Hey guys, I'm Shelly, the girl behind Wild Forest Dog. I'm an illustrator drawn to the style of storybooks, children's literature, and timeless illustrations like Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, or J.R.R. Tolkein's illustrations from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I'm also quite fond of drawing plants and landscapes - which may be another reason I love Tolkien and Potter's work. My work mostly reflects a whimsical storybook feel, and I tend to draw scenes from imagined fantasy world's and myths.
I would consider myself a mixed-media artist, as I can't seem to settle on one medium (what's wrong with that, right?). I use mostly watercolor and ink in my illustrations, but I'm quite prone to throwing in some colored pencil, gouache, paint pens, and as of late copic markers (they're addicting, protect yourself!).
I have a formal education in art, photography, and film, and began my adventure as an illustrator full-time in 2015. It wasn't until I tried watercolor again (after despising it in college) that I really found my passion for art again. (You can read my "once upon a time" for a mini-biography).
I am currently working on a fairytale series, sea monster series, and growing my portfolio in hopes of illustrating a children's book in the future.
If you are interested in licensing a piece or commissioning me privately or commercially please send me a note and we'll chat.
A mini biography…
Once upon a time...
There once was a little girl who loved to draw horses (these horses looked very similar to a hotdog), dogs, and cats who all lived on a farm and were the girls best friends. Then, one day there was an art contest put on by the local newspaper. The little girl entered it, featuring one of her hotdog horses, and she won! From that moment on she drew and she drew, and finally one day her horses started to look like actual horses (although the hotdog horses could be quite a trend!). Her mother always said, "Follow your heart and you'll never feel as though you've worked a day in your life."
As she grew up she started painting, and would contribute most of her inspiration to landscape artist, Bob Ross, who always said there were no mistakes, just happy accidents. It didn't help that she lived in one of the most beautiful places in North America - Bend, Oregon. Along with Bob's encouragement to always paint in your way, and the mountains and the pine trees surrounding her she painted many acrylic paintings of the landscapes around her (and plenty of happy little trees, of course!).
One day, the girl grew up and was ready to set off to University to fulfill her dreams and hone her skills for a bright future. When she was nearly ready to leave on her journey, many voices of those she looked up to would remind her "Art isn't a real career", "You need to do something that will bring money in", "You can't make a living as an artist", they would say. Although her mother kept saying "Follow your dreams!", the poison of harsh words meant in love can be devastating, and so she didn't follow her dreams, she followed the path most taken - safety & financial security.
The girl wasn't happy one bit, and so she took an art class to fulfill her creative desire. Her heart soared with happiness, so she took another art class. and another, and another. Then she applied for art school. She got in, and away she went! To her dismay. this school didn't work out and she returned to her homeland, tired and distraught. But don't worry, there were better things in store.
Once she returned she started taking art classes again at the local college. It wasn't her dream, but it made her happy just to be doing art. After a few months she applied to an Arts & Science University, where she found bright new paths, knowledge, and friendship. Here, she also recognized her passion for film and video production - where she could create moving art pieces!
She continued her journey here until completion of her degree, graduating with the knowledge of art, film, and photography. Her story was finally finding it's happy place - although she hadn't drawn in ages.
Alas, in her final year of University she fell ill with a terrible sickness - one that would change her life forever. Sometimes a journey must come to halt in order for things more important to be realized and a path to be diverted to their true destination. At the time, her destination had been to pursue the film industry, but once she was unable to be as active as she had been, she began to draw again.
She drew and she drew, and she drew! She wasn't able to do much, but a simple pencil and paper could transport her to places she imagined - she could go anywhere! Her heart soared once more. Her mother encouraged her, "You should share your artwork with others."
And so she did.
Today, the girl has combined her love of art and film into one, creating her own YouTube channel. Here, she can play screenwriter, director, cinematographer, and actress (of the voice over variety!). Now she paints and draws whenever she wishes (and sometimes when she doesn't wish - deadlines, ugh!), along with her trusty companion, Nashoba the sleddog, and her shadowy muses (cats), Salix and Daragh (DAR-Uh). Keeping her well fed in the depths of art and always a guide when inspiration ceases is her handsome knight, Sir Rob.
As many places inspire the once-hotdog-horse-drawing girl, she longs to go on adventures with her husband (Sir Rob) to Ireland, Sweden, Norway, and the British Isles (to name a few). Until then, she'll draw them.
Always going forward. Imagine. Dream. Live.