In today’s interview with a DaWanda designer, we get to meet Sandra, whose store Nobility Dogs never fails to raise a smile every time we visit. Sandra’s passion for dog breeds of all kinds is evident as soon as you drop by her shop. She takes images of dogs and charmingly recontextualises them, playfully inserting dogs into famous works of art and historical scenes. It’s a must visit for dog-lovers and kitsch-lovers a like. Without further ado we’ll hand it over to Sandra to tell you more about her work:
Please tell us a bit about yourself:
As a designer, Kennel Club judge and a great admirer of dogs, I decided to go one step further to show that the dog is no longer just a companion and supporting figure in art, but the main protagonist of events, and so should receive a well-deserved role. Using the works of famous artists from the former times up to early twentieth-century art, and adapting the personality and expressions of different dog breeds, unique works of nobility dogs were created. Of course, my first works were inspired by my own dogs but gradually my friends who have dogs wanted to have their pets in pictures. My latest work turns to the old movies. Why couldn’t our dogs be the main actors in films that we all remember? Of course, my dog was the first work that I made (Dachshund – Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Movie Poster). When the work was printed, we laughed all night. I hope that all dog lovers are made happy and can laugh at my store.
How did you discover that you have creative tendencies?
As a little girl, I was surrounded by animals. And then I started to draw animals and wrote stories about dogs. As a young girl I dealt with horses professionally. Unfortunately due to injuries I had to stop to dealing with horses. Again I returned to dogs. The first works I did included the pets of my friends who have dogs. They were thrilled and gave me the encouragement to go on with my works.
Where do you find your inspiration?
As well as selling products on the internet we go to the big dog shows with a trade stand and our dogs. At exhibitions we often photograph the dogs and talk to people who have dogs. Each breed of dog is specific and unique. There are around 440 breeds of dog, if you can believe it. Inspiration is inexhaustible. Now I live with 9 dogs (2 Ibizan Hounds, 4 Dachshunds and 3 Rescue Dogs). They are my constant inspiration. Thank dogs they have chosen us for friends!
Do you have any role models/inspirations in the area of Design? If so, who and why?
In the beginning I was inspired by all the old painters who have had dogs in the foreground of their paintings. I must admit that I was once watching ‘Cirque du Soleil’ and I wanted my works to have the attributes of this performance: Baroque, Renaissance, a little wacky, rich colours, yet modern.
Which materials do you use to create your products?
Porcelain (ceramic) and archival giclee canvas printing.
Please give us a brief summary of your creative process:
First I look for a good photos of a dog, where you can see its personality. Then I design the particular scene and clothes that fit him. When I create a design, I can also take it to the next step by making jewellery. Ceramics are formed into molds and baked in the oven. Framed brooches are made separately, also in molds. They are hand-painted with gold or silver powder. The brooch motif is applied to the surface and hand-painted in acrylic paint in 3-4 layers, providing fullness and protecting the image. It takes 4 to 5 days to complete the whole process of making one piece.
Who are your customers?
All people who love dogs.
What do you want to achieve in the future as a Designer/Creative?
I want to Nobility Dogs become a brand. I want to continue exhibiting my products. And to share money from my work at exhibitions, devoting it to helping stray and injured dogs.
How has your life changed since you opened your DaWanda shop?
I have found new friends with dogs!
Has anything weird or wonderful happened to you on DaWanda?
Everything. It is dear to me when I work on an order for someone whose dog has died, and who wants to have one of my products as a memorial. Sometimes I feel like crying when I hear their stories. I loved hearing from old ladies living with their old dog, who send me a picture and ask me to do something special with it. Hearing such sweet stories, I want to lower the price of my work for them. It annoys me when people make orders and think they should have their products in 5 days, though – it’s not like I can teleport products!
Any closing comments?
Thank you to all dog lovers! Please keep your dogs and give them lots of love. They deserve it!
P.S. If YOU would like to be considered for one of our Monday seller interviews, then please send a filled-out questionnaire to english[at]dawanda[dot]com!