A few weekends ago, I found this little accordian folder full of drawings. There were coloured marker drawings of dogs, pencil sketches , and a myriad of things from when I was 9-13. I found a collection of drawings that brought me back to when I was thirteen years old...
As a kid, I had two main things that I loved to do: drawing and Irish Dancing. I was drawing from the time I could pick up a marker and dancing since I saw Riverdance at age 11. These two interests took up most of my free time and I loved it. Instead of watching tv, I’d draw for hours in my room, and instead of sleeping in on the weekends, I’d be in my basement at 7:30 practicing (I think I only practiced soft shoe in the morning, so everyone else could sleep). From this time I have books full of my practice notes, i was twice as dedicated to irish dancing than I am to CrossFit now!
There were many things that I loved about Irish dancing and one of those was, without a doubt, the dresses! If anyone has ever seen an Irish Dancing dress, you know that they are a sight to be seen! They are full of intricate designs, formed from embroidery, fabric appliques, and rhinestones. The designs originally were inspired by the Book of Kells, but they have become much more stylized over the years. My dream was to own one of these dresses, but I knew I had to earn it. I’d be practicing in my basement for hours, thinking of the next competition and hoping that I could get my own Irish Dancing dress soon.
I attempted drawing these celtic knot designs in my sketchbooks and i found them really challenging! I saw that these designs sometimes included animals, usually hounds. I was pretty pleased with this celtic hound that I drew.
Then, for a reason unknown, I combined celtic knot patterns with all three of my sisters’ cats. They were Celtic Cats! I think my sisters liked them, so I drew more Celtic cats. The crowning touch was the tail. It always had a "triquetra" shape.
I was 13 years old and my family had just bought our first computer. An Irish dancing friend of mine had a website about dancing and she showed me how to set up my own website. I posted tips about Irish dancing and posted pictures of me and my friends at competitions, etc. Then, I had an idea! I would post pictures of my Celtic Cats. Then I would make a form that allowed people to order their own Celtic Cat! They could type in the colour and pattern of their cat and they would also include details about their cat’s personality.
I was so excited when I opened my email and saw that I had my first Celtic cat order! I got to work right away. I would scan and email the Celtic Cat or in some cases, I think I mailed them. I kept on getting more submissions!
They were mostly Irish Dancers who had stumbled across my website, but they were from all over the world! Now I may have had a good little business, but I wasn’t charging anything for these Celtic Cats. It simply made me happy to create these images that made people happy. I really enjoyed it.
Seeing these drawings brought back a lot of memories and shows me that I have always loved creating artwork for others. So for old time’s sake, I thought I would give anyone reading this the chance to submit their own cat's name for a custom illustration. I wish I could do a drawing for everyone, but I will draw just one name on Wednesday! If you win, you can choose between having a Celtic cat, or a slightly more realistic image :)
You can leave a comment here, or on the Facebook post, and I will post the winning cat on Wednesday!