Local Gem: Houndoggle Art
Have you ever wondered what your dog would look like as The Girl With the Pearl Earring?
Well, Katie Stahl can tell you.
Meet the artist behind Houndoggle Art and one of the vendors at our October 2015 meet. We had a chance to ask this boss about her career, her creativity and her pet portraiture.
Q: What inspired you to start your business? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: It started with painting my own dogs and my friends' dogs, and it grew from there. But really, it goes back further than that. If you look through my art from when I was a kid, it's full of animals wearing clothes; I had an art teacher growing up who made this amazing, whimsical animal art, and her style continues to influence me today.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: If you're passionate about making something, odds are there will be people who are passionate about buying it, so find your weird little niche and run with it. If you would have told me when I was younger that I would be getting paid to paint animals in funny outfits—or even to make art at all—I might not have believed you, but I definitely would have thought it was really awesome.
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity?
A: Probably the photo series I do with my bulldog, Basil, when I'm between commissioned portraits. It started off as a little lark (I paint a cardboard backdrop and Basil sticks her head through for a treat) and has turned into something I'm proud of. The most recent ones I've done have been odes to famous works of art: "Fridog Kahlo," "Dog with a Pearl Earring," and "Basil the Riveter."
Q: What have been your most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
A: I think that finding ways to take your art to that next level (and even figuring out what that next level is) is always challenging. Also, I had a baby two months ago, so finding dedicated time to paint is a bit of a challenge these days.
Q: What's your day job?
A: I am mom to a 2-month-old baby girl, Finn.
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: The hardest thing for me to do when I'm discouraged or unmotivated is to actually sit down and start painting; I'm always finding reasons not to. But I usually find that once I start, I don't want to stop.
Your favorite band at the moment: Ali Holder's new album is on repeat in my car right now.
Your favorite book at the moment: I just bought "Carry On" by Rainbow Rowell. I haven't started it yet, but I've loved her other books so I'm excited to get to it.
Your local Austin gem: We live in Bouldin Creek and there are so many gems within walking distance. Right now, I'd say the Ruby Reuben from Bouldin Creek Cafe and the Voltron from Juice Peddler are two favorites.