Henry Garett is moving to Brighton for his partners work, as an artist he can work anywhere.
He is excited about moving to Brighton not only because it is the first time him and his partner will be living together but also because he fell in love with Brighton a couple of years ago.
Henry creates illustrations of dogs into little humorous cartoons. He is inspired by people living their dreams; but his love for dogs comes from his dog, Billie (pictured above).
Love doesn’t cover the half of what dogs mean to him. When he missed a year of school whilst doing his GCSE’s his parents got him Billie. He had wanted a dog for years to keep him ‘present in the world’.
“Taking her for walks, and trying to stop her being too mischievous really helped me; I was in a lot of pain and she was something outside of myself to focus on. She’s incredibly important to me. And she’s given me a lot of insight into the canine character, which means I can do some good observational humour for dog owners.”
Henry created a comic telling the story of their friendship from Billie’s point of view:
Only 24 now, Henry began drawing whilst doing his A-Levels. At this point he drew mostly pigeons and dogs, but ended up going to do Philosophy at University. Whilst he was there his art moved to the back bench. He says; “I think you can end up doing what you’re good at, rather than what you love doing.” Although he did love Philosophy he said it made him stressed and drawing jokes (when he started doing it again), made him calm.
In the end he dropped out of his Philosophy PhD due to anxiety more than a year ago. Around finals time he had really got into Drawings of Dogs, and after dropping out he found the idea of working in retail or in a cafe really scary so decided to take the plunge with his art and do something ambitious.
He set up as a market trader in Bristol and self-published his cards. He told us of how he used to carry his table and stock down to the market and of how knackering it was but he kept doing it, because he was doing it for himself. A greeting card company published some of his designs and it has made him believe that he could be, a freelance illustrator.
He still thinks it’s a ‘bit of a stretch’ to say that, art is his ‘line of work’ but he is hoping it will be soon.
He loves the creativity, kindness and joy here in Brighton. And is hoping to find his way into the artist community which ‘spills out of independent shops and street art’ and is calling for anyone who is part of a cool club or studio to get in touch with him.
We found Henry on reddit where he had posted about trying to find a place for him and his partner to live. What caught our attention was that he had said he would happily draw the landlord/lady’s dog. Since then he has found a place but unfortunately the landlady doesn’t have a dog, but says she will be receiving lots of free cartoons! “I love giving art as a gift, even a crappy doodle will be treasured longer, than most other gifts,” he says.
Above is a drawing for part of his project called “Drawings of Dogs That Belong to Homeless Individuals”. There is a quote from the homeless couple who came to receive their dog. Henry is really proud of this project as it explores the idea that some people will care more about homeless peoples dogs than they do about the homeless human. He says; “I’m an animal lover, but something’s gone wrong there. So the drawing focuses on homeless individuals’ relationships with their dogs as a way to rehumanise them.”
Henry described to me why he thinks dogs are interesting art subject; “Dogs are different from wolves in ways that are desirable to humans. We selectively bred, or coevolved with, them depending on who you ask. So they reflect what we want, in an interesting way. We laugh at their cute neediness, but we made them needy, because we want to feel needed.”
He plans on creating art for his whole life but is thinking that in the future he will try and incorporate some more philosophy into it. Henry is currently working on a book and is trying to get it published. If he could have done his PHD as an illustrated childrens book he probably would have finished it he says.
You can find him on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook @drawingsofdogs. He always welcomes a chat! Thanks Henry, good luck moving to Brighton.