There are lots of cute, cuddly animal inspired products on the market, but Outlaw Kritters big, bold designs celebrates the cool, edgy side of animal lovers. Let's face it, our little fluffy four-footed friends, winged two-footed kids, and those kritters that swim, splash and fly, still have a wild side, so why shouldn't you!
A portion of your purchase goes to animal welfare charities so you'll not only get to enjoy your new Outlaw Kritters accessory, but you'll be helping an animal in need! Shop Outlaw Kritters gifts and accessories for animal lovers- click here.
This week’s featured artist, Monica Martino of Yankee Dime, once made her living as a TV producer specializing in extreme adventure reality shows such as “Deadliest Catch,” “Whale Wars,” and “Storm Chasers.” A serious accident while filming one of the shows led her to discover her love of art. The accident may have been painful at the time, but it certainly didn’t kill her spirit which can be seen in her bright, colorful and whimsical animal inspired art.
I think that an endless fascination in the natural world infuses the spirit and sparks the creativity of every artist. I love envisioning the secret lives of the animals that go about their business outside my window, especially the squirrels, chipmunks, birds, dogs, cats, chickens, and bunnies. Being a TV producer, I can’t help but make up little stories for them in my head and create whole episodes based around their actions. Maybe some day I’ll pitch a reality show called “Squirrels Gone Wild” which will all take place in my backyard! I also feel so lucky that I get to “meet” people’s dogs through the commissions I do! I’m always asking my clients to send me anecdotes so that I can learn about the dog’s personality before I start painting a portrait.
Dog rescue has always been a cause that is very close to my heart. In 2011, while filming in Detroit, I saw firsthand how terrible the stray dog problem is. I founded a rescue called Detroit Dog Rescue to try and help, and I’m proud to say that it is now Detroit’s first and only no-kill shelter.
I work in watercolor, gouache, marker, pen and ink.
We currently have a snaggletoothed rescue dog named Magnolia Blossom and I can’t imagine life without her. I have always had shelter dogs and always will!
I have been painting seriously for about two years now. I used to love to paint in high school, but walked away from it for many years. In 2012 I was seriously injured in a boat accident in the Amazon while I was filming a History Channel show. The recovery process was difficult and I went through two years of surgeries, lawsuits (the company I worked for was horribly negligent), PTSD, pain and fear. We spent all of my savings and more.Those were truly some of the darkest days of my life but the one bright spot was art. I started drawing again, and I soon fell back in love with the creative process. I didn’t know how badly I had been missing it for 20 years! I opened up my Etsy shop and never looked back. Now I paint as much as I can in between producing jobs, and I try to infuse my art with slightly caustic humor and as much weirdness as possible.
My favorite piece of artwork is this custom “Best Friends” piece, because I’ve gotten to “meet” so many female dog owners! A dog is definitely a girl’s best friend and I wanted to draw something that shows the special bond. Because I paint to order, I can change up both the dog and the girl in terms of size, shape, favorite colors or flowers, hairstyle, or even the dog’s collar. The possibilities are endless and I love hearing new ideas from the folks who order! Check it out by clicking here.
Discover more of Monica's work by clicking on the following...