Guest Artist Feature: Catherine Rowe

Welcome to our first guest artist feature, where we shine a spotlight on the talented individuals who bring their unique vision and creativity to our collaborative collections. In this edition, we're thrilled to introduce Catherine Rowe, the artistic mastermind behind our enchanting Pet Portraits and Into The Woods collections.

Join us as we delve into Catherine's creative process, explore the inspiration behind the Pet Portraits collection, and discover the magic that awaits in each handcrafted piece.

About Catherine Rowe

Catherine Rowe is an acclaimed artist known for her captivating illustrations and enchanting storytelling. With a background in illustration and a passion for bringing characters to life, Catherine's work has captivated audiences around the world. Her whimsical style and attention to detail make her the perfect collaborator for our Pet Portraits collection.

Drawing inspiration from nature, literature, and the world around her, Catherine infuses her artwork with charm, elegance, and a touch of magic. Her love for animals shines through in her illustrations, as she expertly captures the playful spirit and endearing personalities of our furry friends.

We were immediately drawn to Catherine's work for its ability to evoke emotion and spark imagination. Her enchanting illustrations transport us to a world where anything is possible, making her the ideal artist to bring our Pet Portraits collection to life.

Pet Portraits
Inspired by the whimsy and elegance of Elizabethan portrait miniatures, our Pet Portraits collection is a celebration of our beloved furry companions – cats and dogs.

At Fable England, we believe in the power of collaboration to create something truly extraordinary. With Catherine on board as our guest artist, we set out to design a collection that would celebrate the bond between humans and their pets. The result is our Pet Portraits collection – a whimsical blend of Catherine's signature style and our commitment to craftsmanship and quality.

Featuring a range of handcrafted pieces, including nightwear, necklaces, handbags, and scarves, the Pet Portraits collection captures the essence of spring and the joy of pet ownership. Each piece is adorned with Catherine's enchanting illustrations and is a wearable work of art, designed to be treasured for years to come, these pieces are a tribute to the unconditional love and companionship that pets bring into our lives.
In Conversation with Catherine Rowe
Join us as we sit down with the talented Catherine Rowe to gain insight into her creative process, inspiration, and experience collaborating with Fable England on our Pet Portraits collection. From her earliest memories of drawing to the intricate details of her illustrations, Catherine shares the stories behind her captivating artwork and the magic that infuses each piece in the collection. Get ready to be inspired as Catherine Rowe takes us behind the scenes of her creative world and shares her passion for storytelling through art.

What inspired you to create your Pet Portraits in the first place? Where did you get the idea to include the Victorian-style collars?
I had my first request to do a pet portrait around 2016, it was quite daunting to me but I gave it a go and the customer was so pleased with the results. I then had a few more just by word of mouth and then started to advertise and sell them on my website/Etsy. I've always loved drawing animals in really ornate, golden and bejewelled collars which were inspired by ancient artworks of dogs depicted in beautiful, lavish collars.
What initially drew you to collaborate with Fable England on the Pet Portraits collection?
I'm often commissioned to draw beautiful wildlife which I love, but have a real passion for drawing cats and dogs. I love to try and capture their little unique personalities. After the success of my previous collections with Fable, I felt a dog and cat-themed selection of products could really be enjoyed by others who share my love of furry companions! I also feel our obsession with cats and dogs is a very quintessentially British trait!
How did you approach translating your artistic style into wearable art pieces like necklaces and handbags?
This was a balance of making the artwork ornate and detailed, but not too much so it could still work in miniature on the pendants and as the small pattern repeats for the twilly scarves on the handbags. Because I work with very fine lines and lots of details, it usually works quite well being reduced down to a small size. I also took inspiration from beautiful Victorian miniature dog portraits which would be worn as brooches, pins or pendants.

Can you share any insights into your creative process when designing the Pet Portraits collection?

I wanted the pets to have a mix of a very traditional, Victoriana serious style with that cheeky, whimsical, adorable look without risking looking too twee. So I used lots of reference images of the breeds we decided would work best in the collection, as well as taking lots of inspiration again from Victorian and Medieval depictions of cats and dogs. I love drawing florals so we used a lot of pretty, delicate, detailed spring flowers to accompany the pets!

What was your favourite aspect of working on this collaboration with Fable England?
I loved the process of the designs being translated into the products. It's always so exciting seeing this! My favourite product ended up being the pendants. They really reflect my vision of the sweet, intricate little Victorian pendants.

How do you envision customers incorporating pieces from the Pet Portraits collection into their everyday lives?
I love the idea of these pieces being just a little pop of fun and whimsy for an everyday outfit and even a chic, sophisticated one.

What message or emotion do you hope customers experience when wearing your artwork?
I'm hoping people will see the love they hold for their own cherished pets in my Pet Portrait collection! There is nothing quite like the love we have for these special companions.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists looking to collaborate with fashion brands or create wearable art pieces?
I would say it's all about that sweet spot of creating artwork or a collection that truly comes from a place of passion, obsession even, which people will be drawn to as it will shine out from your work - but also thinking about the artwork being accessible for all and what many might love without it being too generic.
What's next for you in your artistic journey, and are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you're excited about?
2024 is a really busy year for me so far and I'm grateful every day that I get to draw for a living. There are lots of new products coming out with various different companies, as well as more illustrations for books and other publications.
Finally... what’s your favourite piece from the collection?
I really love all the pendants but my overall favourite piece is the Tabby scarf! I had so much fun creating the artwork for this one.

As we bid farewell to this enchanting journey through the world of Pet Portraits, we're left with a deep sense of gratitude for the talented artist behind the collection, Catherine Rowe. Her passion for animals, meticulous attention to detail, and whimsical artistic style have brought our collaborative vision to life in the most delightful way.

As we look to the future, we're excited to see where Catherine's artistic journey takes her next. With a busy year ahead and a passion for creating meaningful and inspiring artwork, we do not doubt that she will continue to captivate hearts and minds with her talent and creativity.

From all of us at Fable England, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Catherine Rowe for her collaboration, dedication, and boundless imagination. May the Pet Portraits collection continue to bring joy and delight to all who cherish their furry friends, reminding us of the beauty and magic that surrounds us every day.