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.
A heartfelt thank you to all the photographers, artists, illustrators, and writers who trusted us, dived in, and brought us delight, grace, excitement, courage, wilderness, and wonder over the last five years. Their work not only reflects the bonds we share with our animal companions, it also celebrates their spirit.
None of this would be possible without our four-legged counterparts who sprinkle magic dust time and time again, and our readers, who embraced this kooky idea, rallied around us, and made this world theirs too. With friends like these, who needs nine lives?
February 5, 2019