Nowadays, all you need is a half-decent smartphone to take a great photograph, but there’s something wonderful about a unique, artistic representation of your pet that you can treasure forever. Portrait Pals have taken this service one step further by creating a marketplace for those who want to give something back to the community in the form of a charitable fundraising platform.
It takes real talent to capture the spirit of a pet in a drawing or painting and I was very eager to see how our portrait of Buffy and Elsa would turn out. All I had to do was select a photograph that could be used as the subject of the portrait and then a couple of days later our ‘quick pet portrait’ arrived in the post. It was very well packaged so that it didn’t get bent in transit and beautifully wrapped inside the envelope.
This gorgeous portrait of Buffy and Elsa is a detailed drawing, accented with splashes of colour and Portrait Pals have even accommodated a special request to coordinate the bows with my favourite colours: teal for Buffy and purple for Elsa. (As you can see from the image, they were wearing Christmas bows in the original photograph.)
This depiction of Elsa is spot on and it’s even captured Buffy’s cute little head tilt!
Throw us a Bone Portrait Pals!
We chat with Lauren Pilgreen, the artist behind this drawing of Buffy & Elsa, and Director of Portrait Pals to find out more:
How does it work:
It’s simple: clients choose their favourite style for their pet portrait, discuss details with the artist and receive it in the post within one month. We store their artwork so they can use it on Portrait Pals merchandise (including engraved ID tags and keychains) at any point in the future.
How do you select the artists that you work with:
Portrait Pals is both an artist marketplace and charitable fundraising platform, which means that we look for both artistic differentiation and enthusiasm for community involvement when onboarding new additions to our team.
Our artists either already bring their own unique aesthetic to the cohort or are looking to test and develop new styles with us. We welcome artists at any stage in their professional career and provide support for budding artists looking to develop their skills and confidence.
Many of our London-based illustrators participate in our live drawing fundraisers to use their skills to make a difference and be a part of the community we are building. Artists outside of London can contribute to our online fundraisers remotely. Whether they join us for multiple fundraisers each year or for one event only, we are happy to take on all artists who are interested in making a difference in the lives of others.
Can Portrait Pals be booked for private events:
Yes! We can be booked for live drawing entertainment or for private drawing classes. Portrait Pals also runs a live dog drawing class “Pups, Paint & Prosecco” in collaboration with Paws & Pause doggy day care in South London. These 2 hour classes can be booked for private classes up to 20 people.
Any kind of requirements for private events can be discussed directly with Lauren, who can be reached at portraitpalsUK@gmail.com.
Tell us about your charitable contributions:
To date, we have donated over £2,000 to local pet charities in the UK. Working primarily with All Dogs Matter, we have attended several dog shows and markets, donating 100% of the profits made to their cause. We have also worked with Mr B’s Proper Walks, a dog fostering and fundraising entity who has organised doggie brunches and social events for Bid to Save A Stray, Cinque Ports Rescue, and SBT Rescue.
What are your plans for the future:
As a socially responsible business, our future plans are centred around creating large-scale opportunities for people to use their skills for social impact. Implementing our online fundraisers means that anyone, anywhere in the world can contribute to the team cause. Currently, our focus is on pet portrait artists raising money for pet charities. In the future, we hope to have many different groups of creatives/artisans raising money for many different causes. Community leadership is not only the key to making a difference in the lives of others, but to creating the space in our own lives to do something we love. With that in mind, we believe the future of Portrait Pals will be forged through charity collaboration, personal skill-building, and an unwavering dedication to helping people grow.
Prices start at £25 for a quick portrait and you’d typically receive this within a week. You can also opt for more detailed portrait commissions (with the opportunity to review and approve artwork) that can take approximately a month to create.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Portrait Pals for this pawsome drawing of Buffy & Elsa and for taking the time to chat with Paws across Britain!
What are you waiting for? Get your paws on your own creation from Portrait Pals!