DROOL: When do you feel you first found success in the world of art, and how have you grown since then?
Katie: Last year when I announced online that I was taking pet-portrait commissions on for the holidays. I don’t know what I was expecting but in the end I ended up with around 170 commissions. I was extremely flattered and overwhelmed. It was a big confidence boost. When I first started taking on commission work I was terrified the entire process that someone would not identify with the finished piece and hate me. Now I have a fantastic time in the studio- It really is a lot of fun.

DROOL: What about dogs attracts you to them as subjects for your artwork?
Katie: I think that dogs emotions are really easy to digest and thats been a helpful way to express how I am feeling when I’m making work. I love the variety in dogs coat texture and color. Brindle is a party.

DROOL: What do you find most inspirational about dogs?
Katie: Earlier in the year my husband and I took in a Saint Bernard hospice foster named Frankenstein (through a really great Los Angeles-based rescue Muttscouts). We knew he was chained up most of his life, had cancer, failing kidneys and a couple other bad things going on health-wise. We did not anticipate he would be the most wonderful magical creature I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Every day he would loaf around the house with a big dumb smile on his face waiting for us to leave the room so he could get into the trash. On my birthday he swooped in out of nowhere and gobbled a large portion of my birthday cake in one bite while we all screamed and laughed. Frankenstein’s joy inspired me- I think about that a lot.

DROOL: Did dogs help you discover your voice in art? If so, how?
Katie: Absolutely. When I adopted my first dog Pony I was so consumed by her and our new friendship that I found myself talking to her in the studio and looking for a response (she didn’t care). Eventually everything became sort of an extension of Pony. Now I think its gone beyond that to other people and their relationship with their own pets. I really love listening to people talk about their dogs silly quirks.

"I think that dogs' emotions are really easy to digest, and that's been a helpful way to express how I am feeling when I'm making work."

DROOL: Do you like dogs more than people, and why or why not?
Katie: Dogs and people are too different to say! I would rather have a dog than a roommate.

DROOL: If you had to choose one dog breed to characterize who you are, what breed would it be and why?
Katie: Probably a chihuahua because they are small, stubborn and loud. My two chihuahuas Pony and Muffin love a comfy chair and a big sweatshirt which I also enjoy.

DROOL: Anything else you want to share with the dog-loving humans of Earth?
Katie: Consider adopting an older dog!

Check out more of Katie Kimmel’s art visit katiekimmel.com
Or give her a follow @katiekimmel

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