The Big Dog Art Trail inspires a unique book
Date published: 26 September 2023
The artists of The Big Dog Art Trail have inspired thousands of people across Swindon this summer with their colourful and eye-catching Swindog sculptures.
For Lora Ricketts, it was enough to inspire a unique way of completing the trail, armed with a little, blue, hand-made book.
What started as a personal art project to give Lora some extra incentive to collect all 30 Swindog sculptures turned into a social media hit.
She has completed the trail in a unique way, by sketching each of the Swindogs that decorated the streets of Swindon this summer.
Lora truly captured the essence of each of the giant balloon-dog sculptures, which went up for auction last week at STEAM Museum in Swindon, fetching an incredible £165,800 for Julia’s House children’s hospice.
Each page of the book, which Lora put together herself, has a colourful sketch of the Swindogs, with some accompanied by some further doodles of the intricate details and animals that appear of the sculptures.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever followed an art trail and I thought it would be a really good project for me for sketching,” she said.
“It started off as something for my own enjoyment and has turned into something bigger than I ever expected.
“I tried to sketch as many as I could on location but we had quite a bit of rain and some were done from photos.
“I made the book myself and made it small because I knew it would be a big challenge to get it done in the time.
“I tried to catch as much detail as I could. The Swindogs were amazing with so much detail and it was quite a challenge.
“I tried to draw the dogs from different angles so they weren’t all the exact shape and size on the page.”
Like the trail, the book has captured the imagination of the public, with Lora’s pictures of the book on social media getting a lot of support.
Lora, who tried to draw as many of the Swindogs on location also got to speak to people who were doing the trail and has been overwhelmed by the response to her stunning art.
“When I started it was just a little art project for myself,” she added.
“I had a few people speak to me while I was sketching and I had some really nice comments whilst I was out on the trail.
“It sort of exploded and quite a few of the artists have commented and have said that they love the sketches of their dogs, which really means a lot to me.
“It wasn’t intended to be this grand.”
The trail may be over but there are still plenty of ways to support Julia’s House, who provide vital care and support to the most seriously ill children in Wiltshire and Dorset.
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You can find out more about Lora and her Big Dog Art Trail journey by following her on Instagram at @made_by_lora or on her YouTube channel Made By Lora.