UGLY INTO ART FOR YOUR PET
Lately, I have been so amazed at the gorgeous, fun products created for our companion animals.
From $2,000 hypo-allergenic dog beds made of 18 karat gold fabric to simply elegant leashes created from sailboat rope or “green” leases made of recycled billboard paper to ceramic Burberry water bowls featuring the famous nova check plaid.
I read – I believe in Forbes Magazine – consumers, despite the recession, are choosing to spoil their dogs and cats because they believe the return on investment far outweighs the expense or sacrifice associated with the purchase. I can totally agree with that.
Artist, Natalie Timm, formerly of Spring Lake, has created a wonderful and original product that benefits both pets and their owners – turning ugly into art.
Natalie paints beyond beautiful custom pet placemats – featuring an original portrait of your companion animal – taking a unsightly and generic feeding area and making it special and one-of-a-kind.
“The floor is the last frontier of art and the placemats are another layer of art for one’s home,” said Natalie, founder of NatsPetMats. “Original art in everyday surroundings is my joy to make. I wanted to provide people with long-term great experience every time they look at the placemat.”
After completing the questionnaire on Natalie’s website I answered more of her specific questions about my preferences and Truman. Afterwards, I sent specific photos of the “model”.
“I interview the client and offer choices to get people thinking however I want a feeling of exactly what the customer is dreaming of and what he or she likes,” said Natalie who paints with her dog Zoe by her side. “The more custom it is the more people and their guests will love it.”
Natalie also requested photos of the area of my kitchen where Truman’s bowl sits and descriptions of colors I prefer. I am color blind so that was tricky, however patient Natalie took the time to make sure the placemat flowed with the rest of the house – both in color and design.
“I study the individuality of each pet’s features – their eyelashes, whiskers, fur patterns, muscle tone,” said Natalie. “I paint a few ‘tests’ in watercolor until I feel I have captured the energy and individuality of the pet. Then I paint the placemat.”
The entire process takes Natalie more than ten hours and it shows. I wanted to frame Truman’s mat (made from recycled or repurposed vinyl flooring). Natalie captured his energy, excitement and curiosity – even getting his spots correctly positioned in the portrait. I smile every time I see the placemat.
“Right now, I am working on a placemat for a newly married couple in Sea Girt who adopted two dachshund puppies,” said Natalie. “They want the mat to be a benchmark as they grow up so they can always have a memory of their dogs as puppies.”
We live in an art infused town. There’s no reason for our companion animals not to enjoy their own custom masterpieces.
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