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September 01, 2020

Featured artist: Tinkl illustration

Sky and Me 4


Katharina Tinkl.

favourite type of dog?

The cuddly and eager-to-learn type ;) I have always been fascinated with how dogs (or we all, actually) learn and am particularly drawn to the kind of dog that learns fast. And nothing beats a dog cuddle, so the cuddlier the doggo, the better! I also have a soft spot for dogs that are wolf-like in appearance, which is why I particularly adore Australian and White Swiss Shepherds.

what do you do?

I used to work as a translator for six years, but, thanks to Corona (and a kick in the butt from the universe), I was made redundant a few months back and am now using this opportunity to build my freelance illustration and graphic design business. It’s not always easy, but it’s already so much more fulfilling than my previous job ever was. I love creating art and aim to make the world a better place one illustration at a time. And, although I paint lots of different things, there is one theme that all my designs have in common: our connectedness – with nature, animals, places, each other, and ourselves. As I care deeply about animals, I donate a part of my proceeds to animal sanctuaries and charities to support their work in creating a world in which we treat other animals with more compassion, respect, and kindness.

why do you draw dogs specifically?

I love all animals, but dogs – like bunnies and horses – have always had a very special place in my heart. To me, their companion- and friendship is something very special, which is why I love capturing the beauty of dogs in my illustrations.

what work do you most enjoy doing?

To be honest, I go through phases – I recently got a (second-hand) iPad Pro for my birthday, and, currently, drawing digitally on it is my favourite way of creating art. I also love capturing the personality of beloved furry family members or the beauty of certain cities or places in nature in my bespoke illustrations that I offer via my Etsy shop. Another aspect of my work I very much enjoy is creating logos for small businesses and to really capture their values in a special, bespoke design. As you can see, there are lots of different aspects to my business, which is what makes it so interesting and varied!

biggest source of inspiration?

Oh, that is a tricky one – there are so many! I take inspiration from all sorts of places. Sometimes, it is something someone says or a picture that’s catching my eye. That’s what I love about inspiration – you never know when it will strike or when, in fact, you might say or create something that inspires someone else.

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what memorable responses have you had to your work?

One time, someone called me an “ambassador of animals and their souls”, and those kind words really moved me. It always fills me with immense gratitude when someone leaves me a heartfelt review or tells me how much my art means to them. It is such a wonderful feeling to spread love in the world by creating something beautiful that can touch people profoundly.

what piece have you created that you are most proud of?

Actually, my painting of beautiful Margot is a piece I am particularly proud of! Somehow, everything came together really quickly and easily in this illustration, and I am still so pleased with the end result. This is why it is also available as an art print in my Etsy shop. This way, Margot will also get to help doggies in need as I will be donating 10% of the profits from each sold print to the German animal shelter Tierhilfe Weiding E.V. – the shelter that my friends’ got one of their dogs from who is the sweetest soul alive and my favourite doggy friend in the world.

what is the Art of Compassion Project and why are you a part of it?

The Art of Compassion Project is an international collective of vegan artists who all care about promoting a more compassionate, kind lifestyle through their art. As the motto of my art is “Spreading Love Through Art”, I immediately felt drawn to their cause. Several times a year, we participate in a variety of art projects where all profits are donated to non-profit vegan organisations, such as Veganuary or Animals in Need.

what jobs have you done/do other than being an artist?

As a student, I worked in a DVD shop (when they were still a thing), which was pretty much the coolest job ever! After graduating, my first “real” job was in a call centre (“I was young and needed the money”), which was pretty much the least-cool job ever, haha. In hindsight, it still taught me some valuable skills though. Since then, I have worked as a receptionist, German teacher, translator, and freelance proofreader and copy editor before I decided to dive fully into my art business.

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is the artistic life lonely? what do you do to counteract it?

To be honest, I am very happy working on my own. Early on during the Corona lockdown, I realised how much I loved working from home, and I don’t miss working in an office one bit. I am still in touch with my favourite people and speak to them regularly. One of my very best friends and I have actually been speaking over the phone every day for the last few months, which has become an integral part of my days. It also helps that I have some lovely neighbours whose company I enjoy when I do actually crave some face-to-face human interaction every now and then ;)

how do you look after your mental health?

I exercise regularly, do yoga, meditate, go for walks, read a good book, drink my favourite coffee and tea, cook (or order) some yummy vegan food, and speak to all my favourite people regularly and frequently. I am also looking forward to exploring more beautiful spots in nature more often once travelling is more of an option again.

what dog breed most resembles you and why?

There is the saying that dogs resemble their owners, and, although I don’t currently live with a doggo friend, I probably do resemble the breeds I feel most drawn to. I love learning new things, as much as a good cuddle, and my appearance is more on the natural side. I don’t care for fancy clothes or luxury items (my second-hand iPad is probably the most luxurious thing I own) and can see a resemblance between those things and the more natural, wolf-like appearance of Australian and White Swiss Shepherds – both breeds who also tend to be quite affectionate and have a high aptitude for learning.

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what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“Follow your heart, and the money will follow.”

what advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Create whatever you want to create, no matter what anyone else says or what the current trends are. Be authentic, and you will attract the people that are looking exactly for what you have to offer.

why are you interested in partnering with Paws in Work?

When I was a teenager, I read a great book about how to best socialise puppies during their formative weeks, which has made a long-lasting impression on me. While I have mixed feelings about animal breeding, I do understand why people feel drawn to certain breeds and that they might also simply want to enjoy the beauty of sharing their lives with a puppy and to give that puppy the best possible start in life (which I would, too). So, as I don’t think dog breeding is going anywhere anytime soon, I believe that the more responsibly it is done, the fewer dogs will end up in shelters. For me, this is where Paws in Work comes in – it gives little puppies the opportunity to encounter lots of different types of people during a period in their doggy lives where it is crucial for them to be exposed to as many different stimuli as possible. This will allow the puppies to grow up into well-socialised adult doggos. And the more well-socialised dogs are, the more likely it is that they won’t develop any behavioural issues that might later cause them to end up in a shelter.

For more of Kat’s work, you can check out

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