As Lauren and Gareth, the team behind the Inkpug series of illustrations and stationary goods, talk about what their ideal Christmas vacation would involve, it quickly ends up including a remote cabin in Vermont that’s filled with dogs.
This is to be expected, being that their Inkpug brand is focussed around showcasing Pugs getting up to shenanigans like, say, drawing a smiley face on another canine’s butt, flipping stacks of pancakes onto an unsuspecting pooch, or chowing down on jars of pickles while reciting a limerick.
Read on to begin forming your Inkpug obsession.
When it comes to the initial idea behind the Inkpug illustrations and products, Lauren says that she’d been drawing Pugs for a long time before they ended up online. “It was mostly to entertain myself and Gareth,” she recalls, “and to keep my hands busy during class — doodling helps me pay attention.
“I don’t actually remember why we decided to post them on the internet. I think it was Gareth’s idea,” she says, before Gareth chips in: “It was totally my idea.”
“I think it’s really easy to see the human in Pugs and the Pug in humans,” explains Lauren while talking about the way that the breed seems to appeal to such a range of people.
“There’s just something about the Pug personality — with all its indomitable mischief and craftiness and expectation — that’s very human. But it’s also safer to explore and exaggerate insofar as even the naughtiest aspects of human nature exist in Pugs — well, most Pugs! — without any true malice.”
Gareth adds that he used to have a “little Pug” and that he’s convinced that “all the mischief and the greediness and the love” that they relay in their illustrations are “absolutely accurate” to the breed.
Looking back on the launch of Inkpug as a business, Lauren says that the one specific illustration that really set them on their way is also one that’s never been posted to the world: “It’s a little pencil doodle in my college notebook, and it was the first time I ever drew Paul, my little imaginary companion Pug.”
She adds, “Somehow that sketch started an art relationship with Pugs, and here I am, still sketching.”
Lauren says that a greeting card titled “Strip Tease” is Inkpug’s most popular product to date. It depicts a Pug being taunted by a strip steak.
At the time of writing, Lauren and Gareth don’t own any Pugs themselves. Lauren explains that they’ve been “tiny apartment hopping for a few years” and simply haven’t had the room for any four-legged friends to waddle around the domicile.
“But we’re awaiting the day we have the space to provide a good home for a new friend — or two or three!”