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Interview with a pet company: EH Griffith Pet Portraits

Posted Oct 21 2008 7:23am

This Tuesday marks the second installment in our series of interviews with interesting pet businesses. Last week we tackled pet photography, and this week we stay in the art vein. EH Griffith, an Atlanta-area pet portrait artist, was kind enough to answer our questions and share her work with us. We've included examples of her portraits throughout the interview. Enjoy!

How did you get into pet portraits?

After studying art in college, I spent several years in Hollywood in the entertainment industry. There, I started down a path that would end in rekindling my inner artist. Painting my beloved parti-poodle Gracie sparked the flame that led to my work as a fulltime artist, drawing and painting pets for people who love them as much as I love Gracie.

What do you like most about what you do?

I love the entire process of getting to know people and their animals, and preserving forever someone’s much-loved companion. Out of my own love for animals, I connect with the pet to capture her/his personality and spirit on canvas.  It is important to me to give my clients the best portrait possible; I want them to fall in love with their pet all over again and feel the unconditional love radiating from the canvas.

What are some of your favorite settings or poses to paint?

I like to create a setting that feels natural for the pet, whether it is outdoors in the garden, curled up on the couch or with their favorite toy in tow. The setting should truly capture the spirit of the animal.

How would you recommend people go about finding the right pet portrait artist for them?

The artist should be professional and reliable. Make sure the artist’s work matches your taste, and that their website is professional. Choose a style you like—contemporary, traditional or with an abstract flare. Make sure the portrait is authentic fine art, created using the finest archival materials. It’s important to communicate with the artist; building a personal connection is key to capturing what you want in a portrait.

What trends have you noticed in pet portraiture over the years?

Pet portraits are now considered to be fine art. Pets have become important family members, and although many people feel a little guilty about it, they would rather have a painting of the pet than a painting of their children. Recently, I have been asked to do more contemporary pieces, i.e. close-ups of the animal that take up the whole canvas.

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