Puppy school is all well and good, but Lithuanian graphic designer Diana Molyté thinks education starts with the human. In 12 postcards, she offers a year’s worth of useful advice and clever dog-rearing tricks, each charmingly illustrated using various textures in collage-like form.
Molyté’s family run a Rhodesian ridgeback kennel and her chats with soon-to-be puppy owners revealed a common misconception: that purebreds inherently come with an expected shopping list of traits (Labradors are friendly, poodles are smart, etc.). This got her thinking about training for people rather than pups. “For all the best character qualities to shine, every dog (purebred or not) should get a lot of care, attention and be properly socialised,” she says.
Painting each scenario from a hound’s-eye-view, Molyté explains how our own behaviours might skew our dogs’ assumptions, and how to avoid some classic miscommunication. “Dogs are very perceptive: over time they learn to anticipate our actions. But we humans are confusing creatures, acting differently depending on various circumstances,” she says.
In each of her lessons, the key is consistency – whether you’re teaching your dog its new name or how to keep it together when you get home. “I love when people recognise themselves and their pups in these illustrations,” she says. “They flip a postcard, smile and say, ‘I wish we knew that when we brought Max/Bella/Luna home.’ Then they start sharing their own funny stories.”
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