When I was a kid, I met a terrier at soccer practice and I loved it. I asked Santa for a dog, a terrier if possible, but instead got a hamster.
One day after summer school, I got off the bus and found a dog's snout poking through the fence. I was keeping it company and apparently I kept it company for so long that my mom was worried I got lost or kidnapped or something because she sent my brother out to find my on his bicycle.
And there was one time when my brother was playing basketball with his friends in the driveway and a dog came up to me and we starting playing together. It wasn't until my mom came home and my brother's friends left that I found out it wasn't playing as I thought. And it wasn't until years later that I realized it was just humping my leg, which explained a lot.
Anyway, that's to say I always wanted a dog, but my parents correctly knew I wouldn't have the responsibility to care for a dog.
So when I moved to New York and stayed with my roommates for an internship in 2011, I finally got to live with a dog. Two dreams come true, I guess, and Ego inspired me in so many ways: the Quick Brown Fox series, the Animals in the Night series, cards, a year-long illustration project, computer passwords, wifi network names, iPhone wallpapers, desktop backgrounds, half of my phone storage, and my Space Zoo book which I'll finish eventually.
I haven't even mentioned the time she saved my roommate's life. And I'm not talking about saving someone's soul like chicken noodle soup. Ego literally saved my roommate's life one weekend in the East Village. She's the sweetest dog and one of my best friends and saved my soul.
I always said she was "my dog" even though she was adopted by my roommates in Texas and they brought her up to NYC, but I just felt like she adopted me and accepted me. Was it because when I first walked her, I let her smell literally every tree? Or was it because I always gave her a mound of food? Or maybe she knew I always wanted a dog growing up? Maybe all of that. She's smart.
And she's going to be bilingual because she's moving to Amsterdam with Mark and Bonnie.
I wanted her to remember her time in New York so I made this for her to hang in her crate as she flies KLM.
I found a picture of New York from this past summer and put in Procreate. It was hard to figure out what vessel Ego would sail on from New Amsterdam to Old Amsterdam, but remembered they have canal boats.
Then I imported Procreate's PSD into Photoshop to use Kyle's Brushes.
And there it is.
UPDATE: I'm going to see her in June!