Why did you start your business?I didn't start out to create a business...I just wanted to paint dogs! Kookie, our little cav furbaby, joined our family three years ago and I just had to capture his cuteness in paint. Then I started painting other cute dogs I found online and it just snowballed from there. I love capturing magical memories and sharing the joy of art!
How long ago, and how?Art N Kookies officially became a business at the beginning of this year but before that I'd been on social media for three years so I had a wonderful community of furrfriends. It was a hobby back then so I was doing quick sketches for free, then "pay what you want" and as the portraits grew more detailed, I had to raise the price because I was spending so much time.
What do you sell?I paint your furbabies to help you capture your magical memories together forever. I offer a range of styles, so you can choose the one that suits best: watercolour, acrylic on canvas, ink and colour pencil, and digital. Customer satisfaction is super important so customers are involved from the get go. Let me know your vision and send me your dog's photos, I'll send back a sketch to confirm the composition. I'll also send you a photo of the final portrait to make sure you're 100% happy!
Where do you sell?I only sell online at the moment but looking into doing markets in Sydney so stay tuned! Painting your pooch on the spot will be so exciting! You can order your portrait on the website, and you can find me on Facebook and Instagram @artnkookies.petportraits.
Tell me about your own dogs - and are they involved in the business?Kookie is a lazy, grass-munching, super cuddly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who enjoys lying on the back of sofas. He's also our esteemed Vice President of Culture, my go-to model for trying out new painting styles, and the one I named the whole business after (in case you haven't noticed).
What's the best thing about what you do?Hearing all the touching stories of beloved furbabies and the emotional reactions to gifts of my pet portraits...Knowing that in my small way, I've brought a smile and joy to peoples' lives is what keeps me going and fulfils me.
What was the last song that got stuck in your head?Watermelon sugar high...I think it's a sly suggestion from my sub-conscience now that the weather is getting rather hot...
What's the most recent photo on your phone?Two watercolour pet portraits I just finished today! One dog has a heart shaped patch on his back (!) and the other is a majestic queen. I was super productive today and felt proud of my work so I took a quick photo.
Tea or coffee?
It was great to chat with Natalie about her business, and Kookie. If you would like a painting of one of your dogs - or as a gift for someone hard to buy for - take a look at her website here.