Born with a passion for drawing, Liz has been running her own illustration business from her Cornish studio for the past thirteen years. During lockdown and losing some of her illustration projects in a short period of time, the brilliant idea of Sketchy Hounds was born. Combining her love of drawing and her beautiful dog Denzel, Liz creates unique, one-of-a-kind cards, art prints and homeware that everyone (dog fanatic or not) will love.
What made you decide to start Sketchy Hounds, and what's the inspiration behind it?
I started Sketchy Hounds in 2020, during the initial lockdown because of the pandemic. Unfortunately, quite a bit of my design and illustration work was lost overnight, so I needed to keep creating and drawing. My husband said I should draw our dog Denzel, and after a few sketches of him, I realised how much I loved drawing dogs in general, so I decided to create a range and sell them online. Denzel is the main inspiration behind my illustrations, he has a lot of funny and quirky characteristics, so I like to capture these where I can in my drawings.
What did you do before creating the Sketchy Hounds?
I don't want to sound too cliché but I have always loved drawing. When I was little, I would always be drawing, painting, and doodling. I took a degree in Graphic Design at Falmouth University in 2008, and I've been a self-employed designer/illustrator ever since. I try to sneak in as much illustration work into my designs as I can, so I found drawing dogs really suited me when I launched Sketchy Hounds.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My handsome hound, Denzel. He is a rescue Lurcher x Springer Spaniel, and he is my companion when I am working in my garden studio. As I am out walking him a lot, I often see lots of different types of dogs, so they often give me inspiration for what illustrations to do too. I also have quite a soft spot for pointy nose dogs such as Lurchers, Greyhounds and Whippets so a lot of my designs feature these dogs, as they are so much fun to draw.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story on your journey so far?
My biggest challenge is always time. I have lots of ideas in the pipeline for Sketchy Hounds, but I have to juggle between that and working with my clients on other projects too. My main achievement is reaching 400 sales on my Etsy shop and getting so much positive feedback on my products, it really does make my day knowing that someone has bought one of my designs, especially when I send products to other countries!. At the start of 2021 I also decided to support a dog charity each year and give a percentage of my profits to. This year I am supporting the lovely Forever Hounds Trust, so it's great that some of my sales will be helping hounds in need too.
How would you describe Sketchy Hounds in three words?
Cute, colourful, Pawsitive.
What is your connection to Cornwall?
I was born and raised in Cornwall, and it's where my family have always lived too.
Do you have a special spot in Cornwall that inspires you?
I always love the sea and harbours too; I feel my happiest when I am looking at the sea. I love the area around St Agnes and in particular, Wheal Coates. Me and my husband often eat fish and chips overlooking the beautiful cliffs, and it has a beautiful light when it is sunset.
What's next / any exciting plans?
Yes, I have so many plans for Sketchy Hounds. I will be bringing out lots more product lines, and designs and I would love to get my products into more retailers and stockists too. My overall plan will eventually be having a bricks and mortar shop too.
Shop Sketchy Hounds here.