If you have a collection of bows and sweaters for your doxie, you’re not alone. Among many charming characteristics, dachshunds are known to be exceptionally stylish (largely in thanks to their loving parents!). So to add an adorable dachshund-centric piece to your doxie’s closet, we worked with designer and illustrator (or, designy illustrator) Mikey Burton to create a line of dachshund-centric bandanas. They’ll look great on your pup or any two-legged dachshund lover, and we like to think that they make for a perfect matching outfit opportunity for doxies and their parents.
Below, Mikey tells us how graphic design and illustration co-star in his work and shares the inspiration behind the spirited design of your dachshund’s new favorite bandana.
How did you get started in illustration and design?
I always liked to draw as a kid, and my mom made sure I had lots of coloring books and crayons to encourage me. When I was four or five, she bought me a coloring book, and about an hour later, I went and found her and told her that I was done — I had colored the whole thing. Every single page. I guess not many four or five year olds do that.
In school, I really enjoyed art class, but when I went to college, I didn’t want to be a starving artist, so I went into graphic design. At the time, I’m not sure I knew what that meant, and I thought I’d make CD packaging or something like that that sounds archaic now. But I got wrapped up in it. I really liked typography and logos and things, and I started doing some gig poster art. Eventually, that led me to becoming an editorial illustrator, which I did for a while. It’s been a long, meandering path, but I’m still really excited that I get to wake up every day and draw images for people.
You describe yourself as a “Designy Illustrator” — what does that mean to you?
It’s a term that’s always informed the way I work. The way I solve problems in space when I’m creating visuals is rooted in design principles, and I use a lot of typography. But there’s another quality to my work that’s really illustrative and colorful, too. I often find myself in this weird middle ground of not quite being a graphic designer and not quite being an illustrator, and I think that the root of my thinking about illustration always goes back to the concept of an idea. It sums up what I’m going through when I work.
Are there any key steps to your design process?
I’ve always been really strict about keeping nice sketchbooks for any project I’m working on. The practice of doing that has furthered my illustrations a lot, because I’ve gone through a lot of different styles and different ways of making things. My doodling and loose ideas have become my illustration style, in a way. The older I get, the more I feel like I’ve come into my own.
Where did you draw inspiration from for these bandanas?
So often when I see art featuring dachshunds, it’s always about how long they are. It almost never highlights any other aspects of them. But when you look at all the different types of dachshunds, it almost seems like they’re different breeds. I was really fascinated by that when I was creating the sketches, and wanted to highlight their different features and the different coats.
I was also trying to catch little fun, loose moments. Dogs run around, they make a mess, and they really love you.There’s a looseness and a sloppiness to dogs, which make them all the more loveable. I wanted to capture that essence of their spirit with the paws and the tongues and other doodles.
Are you a dog person?
I may have to get back to you on that. I was a hardcore dog person growing up — I didn’t understand cats at all. My wife and I babysat a friend’s foster cat a while back, though, and became cat people. We just got a puppy, who is so cute and so sweet, but in the stage where the puppy has a lot of needs and requires so much attention. I know my heart is going to turn back to a dog person, I think we just need to get through this phase.