Hounds abound in a goofy woofy new book by talented local artist Megan Anderson.
Word of Dog (Fremantle Press) is full of endearing images of canines great and small.
And though they all look like dogs you may know from round your ‘hood, they’re all products of Megan’s imagination.
Megan, who worked as a journalist for more than two decades, made the switch to being an artist about seven years ago.
“I moved to Albany, thinking I’d write the great Australian novel, then realized I wasn’t very good at making things up! So I turned to art, started mucking around, doing a few abstracts,” she tells The Starfish.
She later moved to Sydney for a couple of years, then back in Perth, began writing for Scoop magazine, but kept up her art. And in 2012, while she was living in Fremantle, a local gallery operator invited her to put on a solo exhibition.
She did so, producing a series of ink drawings of tailwaggers– and it was a sellout.
“I think I decided to draw dogs as every day I was down at the dog beach in Freo, surrounded by doggy friends,” she reflects.
Megan now designs her woofers on her Ipad; and the results are impressive.
“I had never thought about designing images on an Ipad, I didn’t even own one. Then one day I saw a guy at a café creating something on his device. I went over and asked him about it, and he showed me how he was doing it. I was fascinated. I went out and bought an Ipad, and started drawing dogs this way!” she says.
“I had thought perhaps the art would appear flat and graphic, if you like, if you did it on a device. But the images work really well and I enjoy the process.”
The results have sparked a global following, with many intrigued at how her designs are done. “A few people assume you’d be using some sort of cheat ‘art by numbers’ program but that’s not the case.”
Megan found she could sketch, erase, shade, and layer man’s best friend with aplomb.
With a presence on Facebook and Instagram and her own website, she now has fans and followers around the world.
It didn’t take Fremantle Press long to be wowed by the bow-wows and they promptly commissioned her to do a book.
“I was given a very short deadline so it could be out in time for Christmas,” she nods.
The words accompanying each image are related to humans, not hounds; Megan was adamant she didn’t want doggy talk in her book.
“That kind of things been done before, and done well, but that’s not so interesting to me,” she says. “I like the paradox of having very human emotions and ideas paired with an image of a dog.
“What I’ve written is inspired either by a conversation I’ve had, or something I’ve overheard or perhaps something that’s been talked about on the radio.”
The book includes the musings of the Uber driver, the nudist, and the YouTube sensation, coupled with an oft-perplexed looking hound.
“Mostly the art comes first, then I work on what to write to accompany it,” she explains.
The works in the book are currently on display at Earlywork Gallery in Fremantle’s South Terrace, until November 25.
“One dog came along to the opening night; Moomin, a bull terrior, who’s in the book,” she tells us.
But Moomin is a rarity, because generally Megan won’t draw specific animals in her orbit.
“People ask me to draw their dogs, but I generally say no,” she says,
“I like my dogs to look slightly dishevelled or a little world-weary! Perhaps that says something about me and my personality!”
Word Of Dog is on sale at the gallery, in bookshops or at Fremantle Press.
For more info visit Megan’s website, hangdogart.com.au