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Blog How to get started as an animal artist

How to get started as an animal artist

Dad's cat, childhood drawing, early sketches


Artists often get asked how they started painting and about their art influences. This seems like a good place to start my new art blog. My earliest influences were very close to home – I’ll talk about my favourite artists another time.  

Dad's cat, childhood drawing, early sketches

Dad’s cat drawing

I’ve drawn and painted for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of my Dad drawing a cat over and over for me and getting me to copy it. It was a great game, and Dad’s cat looked something like this:

Dad never claimed to be an artist, and I knew better than to ask about the missing legs!  But I learned to love drawing and fortunately we always had pets I could observe, so in time I learned about those missing legs …


While I was growing up, my Mum told me that I was like her father who had been a sign writer. He was apparently a really good artist. Naturally I wanted to see his work, but sadly, he died before I was born. All of his artwork had been destroyed along with any photos, so I’ve never seen any of it. Encouraging and maddening at the same time! My young brain struggled to process these mixed messages about the value of art, and although I got a decent Art “O” Level,  I dropped formal art studies for more academic subjects. I spent most of my working life doing “proper” work, but art was in my blood so I kept coming back to it…

tabby cat art print, golden yellow painting, cat home decor, homeware, tabby cat coasterSo, to get started as an animal artist, get some encouragement from your family, add in some mixed messages and a house full of pets, do other things for a living for 30+ years, but keep painting and drawing,  et voilà!

Oh and I hope you agree that my cat paintings have improved!

What are your earliest memories of painting or drawing? Did you have any art influences? Feel free to comment below:

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