Home
Guest Posts
Print|Text Size: ||
From the Streets to the Gallery, All Thanks to the Dog
John Dolan and his dog George

Coming home a little earlier from nights out; waking up with the sun to get in that daily walk; adding a new vacuum to the top of your birthday wish list—things have a tendency to change when you bring a dog into your life. London based artist, John Dolan, was no exception to this rule. We recently read about Dolan and his dog, George, in an interview published by the Guardian earlier this month, and we were instantly enamored with the duo. 

Dolan, struggled with poverty, addiction and homelessness for most of his adult life, then, one day in 2009, a young homeless couple, about to move into an apartment, gave him George. And then things began to happen...

The Guardian writes:

Dolan was terrified to be entrusted with George, his first ever responsibility. "How was I going to cope with him? I couldn't even cope with myself," he says. But he'd loved the family dog, Butch, as a boy, and he noticed how George always looked him in the eye when he talked. They bonded and Dolan had a stark realisation: if he went to prison again, he would lose George. So he gave up crime. "It was only because I had the animal and he's a responsibility," he says, stroking George. "He's like my child in a sense and I feel obliged to keep a roof over his head and keep him warm."

In 2009, in an attempt to make an honest living, John turned to selling sketches of George to passers-by on the street for about $30 each. A few years later, his drawings were published in Shoreditch Unbound, a limited edition book showcasing East London's creative culture. After that, commissions started rolling in, including a request from gallery director, Richard Howard-Griffin. This is when his fledgling career as a working artist took off.

John now has a solo show under his belt (which happened to be a sell-out) and another just opened; he has collaborated with many high-profile street artists, including ROA, Stik and Tierry Noir; he has written a book about his life with George (an experience he likened to therapy), and, later this year, he'll cross the pond for a third solo show in Los Angeles. 

While John's life has seen a dramatic turn-around in the past few years, there is one thing that remains constant—George, the staffy-bull who saved him.

Again, from the Guardian:

"I feel like he's a guardian angel. If it hadn't been for him I'd have never picked up my pen," he says, stroking his companion.

Click HERE to see more of John Dolan's work. Keep up with John and George on Facebook.

 

Print
More in Guest Posts:
Study Finds BPA in Canned Dog Food—and Dogs
A Lost Dog Spent the Night
Biff the Boxer Stars in John Lewis Ad
Service Dog Kicked Off Flight For Being Too Big
Greek Café Hosts Stray Dogs
Dogs Remember More Than You Think
Co-Star of “Cooking With Dog” Dies
Failed Fosters Dog Adoption
New Toys and Chews
For the Love of a Ball: Dogs as Conservation Biologists