An Illustration student at the University of South Wales (USW) saw her design feature on a super-sized Snoopy sculpture at Cardiff Castle last week, as part of an event hosted by Dogs Trust, to get the public involved in creating a Snoopy sculpture for next year’s art trail across South Wales.
Alison Howard, who is in her second year of the BA (Hons) Illustration course, submitted the winning design for the A Dog’s Trail with Snoopy art event, which was held at the castle from 1-4 June. The event saw families and dog lovers booking a slot to colour in a section of the Snoopy sculpture with acrylic paint pens, at a social distance.
The charity is bringing a new rehoming centre to Cardiff Bay later this Summer, and will celebrate by launching A Dog’s Trail with Snoopy in spring next year. The 10-week free public art trail aims to showcase South Wales as a place to visit, live, work and play, and will promote health and wellbeing.
In collaboration with Peanuts – the comic strip which gave birth to the world-famous beagle, Snoopy – and delivered in partnership with Wild in Art, the creative company that has produced the ‘blank canvas’ sculptures ready for artists to animate.
Alison and her course mates were given the brief from Dogs Trust in January this year and have all submitted black and white line work designs to be considered for the main trail. Their ideas had to fit with the Take Care with Peanuts campaign, which promotes caring for yourself, for others and for the Earth.
22 year-old Alison spent three days transferring her winning design onto the sculpture ready for the event.
“We were given four images of Snoopy as a template, and our designs needed to represent Snoopy, Peanuts, Dogs Trust and the idea of kindness and self care.
“I initially used a digital tablet to draw my designs in Photoshop, before copying it on to the sculpture using acrylic markers. I generally like to combine the traditional pen and paper approach with digital drawing, so this project was a great way to blend the two.
“I decided to incorporate ways that people relax, including spending time with animals or enjoying nature. I also wanted to inject a bit of fun, so I added in a dog enjoying a soak in the bath!”
Alison, who was diagnosed with Autism last year, has enjoyed drawing since she was very young, and has used her experience to inspire her work at university.
“I’ve always felt a little different, but didn’t really know why. Then a friend suggested that I may be autistic, and since being diagnosed I feel as if everything makes sense now – drawing was always my special interest. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else as a career.
“It’s a pretty amazing feeling, knowing that children and families enjoyed seeing my work. As someone who always enjoyed drawing and colouring in as a child, I feel as if this project may have inspired some young creative minds too. It’s as if my illustration journey has come full circle.”
A spokesperson from Dogs Trust says:
“Seeing Alison’s design come to life on a Snoopy sculpture has been a joy to see and the Half Term event at Cardiff Castle meant that hundreds of people from across the city got to appreciate her amazing creative talent.
“We’ve been working with art students at the University of South Wales who have submitted unique designs to adorn a Snoopy sculpture in the main trail next year. We’d love to be able to create an area within the trail to celebrate the talented students’ work so we’d love to hear from local businesses who’d like sponsor a Snoopy sculpture so we can make this happen.
“We’re still looking for artists to submit designs that will feature on Snoopy sculptures in the main trail next spring. This is an exceptional opportunity for artists to help A Dog’s Trail with Snoopy transform Cardiff into a fun, free art gallery, while raising valuable funds to help more dogs across South Wales.”
More information on how to get involved in the main trail if you’re an artist or business can be found here.