Pugs are adorable, it’s a fact. For many years they’ve been inspiring works of art, appearing in early Chinese sculpture and artwork, as well as 18th century European portraiture. As one of the oldest breeds of dogs, pugs have been represented by pug art, since the advent of the breed.
And it’s no wonder: pugs are loveable, expressive, and have faces that appear almost human-like with their expressions. Part monkey, part teddy bear, these little dogs are a favorite muse of many classic and modern pug artists.
As pug lovers and art lovers, we’ve collected (and contributed) to the pug art world too. Pugs are like potato chips--you can’t stop at just one, and the same holds true for pug artwork. Once the breed has your heart, you’re ready to buy anything where the artist has decided to “put a pug on it”. After all, what isn’t made better by the presence of pugs?
So here’s a roundup of some of our favorite modern pug artists and pug art out there. Please feel free to let us know if we missed your favorite pug artist! We’re always looking for new pug-loving artists to support.
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Check Out These Amazing Pug Artists for the Best Pug Art
If you’d like to support excellent pug artists, please check out the following artists. We’ve included their instagram handles for easy access and viewing!
Best Pug Artist for Pet Portraits
Emma’s artwork isn’t limited to just pugs, but she’s one of the most stunning and talented pet portrait artists we’ve found. Her work is breathtaking and she manages to capture the heart and soul of each animal she draws. We commissioned her to do a memorial portrait for our friends’ beloved fur-baby and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when we revealed it to them. Emma has a rare gift and she’s a delight to work with. If you’re looking for custom pet portraits, we can’t recommend her highly enough.
Best Pug Cartoonists
Gemma is one of the best-known modern pug artists out there. Her books are very popular, including A Pug’s Guide to Etiquette and A Pug’s Guide to Dating (she also has many brilliant non-pug cartoons and drawings as well). She’s been featured on many awesome pug products like shirts and mugs. Best of all, Gemma is truly a kind and wonderful person, who supports pug causes with her work. We met her at Milwaukee Pug Fest, where she was kind enough to do a family portrait for us (and the proceeds went to support pug-rescue).
Mike Norton of Battlepug: Instagram @miketron2000
One universal truth about pug artists? They’re truly the nicest people ever. We might be a tad biased, but honestly, we’ve never met a pretentious or snobby pug artist. Mike Norton, is of course no exception. He’s just an awesome guy, who’s an extremely talented comic book artist from Chicago. His Battlepug series is amazing and speaks to the heart of every comic book lover, and won the 2012 Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic. Mike’s superhero (er, supughero) art is an amazing fusion of comic book and pug artwork.
Gemma Gené & Mochi: Instagram @157ofgemma
Gemma Gené manages to perfectly capture “pug life” with her cartoons featuring her beloved pug, Mochi. Mochi’s hilarious pug antics are both charming and familiar for any pug owner. Who can’t relate to a pug who’s attached at the hip to his “Mami”? Gemma’s little shadow steals the covers, loves food, and tolerates his siblings the “Twinchis” (twin chihuahuas). If you’re looking for pug art that warms the heart, don’t miss Gemma and Mochi.
Best Pug Painters
Dickie Harper’s pop art is so fun and adorable! His hilarious, sometimes-punny works of art are available on canvas, as well as the occasional tee-shirt. While, Dickie’s daughter, Ripley is a dalmation-mix, he’s still a big fan of pugs, who crop up in his artwork often. Dickie’s fun, bright designs make great gifts too. We were so excited to meet him and receive a custom work featuring our little Pee Wee, last year. In addition to being an awesome pug artist, Dickie is just an all around nice guy. Don’t miss this Chicago pop pug artist!
James Page does custom portraits and paintings of dogs of all types. His pug painting of our own little Pee Wee was absolutely breathtaking. We love the way he managed to capture our little guy’s happy expression and joy. In addition to commissioned portraits, James also sells paintings and prints of his most popular works of art. James is a fantastic talent, who really captures the individuality of each dog he portrays. If you’re looking for a fine art rendering of your pug, Dog on Canvas has you covered!
Best Pug Illustrators & Digital Artists
Dark Lord Pug Designs: Instagram @darklordpug
Okay, so in the interest of full disclosure, this is a bit of a shameless plug. Dark Lord Pug Designs is the brainchild of one-half of the Pug Life Magazine team. It was founded simply as a fun way to make digital collages and pay homage to some of our favorite pop culture icons (and of course, pugs). People seemed to really dig the designs, so DLP keeps creating them and having a great time coming up with new ideas. Dark Lord Pug Designs are available on tee shirts, pugs, prints, posters, bags, pillows and more. We also do logo, web and graphic design for specialized projects (like pug rescues). It’s been a work of pure love and celebration of the amazingness of pugs.
Huebucket: Instagram @huebucket
Chances are, you’ve see Thai artist, Huebucket’s awesome pug designs on the web before. The designs are featured on many different sites including: Society6, Threadless, Redbubble, Casetify, and Spoonflower among other outlets. One of the most popular designs is the Great Wave of Pugs, inspired by Hokusai’s famous The Great Wave of Konogawa. If you’re looking for unique and fun pug design, definitely check out Huebucket!
Best Pug Textiles and Plush Art
Jana at Naïs Products: Instagram @nais_products
Jana makes the most adorable, plush pug beds, pug pillows and pins from her shop in the Netherlands. Her custom pillow designs feature adorable pug faces and her banana beds are soft and luxurious (perfect for a pug nap). Don’t miss Jana’s cute pins for pin-lovers and pin collectors, including pug-mermaid, and pug-unicorn designs. These are absolutely amazing and will speak to any pug lover!
Mr. Walters at Nerfect Artistic Novelties: Instagram @nerfect
Nerfect plush toys come in different sizes and designs to suit every taste. From “Pug Bob Ross” to pirates, rockstars, chicken suit-wearing pugs and more, the designs are unstoppable and super cool. Nerfect also offers stickers and other fun toys for collectors (pug-lovers and non-pug-lovers alike). If you love custom toy designs and fun collectables, Nerfect is a must check-out!
Pugs have been the perfect muse for centuries. Their cute faces, sweet personalities and roly-poly bodies capture our hearts and inspire creativity. If you’re looking for some pug art to grace your walls, be sure to check these great pug artists out.
Did we miss anyone on our list? Email or message us and we’ll check them out too! Pug artists of the world, unite and takeover!