From the streets of New York in the USA to Chengdu in China, dog walkers have been immortalised in a fashion colouring book by designer and founder of clothing brand NOT Jenny Lai and illustrator Icy Tan.
Strut with Pup is filled with 40 original illustrations of stylish, diverse, and imaginative people out and about with their doggies, walking the dog-walk (not catwalk) of life.
“Icy and I met a few years ago and sealed the deal on our friendship when we travelled to Oaxaca for Dia de Los Muertos last year,” Jenny tells Creative Boom. “We are both creatives who love to travel and are endlessly fascinated by the characters and stories we discover on the road. Since last year, Icy and I have been batting around storylines for children’s books – natural as we both consider ourselves to have the mindset of a child.”
“At the start of quarantine, I suddenly thought: we should make a fashion colouring book! Inspired by the characters on the streets and many people dearest to us, this became such a fun project to get us through the lonely months. We brainstormed together different types of people, dogs, modes of transport, and the garments to include, and I would give editing suggestions so that the garments read correctly.”
“I have a background in fine arts and love drawing and painting, but unlike Icy I am certainly no illustrator! Icy has such a creative spirit and her style of drawing is intuitive and gestural; it was a delight to see my designs interpreted through her imagination. I think, with a colouring book, the user is also part of the artwork, so I love that they’re both completing Icy’s artwork AND contributing to designing the garment at the same time!”
“Some of the figures are based on the people closest to us. For example, this one is of my sister, her husband, and new baby. This is the only page that doesn’t have a dog – because they’re walking their child, lol! These are the NOT garments they wore for their wedding photos in the tea fields of Taiwan, and they are all barefoot because they are a free-spirited family.”
“It was really important for me to show diversity in the characters through age, ethnicity, size, and type of transport. One of the things I love about kids’ books is that simple words or images can be a chance to start a positive discussion about the world that we live in. In this drawing, Icy drew a lady with a prosthetic leg and a two-legged pup to match.”
Strut with Pup by Icy Tan & Jenny Lai is out now through the NOT online store.