First a quick catch up: for the next several posts, I’m going to be giving you an inside look into my new series “Uniform Pets”. I’ll be sharing the insights and inspiration behind each piece.
The series as a whole came about as I was thinking about how we identify and categorize, specifically, dress code pertaining to jobs/organizations, as well as breeds of pets. We know a police officer in a crowd of people because we’ve identified their uniform. We’ve come to expect a certain dress code associated with our doctor’s visits. If he or she were dressed in a tie dyed t-shirt and shorts, we would question their abilities and professionalism. Yet, this same doctor might be dressed that way on their “off hours”. We don’t have the same feelings towards a Chihuahua and a Pit bull. One has become an icon of the Hollywood elite and the other has been mired in PR issues with news reports spreading incidents of their aggressiveness.
Most of the time, we don’t think about these connections. They are part of the operating system that runs below the surface. In this series, I hope to make viewers stop and think more about these connections and assumptions.
For this post I’m sharing about the inspiration behind the Girl Scout - Chihuahua.
This one reaches back to some of my earliest memories. I have a sister who is 3 years older than me. All through elementary school, she was a part of the Brownies and Girl Scouts. My mother also helped in her troop, so I would be taken along.
I remember craft projects, the uniforms, the badges and achievements. I remember sitting in the cafeteria of St. Rita’s Catholic school (where we both attended) after school hours with the smell of mop water still hanging in the air. And the cookies. Oh, the cookies. That’s probably the biggest marketing promotion for the Girl Scouts ever. Even to this day, I doubt people associate much else with the Girl Scouts beyond the cookies. But there is indeed MUCH more.
Consider their oath, while raising three fingers (long before a Hunger Games salute was even a thought): "A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency."
Later on, I did my own, albeit short, stint in the cub scouts. And even though it was short lived, I’m glad I did it. I have fond memories of pinewood derbies (but I always lost), playing “steal the bacon” with our bright yellow scarfs, and learning a little about some tools from our a neighborhood friends father who was our den leader.
This is dedicated to the scouts and leaders who at the heart of it all, looked to the needs of others rather than themselves.
And my choice of the Chihuahua just seemed appropriate for the sweet innocent look of this breed. A few friends and family members think I modeled this Chihuahua after my own, Cooper, but it’s not him (honestly!). Regardless, there’s something about those eyes that beckon you to buy cookies. Or an art print :)
This piece was digitally painted using my iPad Pro, and app called Procreate and Photoshop on my Macbook Pro.
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