Since black Labrador Aaron went to live with Illustrator Lizzy Duncan’s family he has featured in much of her artwork, as have pets of many of her friends and family. Lizzy has worked as an animator for BBC and Channel 4 as well as illustrating books, notably Tollins, for Harper Collins She has always had an eye for creating witty creatures great and small on screen and paper and has recently launched a new business where she transforms pets into famous characters of stage, screen, art and literature – with a lot of imagination and the help of her Apple Mac
“I have always drawn animals but my vision changed when Aaron, my Lab, was with me every day. He became a personality and I started looking at him differently and noticing other animals’ characters too.”
Aaron was Lizzy’s eager and slobbery canine student when she became a puppy walker for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
“Our job was to train him in basic obedience and familiarise him with different environments before he went to a forever home with a blind person – if he passed the test. He didn’t. It was a shame but we got to keep him. He has been my buddy ever since and is the perfect model. I would often photoshop his pictures. I once added some Christmas pants and turned him into a card. I like to see the funny in the ordinary and animals have always cracked me up.
Last year as a Movember fund raiser, I photoshopped moustaches on people’s pets through a friend’s Facebook group. Every time I ‘pimped’ a dog or cat I donated £10 to the charity. People loved it I wanted to do more! ”
Just from launching the idea on her website and Instagram a month ago , then recently as a result of her canvases on the walls at Rootz, Chorleywood, Lizzy has a growing list of pets to pimp. But she’s keen to take on more subjects.
“I love it. It’s great fun choosing the person the pet could look like. It’s a feeling. It could be an artist, a poet, an author or celebrity. I’ve turned my friend’s dog Max into William Shakespeare, a white rabbit into James Bond and a pair of black and white cats into The Blues Brothers. Old Masters are my favourite – a chipmunk was an obvious choice for Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, but my favourite one so far is ???????
Pimped pets can be made into all sorts of keepsakes and gifts …prints, cushions, bags, mugs.
“It’s just one click to order on my website once the artwork is done. Or people can buy from an existing gallery.”
Pimp your pet and buy merchandise at
Find Lizzy at St Clement Danes Christmas Market where she will be selling her hand-made pots but is also happy to talk about potential pet models