Healing Through Art – Dylan & Dutch

Methods of relaxation can be an essential part of healing mental health ailments. A period of time spent on a focused activity, can stop one’s mind from a downward spiral of negative thoughts. At times, this focused activity can then become a talent that turns into a business.

This was the case for Hollie; owner and creator of Dylan and Dutch. These are hand drawn portraits of animals and pets. Hollie’s art work has become a positive and important aspect of the grieving process for pet owners after experiencing the loss of their pet. It was birthed out of Hollie’s personal experience; the loss of their family dog Murphy. In a means to capture the life experienced from this family pet, Hollie created a portrait of Murphy and presented it to her father.

“Our dog of 16 years passed away and my family was heart broken. I drew Murphy as a present for my dad and his reaction made me realize how special a portrait can be. That’s when I started drawing dogs for people as gifts. It’s now a bit of an obsession and I have plans to illustrate 100 dogs as a project just for me”

– Hollie

Hollie’s passion for animals can be seen within the intricate details her portraits. I noticed there is a personality within the art that can be lost in a photograph taken by a camera. 

“I have had a lot of pets in my lifetime. I currently have a tortoise named Herbert, a bearded dragon named Norbert and a Labrador named Luna. They are very important to me. 

I try to put some of that love I feel for my pets into each portrait I do. The eyes are the most important part of any portrait for me. It’s where I start each portrait, to make sure they are just right and capture each pets personality ”.   

– Hollie

Hollie’s business became profitable after friends began to insist on paying her for her work. 

Hollie saw it as an honour to be offered the task of preserving a pets life through her art work. 

“It’s amazing to me that people buy my art work and trust in me to preserve the memory of their loved ones. This is what I care most about. I want people to have a positive connection to the piece”.

– Hollie

Hollie’s art is not only a help to the recipient of her art work, but a great help to her own mental stability. Hollie was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at the age of sixteen. This unfortunately became worst after the news that she may not be able to have children because of a recently diagnosed kidney disease. Hollie relates the process of drawing a portrait to the practice of meditation. 

“I experience a stillness like you would get with meditation. That’s not to say I don’t get anxious that customers won’t like the finished product. But the process of my brain shutting out all the rubbish running around within it, to get in the zone. That’s my meditation”.

– Hollie

Be sure to follow Hollie on social media at, @dylananddutch to keep up with her latest work. CLICK HERE to shop using discount code MATURINGMAMA10!       

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