When AguWu says, “I design with my dog,” she means it. You can spot Helmut, a four-year-old Dachshund, splashed all over the Polish illustrator’s Instagram feed—not just in shamelessly charming snaps (the boy knows how to play up the camera), but wriggling in and out of her designs themselves. There he is, curled up on the bottom of that ceramic mug, and there! chasing his tail across a pair of slippers, and over there! lounging comfortably in that yoga school logo.
Her professional collaborations—think branding and textile design—aren’t the only channel for Helmut’s regular cameos. In her own time, the graphic designer doodles her dog “at every opportunity,” so you-know-who also features in a series of prints and patterns where he’s seen nuzzling a friend, riding in a balloon, planning a party, or just looking at you, with his exophthalmic Dachshund eyes. Her kid-friendly designs all have a distinct look reminiscent of a Swedish children’s book: minimal geometric lines and splashes of block colour, with fragments of nature (a stick, a bee, a raincloud). And the mood? Squirming with joy, just like Helmut.
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a joyful title designed for music, pop culture and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020