Heather Hughes

A little background on your pet portrait artist

Heather Hughes and BaileyIt all began when my husband Chris bought me an easel. I had told him that I used to love oil painting, but my hobby fell by the wayside as my graphic design career took priority. He must’ve thought it was a great way to get me painting again (… or maybe he thought that if he kept me busy, he’d be able to have some more time playing video games). As it turns out, he was right on both counts. Over the past couple of years, Chris has had more than enough video game time, and I’ve been painting non-stop.

My focus didn’t begin with pet portraits, but that’s certainly the direction it quickly grew. After a couple weeks of pushing landscapes, a friend saw my work on Facebook and asked if I would be interested in trying to paint her two dogs, Zeke and Bella. I was nervous at first, but to my surprise, it was amazing how easily the paint flowed off of my brush. Once Zeke and Bella hit social media, word spread of my ability to paint animals. Soon, more friends (and their friends, and their friends too) began asking for pet portraits. Once I opened up shop on Etsy and started advertising custom pet portraits, my paintings began to turn up in homes all over the country.

As you may have guessed, I’m pretty infatuated with our 4-legged friends. While I attribute the start of my obsession to the adoption of my dog Bailey, it’s hard not to be obsessed after painting over 100 of them. And though I wish it were my full-time job, I’m not quite there yet.

Heather and her husbandI received my Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from Towson University and have spent my entire professional career at US Lacrosse in Baltimore as the Art Director of Marketing. In addition to oil painting and my career as a designer, I do pro-bono graphic design for my favorite local shelter, BARCS. I also do all of the graphic design and retail for my favorite local rescue, Pitties and Purrs (learn more about both of them on my Profits for Paws page)

I’m a self-taught painter, originally from beautiful Carroll County Maryland (a rural town just about an hour North-East of Baltimore). After college and a couple years of apartment life, my husband and I bought a beautiful home in small-town Stewartstown, Pennsylvania where we live with Bailey, our sweet boxer/pit bull/beagle/ dachshund mix (that’s right… a true mutt). We’re also thrilled to say we’ll be adding our first 2-legged baby to our little family this June!

Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.
― John Grogan