Drawings of Dogs

Henry Garrett

31st March 2017

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Drawings of Dogs started off as little doodles I did for friends and family, then became a Facebook page and webcomic, and is now my little greeting card business. As I’m sure you guessed, I love dogs.

Why dogs?

The most basic reason is that I love dogs. I begged for a dog for years and my parents got me Billie when I was 15 and missed a year of school due to ill health. Their idea was to give me a bit of company and a reason to gradually build up my exercise and sort of re-engage with the world. And it worked. And she’s the most drawn/photographed dog on Earth and a trusted friend and advisor.

But if I was going to get more art-talky I’d say dogs are an interesting subject for art because they reflect us in a really interesting way. Depending on who you ask we either domesticated or coevolved with dogs, but regardless we’ve been selectively breeding them for a long time. And unlike other animals we do this with – usually for food – we’ve bred dogs to be colleagues and companions. And so you can look at dogs and see what it is that we’d want in a friend. We laugh at dogs for being so needy but dogs are so needy because we bred from the needy ones because they were our favourites because we want to feel needed.

Alongside that, dogs, like us, sometimes struggle with contemporary society. They’re little anxious, needy wolves and they sometimes find the little niche we’ve left them difficult. But bear in mind wolves aren’t anything like how they’re often villainously portrayed.

I had to suspend my Philosophy PhD on medical grounds. I’d already been doing Drawings of Dogs as a side project, but now had more time to dedicate to the project. I’ve worked as hard as I can on turning drawing dogs into my job. I either want to be a philosophy professor, or a dog drawer – two slightly unrealistic career paths.

I started out screen printing the cards – having learnt how from Youtube – but it proved too time consuming.

I have built up a web following and a small business around this brand. I have five stockists, an online shop, and trade at St. Nicholas Market, Bristol.