Kat Wright, 19, has an exhibition of her work at the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices Centre in Goldsworth Park, which runs until 2 March.
“The reaction has been really positive,” Kat said. “A lot of people have commented on how realistic and detailed the work is, as well as how the expression of the animals has been captured.”
Kat’s work combines her love of art and animals. “I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I would always be doodling on the corners of all my schoolwork, and it would almost always feature an animal.
“As early as primary school, I achieved awards for artwork, and it was often said that my work was advanced for my age.
“I’m mostly self-taught, and learnt a lot of the techniques I use through trial and error, or looking at the work of other artists. I studied art as a GCSE and went on to take a C-Tec Applied Art course at Woking College, in which I achieved a Distinction and a Distinction*.
“I’ve always been a huge animal lover, too. I had my first pet, a guinea pig, at the age of three, and my first dog when I was eight. I’d wanted one since I was very young.
“I really brought the two together when I was 13. I did a drawing of somebody else’s dog as a gift, and through that I got my first paid commission.
“I’d never considered doing pet portraits as a job until then, and it was surreal to know that people liked my work enough to pay for a drawing of their pet.
“Now I’ve started to turn my hobby into a business and do commissioned pieces, but the excitement and pride of being entrusted to draw somebody’s beloved pet never wears off.”
An exhibition to showcase Kat’s talents was a natural next step.
“My mum works for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices and told me about the exhibition wall in the reception and café area. The work that the hospice does is wonderful, so I was more than happy not only to display my artwork for the people there to enjoy, but to support them in some way as well.
“For the duration of the exhibition, I will be giving 10% of the sales to the hospice.
“The best time to view is during the café’s opening times, which is 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. That way people can combine it with popping in for a drink and a snack.”
Kat already has about 40 commissions in her portfolio, 15 of them in the past year.
“The majority of my commissions are from dog owners,” Kat added. “What I see the most of is probably sighthound breeds, such as greyhounds and whippets, due to my involvement with and special interest in these dogs, but I’m willing to draw any animal.
“I’m hoping to see more small pets such as rats and hamsters this year because I’m also very interested in rodents. I’ve started to offer smaller sizes specifically for this kind of portrait, and overall I’m seeing more of a variety of pets lately, particularly an increase in cat commissions.”
For anyone interested in commissioning a piece or to see more of Kat’s work, please visit Facebook – Draw My Pet – https://www.facebook.com/pets by kat/; Instagram @pets_by_kat – https://www.instagram.com/pets_by_kat or by email: email@example.com
For the full story get the 16 January edition of the News & Mail