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Hong Kong’s best pet portrait artists

By Kopal Manglik 12 May 2021

Header image courtesy of @for.theloveofdog (via Instagram)

We all know how much pet parents love their animals. One way to show your love for your furry friend and support local artists (and often your local shelters, too!) is to get a one-of-a-kind, custom art piece to commemorate your favourite four-legged pal, whether it’s a portrait, table-top sculpture, or even a set of throw pillows! Check out these Hong Kong artists who create unique pet portraits that you’re going to want everyone to see.

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Elina Strelita-Strele

Looking for something unique that stands out? Artist Elina Strelita-Strele uses expressive colours with lush paint splashes to create truly unique artwork. Originally from Latvia, Strelita-Strele graduated in fine arts from London and moved to Hong Kong six years ago to join her father in opening a vegan sourdough bakery. 

Given her background, she wanted to find a creative outlet, and as an animal lover, she started painting animal portraits. Although she is not able to keep her own pet due to her travels and explorations, she loves learning and capturing a pet’s character. Strelita-Strele uses high-quality inks on cold-pressed paper to create her fabulous pieces. Reach out via Instagram or email to commission a special piece for you and your canine companion!

John Aye

John Aye, an interior-designer-turned-artist and full-time father, has been producing commissions and teaching art since the birth of his son in 2014. His private art workshops and portrait commissions are for discerning individuals who value technique and creative expression in equal measure. He was introduced to animal portraiture in early 2020 when his friend asked him to draw a portrait of her cat. He soon discovered drawing animals to be particularly enjoyable and meditative. If you would like to support his journey in creating pet portraits, follow him on Instagram or email him with any queries and commission requests.

Photo: @for.theloveofdog (via Instagram)

For the Love of Dog

Philippa grew up in Hong Kong with two Cocker Spaniels named Tuffy and Pepa. She studied fine arts at Central Saint Martins and then Chelsea College of Art & Design in London. Now back home in Hong Kong and having adopted three rescue dogs—Rocky, Kaiya, and Oscar—she wants to support the work of local dog shelters in a creative way, and so she started For the Love of Dogs. She has raised over $21,000 for Sai Kung Stray Friends with her custom pet portraits. Drawings have also donated to Karuna Rescue based in Shenzhen and SPCA HK. Reach out via her website, email, or Instagram to commission your custom dog portrait in support of local shelters!

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Photo: moksart.com

Daniel Mok

Daniel Mok is not just an artist—he is also a teacher, mentor, and one of Hong Kong’s leading fine arts experts. He believes that good art is the cooperation between nature, the human world, and the heart. With art that spans the genres, including Realism, Impressionism, and Expressionism, Mok captures your pet’s essence exactly as you want it. His art studio in Wan Chai also creates custom leather products, hand-painted reusable bags, and ceramic animal figures. For a unique and personal gift for your pooch or kitty, reach out to Mok via email or his website

Photo: @paintinks_by_melt (via Instagram)

Melissa Tan

Melissa Tan is no stranger to the animal rescue and adoption scene in Hong Kong. Her illustrations of pets (cats, dogs, hamsters, bunnies, terrapins—you name it) have a whimsical and delightful innocence about them. Driven by her passion for animal welfare, she has lent her illustration talents to support animal welfare organisations across the world. She has collaborated with Hong Kong Dog Rescue, Tails Lantau, and SPCA HK, among others, to share the message about what they do and help them fundraise through her pet portraits. To purchase an adorable and memorable illustration of the favourite being in your life while also supporting Hong Kong charities, reach out to Tan via Instagram, email, or her website

Photo: @pet.art.hk (via Instagram)

Pet Art

Looking for something more three-dimensional to honour your pet? Pet Art specialises in custom-made pet statues! Each sculpture, handmade by Hozy Ching, can capture your pet’s precious moments. He began this particular line as work as many of his close friends have pets, and when he gifted one of them a sculpture, his friend was moved to tears. Heartfelt thanks were not just a reward in and of itself, but it also launched his career as the owner and founder of Pet Art. Since then, the joy and peace his work brings to others is the biggest motivator of all. To give a friend or family member this incredible gift, reach out to Pet Art via Facebook or Instagram

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Emily Lee (Em’s Pet Project)

It was during a time of great difficulty that Em’s Pet Project was born. Quitting her job to spend time with her hospitalised father, Emily Lee needed something to do as she spent nights next to his hospital bed. After seeing a photo of a special rescue cat, Opal, Lee made an expressive watercolour of her. Her image went viral and she began to take on pet portrait commissions, sometimes from photos of clients’ deceased animals. With her fine arts education, she set up Artism Studio, where she not only creates beautiful animal watercolours but also teaches painting. For custom pet portrait commissions, reach out via Instagram, Facebook, or email.

Loulou Von Spiel

Loulou Von Spiel came from an artistic family, and she grew up taking her innate skills for granted, until four years ago when a good friend asked her to paint a mural. Later, upon rescuing her dog Rimbaud, he became a motivation and inspiration to her artistic approach. Thus, she began Loulou’s Pet Portraits, where she aims to capture the likenesses of animals. Using mixed media on paper, she first draws an abstract, colourful background based on your pet’s personality, looks, and client suggestions, and then adds the animal portrait. Her thoughtful and precise techniques create some of the most striking pieces! For the perfect expression of your pet and a unique keepsake, reach out to Von Spiel via Instagram, Facebook, or email.

Photo: @dopey_jimusho (via Instagram)

Dopey Jimusho

Does your home need more pet-themed products? Dopey Jimusho is an Instagram shop owned by a dog lover who designs custom portraits of pets’ faces and turns them into home products, such as rugs and cushions. Customers come to them for many different reasons, including birthdays, house-warming gifts, and some for fond memories of their four-legged friends who have since passed. At Dopey Jimusho, they love what they do, and they treasure every encounter with their clients. With well-honed skills, they capture every pet’s unique attitude and personality in their portraits. To pet-ify your home, contact Dopey Jimusho via Instagram or email.

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Kopal Manglik

Contributor

Kopal started the Instagram page @adoptdontshop.hk when she realised she was following seven different dog rescue shelters in Hong Kong and was not even looking to adopt! Her platform shares information about all animal rescues primarily focusing on highlighting dogs and cats available for adoption. As an active participant of the Hong Kong pet community, Kopal also runs Hong Kong Foster Pawrents, volunteers at dog rescues, is a foster mama herself, and is currently pursuing a certificate in canine behaviour. When not involved in animal advocacy, Kopal is an avid reader and coffee drinker, and you can find her looking for new coffee shops to explore.

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