If it hadn’t been for Pittypat, Seattle-area artist Vicki Daniel may not have found Dog Tag Art — and a new venue for her creations as a self-described design junkie.
When Daniel adopted her Jack Russell terrier Pittypat this year, she looked for a spiffy dog tag for her pooch and happened on Dog Tag Art, an Internet business based in Asheville, N.C., that Jack Carrier started in 2009. About 40 artists around the world have made hundreds of designs available through Dog Tag Art. Artists submit designs through the Web site for approval, and Carrier pays them $1 for each tag sold with their design.
Daniel created her own tag for Pittypat, who sports a Sushi design, inspired by Daniel’s Pacific Northwest location. “It’s nice to have a fun, cool dog tag instead of what you usually find, which is a standard-issue kind of thing. It’s nice to have a little art on your dog,” she says. “Looking at the Dog Tag Art Web site, when you find all these unique dog tags you can get for your dog, you’re immediately drawn into it.”
The artist has created about 80 designs so far that range from floral and other nature images to a pinup model, a flapper and “Peace Out Pet ID Tag” and “Planet Happy Pet ID Tag” slogans.
She also designed a popular series of Good Girl and Good Boy tags depicting different breeds — Boston terrier, Great Dane, poodle, terrier, Chihuahua, Doberman pinscher.
Daniel, 45, who lives in Ballard, Wash., majored in visual design at the University of Oregon. She’s a systems analyst for Mammography Reporting System in Seattle, which produces software for tracking data. “It’s a huge stretch, a big difference compared to the Dog Tag Art stuff,” says Daniel, an Oregon native who formerly worked at Microsoft.
She has a different kind of pet, too — a 1964 Mercedes SL, cream with a blue interior, which she used to enter in car shows. “People would be surprised. I’m very down-home, very Pacific Northwest, but I own this little princess car,” says Daniel, whose real-life car is a Jeep.
The real-life rainy climate is an incentive for Daniel to design dog tags on weekends. “When you do illustration just for fun, it’s nice to have a focus, something that directs what you’re illustrating instead of illustrating random things,” she says. “If you’re someone inclined to be creative, it’s great to be able to share your creativity with other people.”
And with her dogs, who include Jack, a cairn terrier mix, and Sophie, a sheltie. They and Pittypat all live together on Planet Happy.