Working as an illustrator from home can be incredibly isolating. It often requires long unreasonable hours to get anywhere with something. too add to that, it’s a fairly sedentary lifestyle…standing or sitting..observing, obsessing, squinting, holding your breath…
I think it takes a certain type of person to be okay like this. You’ve really gotta love doing it, and frankly in order to support a family off of it, you’ve gotta be willing/able to sink the hours in when the work’s there. It can get lonely, and if you aren’t careful you can find yourself not leaving your studio or house for days or sometimes even weeks on end.
My family is a great respite, and I make a regular habit of disappearing back to the house throughout the day to check in with the kids when they get home from school and whatnot. But there’s always the sirens song of whatever’s being worked on out in the shop that I’ll invariably hear calling to me, and I end up back out there.
And I think I’d probably go crazy out there if it weren’t for our dogs.
I know dogs aren’t for everyone. They can be loud, messy and demanding. They’re covered in hair that gets everywhere, have permanent cold wet parts, they’ll eat your food if you aren’t paying attention and they really don’t give a shit about what you’re working on.
But If you work in solitude, I honesty cant think of a better studio companion. They provide an unconditional love that can be so crucial during those weird working hours. Mine all know its boring but they’re still all too happy to come out and sleep next to me while I work. They don’t expect a whole lot aside from food water and love, and they don’t judge. They just want to hang out and kick it.
Okay sure so cats…they’re great and all, but a cat’s a to less likely to make you get up off your ass and take them for a walk when you don’t want to, but you probably should so you can clear your mind and stop floundering on that face thats looking way too much like Benecio Del Toro even though it’s not supposed to be Benecio Del Toro and you can’t figure out why that is exactly.
And let’s get real here for a minute, if someone were to break into your studio to murder you, your cat would just sit there and watch you get murdered…Then it’d likely feast on your corpse. A dog might also feast on your corpse under similar circumstances, sure, but it would also probably have stepped in and done something about that whole murder thing that happened instead of sitting there licking its paws as you gurgle your last breaths? I’d like to think so.
We have a four dog household made up of two mastiffs, a basset hound, and a Weimaraner. Its a lot of dog, but I have to be honest, it’s really not that bad. Sure I need to stay on top of the grooming and cleaning, but they don’t tear anything up, they’re well house trained, and they’re all just generally really sweet animals. Plus they make the best impromptu models!
The drool kind of sucks but you get used to it. Trick is to let it dry and it just flakes off. oh and no black clothing.
So thats my advice. Get a dog! 60-70% of the time you wont regret it. How many of you have dogs? What other companions do you have in your studio?
2 dogs here Justin, a Husky and a Beagle. They do make the best studio companions. The shedding from the Husky can be brutal when he blows his coat. Was sweeping under a bookcase and thought i had aquired a cat the fur ball was so large! Cheers and thanks for sharing-
Great photos! That Mastiff is such a sweetie! I have two dogs who love hanging out in my studio on their large beds. I have a cat who loves to be in here too but he’s a bit more trouble, as when he wants attention he likes to push breakable things off high places. But he usually gives me warning and then I throw him out for a few hours! They are all great company and force little breaks here and there throughout the day which I feel is really important. We all know those times where we are dug deep in a painting but our brain is really too tired from focusing to do our best work. The little breaks to play with the critters or attend to their needs helps my brain take a breather for a few minutes, usually to great benefit of my work.
Beautiful snapshots. Thank you for sharing.
What a fun, refreshing post. I’ve always favored cats, but you make a compelling case for K9s. Thanks for sharing!
These are great photos! I have a cat, who I adore! She loves being around me but never gets in my way, so when I’m working at my computer desk, she sits on the back of my chair. If I’m drawing somewhere else, she curls up next to me. She’s my little studio buddy! 🙂
I’m not really a dog person, but the warmth in your account of yours inspires me to move in with you. Which room is mine??? (Chuckle . . . kidding.) Good story and good pix, and was that a painting of the big guy on the couch? If not, it should be.
I travel too frequently to have a dog, but I have a very cool little black cat named Shakti who adopted me on April 17, 2011. Knocked on my door and invited herself in to watch the premiere of Game of Thrones, then left when it was over. She kept coming back until I got it that “she lives here now”.
The two most common refrains I’ve heard from people who meet her are “she’s so sweet” and “she’s like a puppy!” As Rachel said about her cat, Shakti is my little buddy. When we were a little more suburban, she would accompany me when I went out for walks, meet me at my car when I came home, and curl up on my (or any available) lap when given the opportunity. We’re a little more urban now, so she stays inside, but if I’m working at my rolltop desk, the middle left drawer is where she curls up, if I’m at the computer desk she curls up on the second task chair next to me, and if I’m at an easel or moving too much, she sits in on her recliner. Basically, she wants to be wherever the people are. Loves company. Still loves any available lap. And when she decides I need a break from the computer screen, she will get on the desk, sit directly in front of me and stare, forcing a break.
I hadn’t wanted a pet, but she has been the best I could have hoped for.
Two dogs and a cat, they’re all in the senior stage of life. They still love walking though it’s gotten shorter with age.
Dogs are great !
I have a pyrenees x newfie, she’s playfull and she sleep a lot too. But I really like when she comes at my desk and as to play or to go out.
I’m so happy to have her, since she’s at home I’m more happy and patient (and I have some one to talk and never judge)
With my companion we are looking to adopt an other one.
Thanks for sharing your love of doggos
Darn. I like cats. Oh, well 😉
My dogs are also excellent studio companions (pit/herding mix and a chi mix). They insist we get up and take breaks, which i know i wouldn’t do without them. Their stupid disappointed faces are too much for my cold, brittle heart.
I’ve been thinking about getting a (small) dog for those reasons, but I haven’t, because they are expensive and I’m not really a dog person. AND I oppose the idea of keeping pets in general, so I would be going against my own values I guess.
AND YET… I think I’ll end up a crazy cat lady, living somewhere in the woods and just doing my thing. And then I’ll probably get eaten by my cats and nobody ever finds my body. They’ll find a decaying house with wild cats running around and an unfinished drawing (of a mouse?) on the table.
2 dogs here Justin, a Husky and a Beagle. They do make the best studio companions. The shedding from the Husky can be brutal when he blows his coat-.. Was sweeping under a bookcase and thought I had acquired a cat the furball was so large! Cheers and thanks for sharing
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