I offer a variety of mediums: coloured pencil, graphite, pastel, marker, ink, sketch, acrylic, oil, water colour, pyrography, whittling, sculpting with clay, digital art, and more! My favourite depends on the subject, certain types of pets are more fun to draw depending on the medium. Pastel brings out the striking contrast of black animals, and coloured pencil allows me to get fine details shown in tabby cats or brindle dogs.

I don’t have any formal art education, I’ve just sort of done whatever I want. I have a variety of artistic influences, mainly my friends in the art community who I found through Instagram. They inspire me to challenge myself and have fun. I don’t know where my inspiration comes from because it doesn’t really go away. In class I am always doodling and sketching, I simply cannot NOT draw during class time. Sometimes I have a weird craving to have a pencil in my hand and draw, it’s bizarre. 

One of my most memorable testimonials is for a cat I painted named “Papa Rocky” for the Halifax Cat Rescue Society. He helped nervous foster cats adjust, and his loss was big. Most of my memorable testimonials are from pets who have passed away or from clients who gifted a portrait. 

All someone has to do is contact me and we can get to work together to find a suitable portrait style for their pet!

Thank you, Alex!

The best place to check out Alexandra's work is on her instagram account, I've included a screenshot of her account so you can have a glimpse at her work.

Alexandra is easy to communicate with, professional, patient and wildly talented. I highly recommend her.

Danielle is a photographer based in East Hants, Nova Scotia specializing in photo sessions with pets (dogs, horses, cats, cows, etc.) with their people.


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