One dog at the time
Anja Zaharanski is a very, very busy lady. The talented artist has spent January ‘til June illustrating one beloved pup of friends, family or strangers each and every day, and intends to continue to do so until her 365 Project halts on December 31st. The aim of the game is to achieve this goal not for money (although submitters can order a print post completion), but for love. A love of dogs and art of all kinds, and a desire to reach her target whilst delighting others in the process.
Originally born in Poland, Zaharanski moved as a baby to Germany, and currently resides in the South, near Munich and close to the Alps. There are several dogs in the area whom she loves to watch interacting, saying “their behaviour is really interesting to me and I’m hoping to learn more about them in future”. Daily admiration for these dogs grew, and her website Dogs Can Bark was born.
A fan of all types of mediums, the self-taught artist has no desire to study art, preferring the journey of self-discovery. She says, “I have always felt very connected to art however, I would not like to study it. Art for me is a part of my personality, and I’m fine with learning it by trial and error, even if that means that I have to fail more often. I’m very excited and curious about what I can create with different kinds of ‘tools’, and I enjoy having the freedom of developing the way that I think is the right one.”
Regardless of the medium however, Zaharanski’s sense of humour and fondness for dogs carries through in everything she does, particularly her love for her Border Collie Sui, who also inherits an amalgamation of ideas. Says Zaharanski “She loves to go to the vet and she actually can paint. I have a painting by her hanging on my wall, right next to a print of Van Gogh’s Field of Poppies. Her work is definitely very impressionistic so it fits perfectly next to it!”
Dogs Can Bark originally began as a showcase for her dog photography and stop motion videos. Zaharanski would draw then scan her subject then play with colours, textures and paintbrushes, ensuring no two pieces are alike. People began to catch on, and would send through pics of their own pooches to be illustrated, a habit which eventually inspired the 365 Project.
Anyone can take part in the project by simply sending through a pic of their pup. However, at the tender age of 22, Zaharanski has already garnered a cult following, and has had to halt all submissions to the project temporarily, due to overwhelming demand.
Despite the impressive workload, Zaharanski still has many more ideas up her sleeve, from studying communication design and graphic design to typography and photography work. She even has a secret new vision for Dogs Can Bark planned. We will be keeping our eyes peeled.
To see more illustrations from the 365 Project, visit the site