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About the Artist:
Jim Tweedy was born in Covington, Louisiana in 1958. He began taking art lessons at an early age from his father, Byron Tweedy, a former Disney animator. Jim attended The New Orleans Art Institute where he studied directly under famed former NASA illustrator Walter Labiche.
Jim has a love for animals and most of all, making people laugh. His love for cats and his studio companion, Charlie, inspired his Charlie the RedCat painting and print series. The series is still in demand today, but now Jim’s has taken his talent, his art career and his love for animals in another direction. Three years ago, “Jim Tweedy’s Friendly Doggies” was born. A series of cartoon dogs that art collectors can’t seem to get enough of. This series is by far his favorite and it is precisely the kind of art and the subject matter that Jim always wanted to create and for which he has decided to focus on for the long-term.
” The whole Friendly Doggie idea started a couple of years ago. I had received an extremely positive response to a Charlie the RedCat painting that I made called, “ A Visit to the Museum.” That painting depicted a group of cartoon dogs in a museum, looking at two paintings; one of a fire hydrant and one of Charlie the RedCat. That was the first time I’d painted any cartoon dogs. I received so many requests for art with just the dogs that I decided there must be some potential in the little guys. It was great because I had always dreamed of having a cartoon strip and this idea lent itself to a strip much more than Charlie the RedCat did. My father and I used to have a lot of fun spending hours trying to come up with concepts when I was a boy. Anyway, as much as everybody liked the dogs in A Visit to the Museum, in my opinion, they weren’t quite funny enough to be cartoon strip material. I actually set to work refining the dogs while doodling on a napkin in a restaurant. I knew I wanted the dogs to be fairly large, like my own late great Golden Retriever, Murray. Noses are important to dogs. A dog’s world seems to revolve around his nose. I know Murray’s was important to him. These big noses are the focal point and the beginning of every Jim Tweedy’s Friendly Doggie that I create. You won’t find a dog without a nose. That’s not just me talking. That’s a promise. So, there I sat with my napkin, ketchup on one corner and doggies on the other and I got to thinking: certainly doggies like to eat! What’s the point of having a great big nose to smell the food with if they’re not going to eat it? All of it. I drew a big stomach. It worked. The big stomachs actually balanced out the big noses. Then I added hands so they could be more versatile than the ordinary dog. For now, you see, they could throw Frisbees instead of just catching them in their mouths like ordinary dogs. It was all coming together and after a few finishing touches, I had it. The only thing missing was the name. I took one look at them and I thought, “These doggies are some kinda friendly.” And then it hit me. I’d call them just that. Friendly Doggies! And since I was the one who drew them, I thought, “Why not?” So, I named them, Jim Tweedy’s Friendly Doggies. Because that’s what they are.”
Jim and his wife, Robyn have been married 16 years, have four children and live just outside of New Orleans in Mandeville, Louisiana.
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