CHENNAI: Pet-friendly cakes, delicious treats, banners, caps, and play dates. As pet parents across the globe have been finding fun and endearing ways to celebrate the birthdays of their furry friends, citybased creatives Vasudevan Ananthakrishnan (founder) and Sandhya Ganesh (cofounder) of Artagasm have chalked out a novel plan to commemorate their puppies’ birthdays. The duo, as part of their art venture, has launched quirky, adorably illustrated doggo and cat-themed merchandise — from pin badges, t-shirts, crop tops, maternity tops, coffee mugs, pop grips, notebooks, coasters to posters, and keeping up with the times, face masks too as part of the celebrations.
“Our Indie dogs — Selvi, Maragadhavalli alias Maggi, Premier Padmini and Contessa — will be turning 5 on September 27. Besides this lovely bunch, we also have a handful of cats — Hybrid, Screamer, Kame, Hameha, Thiruttu Moonji aka Laddoo, Disney, plus countless stray cats that we feed. They’ve given us a lot of happiness and we decided to share the joy by creating merchandise themed around their ilk, for their birthdays,” shares Sandhya. To make the occasion more special, the duo has decided to donate 25 per cent of this month’s sales to the Besant Memorial Animal Dispensary (BMAD), an organisation that has been supporting animals in need.
“We have been visiting BMAD for the last three years to get dogs and cats spayed. The shelter has been doing a wonderful job in the rehabilitation and re-homing of animals in need and it is a place very close to our hearts. The idea to flag a fundraiser for BMAD has been simmering for a while but this occasion fuelled it further. We’ve been able to execute it now,” she says. The venture, which was launched in 2017 has been offering art services including custom digital illustrations of caricatures, cartoons, cartoon strips, book illustrations, invites, baby onesies, masks, badges, tote bags, canvas prints and other merchandise. The illustrations are created by Vasudevan while Sandhya takes care of the logistics.
“People can also commission their own designs. This month, as part of the celebrations, for whoever commissions a pet portrait, we’ll be sending a free framed portrait!” she tells, adding that the bigger picture is to create awareness on why people should adopt, and not shop. “Though conversations around adoption and indie breeds have been happening, it is important to reiterate that people have to consider adopting from shelters and rescues instead of buying a pet at a store or from a breeder.
More importance has to be given to the indie breeds. While we are respectful of people and their choices, every indie dog and adoptable animal in a shelter or rescue too are lovable and deserve to be welcomed into families. We are doing our part to promote this message,” she says. The products are priced from Rs 99 onwards. The pet portraits are priced at `3,500. To be part of the celebration, visit Instagram page @artagasm