Introducing Elisa The Illustrator and Lolly The Whippet

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This Christmas we've been lucky enough to team up with illustrator Elisa MacDougall to create our gorgeous Christmas Cards. Elisa specialises in pet portraits, illustration and pattern design, drawing dogs, women and things that make her happy - including her Whippet, Lolly. Read on for a glimpse in to their magical world...

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Tell us about the amazing Lolly and how you met?

We’d dreamed of getting a whippet for years. Once we finally found a place in London that had a garden we started looking for whippets looking for homes. An advert came up that had one little girl left in a litter. A red brindle with white socks. We arranged to meet her and fell in love (obviously). 

What's your normal daily routine together?

Lolly is my shadow; I take her everywhere I can. Before lockdown she would come to the studio with me. We’d walk in through the park on our journey in so she would get a great zoom at the start of the day. After that her day would go: nap, lunch walk, nap, home walk home, dinner, sleep.  My work situation changed quite a bit since Covid so now we work mainly from home. She’s incredibly chilled, rarely wakes before 10am and is very happy to have a good lie in too. A great home office companion!

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How long have you been creating your gorgeous illustrations?

As a child I drew non stop. I remember getting through reams and reams of printer paper (you know the type with the perforated holes at the sides?) drawing animals, people, plants and patterns. Pretty much all the things I still draw and paint today. I studied art all the way through my academic life and then went on to complete a course in illustration and visual communisation at Brighton University.

What's the most exciting project you've worked on?

This one of course! It was an absolute joy painting these sweet little dogs with Santa hats - and even better that we'll be raising money for the Wild At Heart Foundation with every purchase.


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What do you love most about being an illustrator?

I love it because it’s a direct way for me to get the thoughts and ideas out of my head and onto paper. I get a lot of pleasure from painting, I can zone out for hours. I suppose it’s a sort of therapy, a way to disengage from staring at my phone or laptop and create something meaningful.

Tell us what makes Lolly special

She’s very polite. She knows to sit for treats, will wait patiently for her dinner and is very dainty in her mannerisms. She’s incredibly affectionate and loves to be fussed over. She is a very cuddly whippet and will accept cuddles from anyone.  She’s got a feisty side. There’s a stubborn streak in there too. I swear she throws shade at me sometimes if she doesn’t get her way. 
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Where are Lolly's favourite walks in South London?

Being south of the river we have some pretty good walks on our doorstep. Beckenham Place Park is a short drive from us and really great for whippet zoomies. Lot’s of open space and totally enclosed too. If we’re making a day of it we will head further out towards Farnham. Frensham Common is a beautiful walk, especially in summer. 

And finally what do you have planned for Christmas?!

In an ideal world we'd spend it with family. Most years we split our time between Winchester and Bristol which is always lovely. Lot’s of food, wine and walks. If we are still restricted then we’ll be in London. Start the day with a nice long walk then home to cook a roast and get boozy in front of the telly - not too different from our usual weekend plans!
Discover Elisa's incredible work over on her website and explore her portfolio of gorgeous commissions and portraits! For her website click here  or follow her @elisatheillustrator.

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