How a Hamster Started a Business

The Story of Colette the Hamster

Colette the hamster came into my life as a birthday gift from my daughter. With bright eyes and soft orange and white fur, she enchanted me. I fell in love immediately.

Colette made the perfect subject. Colored pencils were the medium I chose. After doing several drawings of Colette, my imagination began to bubble with ideas of a traveling hamster.

Colette Eating Lettuce
Colette the Hamster Eating Red Leaf Lettuce, Colored Pencil, ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5″

Colette Gets a Friend and Goes to Europe

European art and architecture fascinate me, so I decided to send Colette to Europe! First of all, Colette had to have a traveling companion, so Charlotte was created.

Colette and Charlotte visited famous locations in Paris, London, Rome, Venice, and Florence. They stopped at the Tower of London to visit the ravens and saw Big Ben. They boated on the Seine in Paris and took a gondola ride in Venice. Mona Lisa and Michelangelo’s David enjoyed their surprising agility.

The drawings were created as ACEOs (Artist Cards Editions and Originals), which are the same size as baseball cards, 2.5 x 3.5″.

Much to my surprise and delight, I experienced robust sales on Ebay.

Colette and Charlotte with David
Colette and Charlotte View the David by Michelangelo, Colored Pencil, ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5″

Ideas Have a Way of Changing

Then one day, I had a new idea: why not make Colette a part of the art, not just looking at it? Maybe, instead of being a tourist, Colette could enter an artwork like one of  Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters. For this image, I used watercolor and colored pencil.

While this image was not as sophisticated or precise as some I have made, it was very exciting to me because I could see the potential in the concept.

Colette as Jane Avril
Colette the Hamster as Jane Avril after Toulouse-Lautrec, Colored Pencil and Watercolor, ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5″

Voila! It’s a Business! (Well, it didn’t happen that fast!)

Since then, drawings of a cute little hamster have morphed into a thriving business, Masterpiece Pet Portraits. Now, your pets including dogs, cats, hamsters, ferrets, parrots, or even turtles can exist in the masterpiece of your choice.

Hamster with a Watering Can
Hamster with a Watering Can, Colored Pencil, ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5″

In Memory of Colette

While Colette has passed on to Hamster Heaven, unanticipated benefits of her life have brought happiness to many pet owners. Often my customers purchase a portrait of their pet as a memorial to their beloved friend. Visit my Etsy store or Masterpiece Pet Portraits for more details or to place an order!

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