Featured Artist: Sophie Duncan

November 23, 2011  

The artist shares how she changed her mind about pit bulls and now uses her creations to help dogs in need

I was one of “those” people. You know those people, the ones who coil in fear when they come within 100 yards of a pit bull. Throughout my life, growing up in Australia and living in Europe, I had little exposure to the American Pit Bull Terrier. English Bull Terriers and English Staffordshire Terriers are in abundance, but it wasn’t until my 20s that I was exposed to any kind of negative press about the American Staffordshire Terrier or American Pit Bull Terrier.

Charlotte, my mini Dachshund, had been with me for almost a year when my partner at the time brought home a little 12-pound blue pit puppy, riddled with Giardia and blessed with the happiest disposition I have ever seen in a dog. Regardless of the fact she was little bundle of joy, the first words from my mouth were, “Your dog’s going to eat my dog!”

It didn’t take long for her to win me over, but even a few months in, I was still a little wary. Daisy, the baby blue pit, was not only willing to please when it came to training, but she was a total snuggler, a lickaholic and sweeter than cotton candy. When we finally all moved in together six months later, the bond between the sisters was strengthened to the point where they suffer from anxiety when separated, and the bond between Daisy and me increased exponentially, as I became her primary caregiver.

My girls and I became dependent upon each other. They could read my emotions and would comfort me when I needed comforting; they would become pranksters when I needed laughter, and they would snuggle with me with I need companionship. I started calling them my Earth Angels. And when my relationship broke up three years later, they were unwaveringly by my side.

I started drawing dog portraits around the same time that Charlotte came into my life in 2007. I had had no formal training, so when the opportunity presented itself to go to art school in 2009, I took it. It was in my printmaking class, with my inspirational and sometimes controversial teacher, that my Earth Angels actually made an appearance in a lithograph, and the seed for Pits ‘n’ Wieners was planted. This was it – finally a way that I could use my art to help Daisy and Charlotte’s less fortunate relatives. I could create to give back. And when the idea finally took hold, opportunities started opening up to me. I launched my business earlier this year, and the more it grows, the more I can donate back various groups.

I don’t know if there will ever be a time when I will feel that I have given back to my dogs and their less fortunate relatives in the shelters as much as they have given me. But in the meantime, I’ll create awareness through my art, my jewelry and my T-shirts – especially for the pit bulls. Charlotte the Dachshund taught me joyful responsibility, but Daisy the pit bull opened my eyes and asked only that I give her a voice in return. And that’s exactly the path I’m taking.

Check out Pits ‘n’ Wieners item in the StubbyDog Art Auction

« « Pinky | Why Are You Thankful for Your Pit Bull? » »


3 Responses to “Featured Artist: Sophie Duncan”
  1. SamRatcliffe says:

    Sophie is a friend of mine and it’s amazing what she is doing for pit bulls and dachshunds through her work. I’ve seen Pits n Wieners grow and flourish and I’m really happy that she’s your featured artist.

    • StubbyDog says:

      @SamRatcliffe It is our honor to feature people who do such wonderful work for pit bulls (and doxies!)

  2. Adrienne Clegg says:

    I can say nothing more than..I love you!!! Keep up the great work and thank you.