I've been a fan of The Dancing Cat for a long time. Jamie Shelman's cat drawings have just the right amount of whimsy, humor and adorableness without being overly sweet.
Although I love cats, I don't love ALL cat art. The sugar-coated, SANRIO-kawaii cats haven't appealed to me since 3rd grade, and I feel that realistic renderings seldom capture the true essence of cats. To me, Jamie's work seizes the irresistibility of cats with minimal fuss. I dream of decorating an entire wall with her work. Enjoy her interview below.
(1) Please introduce yourself and your cat(s).
I'm Jamie, owner of The Dancing Cat, an Etsy shop which features my cat inspired art. I currently don't 'own' any cats but rather have a number of neighborhood cats that pass through and say hello. It seems like wherever we go cats show up- at the door, at the window, on the walks we take. A walk is deemed successful based on the number, and quality, of cats we see- the friendly calico, the bubbly fat black cat Boo, or the tiny spiky cat we named Walnut that sits at the back of his ramshackle yard and mouths a meow at us before running daintily on his tiny toes to the gate to say hello.
(2) Do your cats affect your art? If so, in what way?
Cats have always inspired my art! I've included a couple images of the cats that show up at our door. The orange cat we've named Kitty-Witty for his naivety and youthful demeanor, and Grey bags- he's new to the neighborhood and likes to sit on all the cars out front and runs up to anyone walking by for a pet. The dust head is Nike who liked to scratch at our door to be let in. Once inside he had to be on his best behavior, only allowed to sit on the bed on a plastic bag so as not to get hairs everywhere. He once dragged in a baby bunny which we tried to revive with a heating blanket at night but alas...! The incident inspired the drawing the 'Bunny toter', taxi to the otherside... and many of his escapades and poses have been the source of new drawings!
(3) Are there cat-related items by other handmade artists that you love? Please share.
I've always enjoyed these Cat Ornaments by Stephanie of Old World Primitives. I have the trio lined up on the doorframe in my bedroom and occasionally one of them takes a dive to the floor, the white one seems especially suicidal. They always look like they're just inching along on the edge of a cliff. We also have the holiday set which we hang on our tree every year! We keep them packaged in an M&M bag, which seems appropriate since they're so sweet!